Dear editor:

As former vice chair of the No Way Gateway citizens committee, I am appalled by the construction of the Gateway/San Gorgonio Crossing mega-warehouse complex on Cherry Valley Boulevard.

In seeking the approval of the Board of Supervisors for this project, the developer promised, among other things, that the buildings would be “visually unobtrusive” and would “protect the scenic ridgeline and the landscape, providing natural visual relief to nearby communities.”

While one of the warehouse buildings is below ground and meets this standard, the other looms over Cherry Valley Boulevard, blocking any view of the scenic background.

The question is: Why was this project not required to comply with the promises made?

If the developer was allowed to renege on this pledge, I am concerned that his other promises may also be ignored: 1) to contribute millions of dollars to upgrade the Cherry Valley Boulevard/10 Freeway interchange, and 2) to forbid trucks leaving the warehouse from making a left-turn and traveling up Cherry Valley Boulevard into Cherry Valley.

Fortunately, the Beaumont City Council is standing up for us on this issue. At its June 7 meeting, it agreed to send a strongly worded letter of complaint to the Board of Supervisors, which says in part: “The approval of this (Gateway) project by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors was clearly a misstep. And allowing the project to build unchecked…without any public transparency…adds insult to injury.”

The council also requested that the supervisors schedule a public meeting in Beaumont to “reassure residents that, moving forward, mitigation measures at the San Gorgonio Project will be closely monitored and enforced.”

I hope that the Record Gazette will cover this problem in upcoming issues.

Steve Mehlman, Beaumont

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