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City Council to Hear Clean Air Requests in Appeal of Goodman Warehouse Expansion; More Warehouses on the Way

The Planning Commission recently approved an expansion of the 65-acre Goodman Logistics Center (GLC) located on Orangethorpe Ave between Acacia and State College at the former Kimberly-Clark paper mill. GLC acquired the existing 12-unit industrial building just south of its main project meeting in hopes of using the site for “overflow truck trailer parking” not originally included at the main site. They demolished the building a few days before the Planning Commission vote. Most of the former tenants moved out of Fullerton to be able to afford current rental rates.

The parking overflow site was approved once before, as a Minor Site Plan, by the City’s former Community and Economic Development director, Greg Pfost, acting as the city’s Zoning Administrator (ZA). Community activist Jane Reifer filed an appeal claiming that the project should have gone before the City’s full Planning Commission. City staff concurred, voided the ZA decision, and brought the item directly before the Planning Commission. At the Planning Commission, Reifer stated that accompanying Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Addendum didn’t properly analyze or mitigate many environmental issues including the fact that there are two elementary schools within ¼ mile of the truck route serving the site, potentially exposing students to hazardous emissions. In addition, no offsite truck trip numbers were analyzed, even though California environmental law requires full public disclosure of a project’s anticipated truck trips. The Commission approved the expansion, eliminating one of the 4 driveways and adding a small air quality mitigation to post signage referring to the existing state law that prohibits truck engine idling for more than five minutes. Reifer has appealed this decision to the City Council, asking for:

Better Analysis: 1) Show combined impacts, not the new project’s impacts in comparison with those of the much larger original project. 2) Analyze off site mobile travel emissions, including truck trips. The stated operational emissions are in error and refer to paving emissions with no analysis of cumulative impacts; 3) There is no documentation for construction emissions for the proposed project, only for the original project and only for paving (excluding demolition, grading, and worker travel trips); 4) The Addendum only mentions Building 4 but there’s a clear driveway to Building 3.

Better Mitigations / Conditions of Approval: 1) Prohibiting any use of the facility from off-site warehouses  2) Provide electric hookups, rather than just signage, so that heavily-polluting refrigerated trucks (TRUs) that can’t turn their motors off without spoilage to their cargo can actually comply (included in new 2022 air quality guidelines) 3) Provide “sensitive receptors”  with air monitors and air filtration devices; 4) Provide mitigation for the removal of the mid-block Orangethorpe bus stop; 5) Restrict the parking area from becoming a driveway to the warehouses 6) Condition the use based only on using Building 4 (deny the driveway to Building 3); 7) Require designation of an air quality compliance officer.

Miscellaneous  Issues: 1) The demolition prior to approval of the project poses some unique issues regarding mitigations, particularly for: construction solid waste recycling, paleontology, Migratory Bird Treaty Act; 2) Removal of seeming pre-approvals, “This Addendum covers all federal, State, local government and quasi-government approvals which may be needed to construct or implement the proposed Project, whether or not they are explicitly listed……in this Addendum”  and a dangling word that just says “Approval” followed by blank spaces which is open to any interpretation; 3) The 34 new truck spaces are active truck parking and weren’t contemplated or analyzed properly in the original EIR. This is not a small amount; they represent significant impact because of the correlated new truck trips, which could be substantially over 100 per day. It’s not a surface parking area to store truck trailers.  It’s added parking and active staging and parking overflow and may even require a CUP.  3) Although the document used for this project was an EIR Addendum, the paperwork was filed with the state as a Mitigated Negative Declaration, a much lower level of analysis.

Exhibit 2-D  shows Commonwealth Elementary and Woodcrest within ¼ mile of the original project truck routes. They were never mentioned in the original analysis. The new project doesn’t indicate a single new truck trip.

The Fullerton City Council will meet Tuesday, July 5 at 5:30pm. The Appeal is item 11, which is the 1st regular item of business.

City Hall is located at 303 W. Commonwealth, Fullerton. Contact Council at (714) 738-6311 or council@cityoffullerton.com.

Residents may participate in person or via Zoom. Zoom Meeting Details: www.zoom.us/join. Meeting ID: 978 4219 1797 Telephone Option: 1-669-900-9128.

More Warehouses Coming

“The City is not prepared for the new onslaught of warehouses,” Reifer said, “Within a month of GLC approval, Rexford Industrial was granted a project directly across the street from hundreds of low-income multi-family homes, and in less than a week Rexford announced a new warehouse project tearing down the Fullerton Hotel on Raymond Ave. With several Inland Empire cities declaring moratoriums on new warehouses, even more companies are coming to Fullerton. We should be prepared to ask them to reduce the impacts they cause.” The local area had a high pollution burden even prior to any of the new warehouses.

To learn more about this issue call 714-525-3678 (landline) or email cluttercontrol@earthlink.net.

5 replies »

  1. Regarding the lovely Fullerton Hotel (just north of the 91 Expy on Raymond) — a 250 room hotel being knocked down to make way for a warehouse. By the 2022 PIT Count, there were 94 unsheltered families and 718 homeless seniors in OC, but we slate a building for people to be knocked down to build more space for things.

    • What a great idea. Couldn’t the county buy that hotel for that purpose?

  2. I see a potential land grab (or annexation) of Anaheim’s north “thumb” for the betterment of Fullerton.

  3. Road wear and tear and added traffic damage was not considered even though Councilmember Silva brought the subject up at an early meeting. Also mitigation for impacts to surrounding small businesses should have been considered. Some have already moved. If the rumor that this project is going to be an Amazon warehouse is true it does seem the multi-billion company could contribute to fixing and maintaining Fullerton’s already failing roads that will get even worse with so many daily semi truck trips. Who is watching out for Fullerton? Does not seem the council majority is doing a good job with this lax give-away. Thank you Jane Reifer for filing the objection.

    • Nobody is watching Fullerton, I think that is pretty obvious.