There was an incredibly strong bond of community at the Oct. 3 Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting as citizens from the San Gorgonio Pass area spoke in opposition to the proposal to construct an industrial mega-warehouse in the residential, agricultural community of Cherry Valley. One by one, residents came forward to address their concerns before the board, some were from Beaumont, and many of them were Cherry Valley homeowners and also members of the Cherry Valley Acres & Neighbors volunteer group dedicated to preserving a rural residential community lifestyle. Many of the Cherry Valley homeowners purchased homes in the community in the expectation that the quality of the rural lifestyle would be protected by the Riverside County General Plan which designates Cherry Valley as “an unincorporated community in order to preserve the existing rural character of the area.”
Is the Riverside County General Plan a myth or a reality? The proposed industrial mega-warehouse is said to include multi-warehouse diesel truck deliveries which would significantly adversely affect air quality and the health of children and at risk-seniors.
The American Lung Association has identified truck diesel exhaust as a contributor to particulate air pollution. Further, according to a recent American Lung Association-California (ALA) report, our state’s air quality hits unhealthy levels each year although the ALA study notes steady improvement in clean air policies.
This past summer, it is a known fact that the city of Banning’s air quality index in the San Gorgonio Pass area was rated several times as “unhealthful.”
There was substantial testimony from residents who cited respiratory health issues as their motivation for opposing a project that would increase traffic congestion and air pollution.
As I said at the hearing, the proposed mega-warehouse project is better suited to open space land use already designated as commercial or industrial. The proposed project is not suited to the rural, agricultural and low density residential community of Cherry Valley.
The integrity of the Riverside County General Plan needs to be enforced to protect Cherry Valley boundaries and the health of San Gorgonio Pass residents!
Joan Marie Patsky, Beaumont