Modification of the project known as San Gorgonio Crossing is not enough to assuage letter-writing opponents.

By Gail Wesson / Staff Writer
Published: Dec. 9, 2016
Updated:   Dec. 11, 2016 – 7:56 p.m.

The draft environmental report for a controversial industrial distribution facility project in Cherry Valley is available for public comment until Jan. 18, with public hearings possible later in 2017.

Originally called the Gateway project off the 10 freeway and Cherry Valley Boulevard entering the San Gorgonio Pass, the proposal for about 1.8 million square feet of warehouse space is now branded as San Gorgonio Crossing.

The proponent is TSG Cherry Valley LP represented by Irvine-based Shopoff Realty Investments L.P., a firm familiar with complaints made by such groups as No Way Gateway and Cherry Valley Acres and Neighbors (CVAN) about three years ago when organized opposition banded together, concerned about disrupting the rural character of the area, noise and truck emissions.

The idea of development dates back to 2008.

The project proposes two buildings with 300 bay doors on 230 acres, of which about 144 acres would be developed.

The development would be about 5 1/2 miles from an area along Fourth Street south of the 60 and 10 freeways in the city of Beaumont that has two distribution centers and a third expected to open in late summer 2017.

Fifth District Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, whose office organized community meetings nearly three years ago, said there have been project changes “at least in part due to those public meetings.” But Ashley said he didn’t know if those changes would satisfy anyone who opposed the development.

He encouraged the public to make written comments on the draft environmental report, because those comments must be addressed as part of the environmental review. Once the final environmental report is completed, there will be a hearing scheduled before county supervisors.

If the supervisors certify the environmental report, they could then deliberate on the General Plan amendment and accompanying applications, Ray Smith, county spokesman, wrote in an email.

The general plan specifies what land uses are allowed in geographic areas and in this case would have to be changed from one-acre or larger minimum housing lots to light industry and open space.

Brian Rupp, Shopoff’s senior vice president for development, wrote in an email that the size and scope of the project has been dramatically reduced. “Clearly this is a much better project since two-thirds of it now will remain as natural or landscaped open space, and the size of the project has been reduced by almost one-third,” he wrote in an email.

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