Will The Leaders of Beaumont Show Up?

Tomorrow, Monday January 27, 2014, The County of Riverside will be holding a scoping session to consider a project called “Gateway Center.” This will be a two-and-a-half million square-foot distribution center that will sit on the north side of Cherry Valley Blvd, just a little bit east of the 10 freeway.

 In September, SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments) awarded Beaumont $200K in Phase 2--meaning next funding allocation, the City will receive the grant--to prepare a Climate Action Plan for the City.  (Total study cost will be $304,100 because City is providing $104,100 local match.)   The City will create a Climate Action Plan--addressing greenhouse gas, how to improve public health and engage the community in this study. 

It was a good sign that Beaumont applied for funding, but will they actively engage the community? Community Stakeholders matters in this type of work so the study is not just a consultant template slightly revised for our City. Will they participate in these efforts to help our economy diversify and grow to sustain us, or are they just vehicles that will be used by the City to support their pre-conceived ideas about industrial warehousing/fulfillment centers?

I have hope and I believe the City will actively participate. The council’s action to terminate the almost 6 million square-foot warehouse project in Beaumont last year indicated to me they can be persuaded to put the health and well-being ahead of the profit of the developers. The following press release at least shows they are taking the next step and we should encourage their participation.

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Press Release from the City of Beaumont:

Beaumont, CA—On Friday, February 7, 2014, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the City of Beaumont will host a Climate Action Planning Workshop. Topics to be included in this workshop include future sustainability projects to be undertaken by the City of Beaumont and community programs that promote resource conservation for Beaumont homeowners and businesses. This is an opportunity for the public and other private, public, and non-profit organizations to participate in the Climate Action Planning process. 

The workshop will be held in room 3 at the Beaumont Civic Center, located a t 550 E. 6th Street. Please RSVP by Friday, January 31, 2014 to Kelsey Gormley at 951-769-8520 or kelseyg@beaumontcares.com. For information on upcoming events, please visit our website www.BeaumontCares.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

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 The “Gateway Center” project isn’t welcomed by any resident of Cherry Valley or Beaumont that I have heard from. It appears to be in contrast to the direction indicated the studies being commissioned by the City of Riverside, County of Riverside, SCAG, WCROG and, most recently, the City of Beaumont. The Gateway Center project is planned for Cherry Valley and will be outside Beaumont city limits but air and noise pollution don’t adhere to jurisdictional boundaries. The project’s preliminary plan is to use the Oak Valley Ave ramps and Brookside Avenue to handle the overflow traffic from Cherry Valley Ave. This will affect at least a few thousand homes in the immediate area and many more long term.

 With the residents of Beaumont in opposition and no apparent benefit to any one in Beaumont, it will be interesting to see if any of our elected officials, Council Members, School Board Members or Water Board Commissioners show up at the scoping session to support their constituencies. I will be there and will let you know.

 

Here's the When and the Where of the scoping session:

1:30 pm January 27

County Administrative Center 

1st Floor Conference Room 2A

4080 Lemon St

Riverside Ca.

 

If you are unable to make it to the session on Monday, please email the project manager, Paul Rull. His email address is prull@rctlma.org or you can call him at 951-955-0972