Over 49,000 Signatures Submitted in Support of Three World Logistic Center Initiatives

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| Source: Highland Fairview

MORENO VALLEY, Calif., Nov. 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Highland Fairview was pleased to learn that the three Moreno Valley Jobs Coalition sponsored ballot measures in support of the World Logistics Center (WLC) in Moreno Valley has obtained over 49,000 signatures, representing the largest number ever collected in the city, and far more than enough to qualify the Initiatives.

“We are humbled but not surprised by the number of signatures gathered in this short period of time; the support for the World Logistics Center is overwhelming in the community. If there was ever a demonstration of the tremendous need for jobs in Moreno valley all one had to see is what happened this weekend, 30,000 job-seekers showed up for only 100 logistics job openings being offered by Aldi; directly across the street from the World Logistics Center,” said Iddo Benzeevi, President & Chief Executive Officer of Highland Fairview.

After the City Council approval of the WLC project, opponents tried but failed to qualify a referendum to overturn the City Council approval. Supporters in turn, have obtained over 49,000 signatures to qualify an initiative to affirm and support the City Council decision to approve the WLC project. “In less than a month, The Moreno Valley Job Coalition, a citizen committee in support of the WLC gathered an unprecedented 49,000 signatures of support for three initiative measures to reapprove the development of the WLC,” said Robert Harris of the Moreno Valley Jobs Coalition, who sponsored the three ballot measures.

Harris added, “The Moreno Valley Jobs Coalition created this initiative to facilitate progress in our great city. Many worthwhile projects have been killed by those who use CEQA to create further costly delays in the already-lengthy review process and by numerous lawsuits filed by third parties who veil themselves with sympathetic sounding names like ‘Residents for Environmental Justice’ but whose real objectives are to kill projects or force project sponsors into paying sizable ransoms.”

“Moreno Valley cannot afford to delay further 20,000 jobs. We hope Highland Fairway moves quickly with the WLC project. The sooner construction of WLC begins, the sooner Moreno Valley will see the thousands of construction jobs needed to build the project. With an unemployment rate among the highest in the state, this is very important to workers in the local construction and related communities. We cannot afford to delay this project any longer. Thousands of badly needed jobs are on the line. Decisions of this great importance can and should be made by local elected officials who represent Moreno Valley, and who are complying with every law and regulation. This abuse of CEQA must stop,” said Harris.  

“The WLC has been subjected to full and complete environmental review. The environmental review process lasted nearly three years with extensive participation by local and regional government agencies, local and statewide environmental advocacy organizations and the public. Public hearings, with nearly six days of testimony, were conducted, and a Final Environmental Impact Report was certified by the lead agency, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The City’s management staff, Planning Commission, and City Council have all approved the project,” said Benzeevi.

“The CEQA process was designed to protect us and the environment. Unfortunately, it is now commonly abused by interests that have little if anything to do with protecting the environment, public health or natural resources, but a lot to do with groups advancing their own self-interests to the detriment of our communities. Regrettably, CEQA litigation has become expected and routine on almost any project in California.  Remarkably, according to environmental activists and those who oppose projects, after 40 years of CEQA, it appears that no one in the State of California is capable of producing an adequate EIR, not even state agencies who are all too often sued themselves at tremendous cost to the taxpayers,” concluded Harris.

Project Overview:

The World Logistics Center (WLC) was approved by the Moreno Valley City Council in August 2015. The project is located in the Rancho Belago area of Moreno Valley, east of Redlands Boulevard, south of SR-60, west of Gilman Springs Road, and north of the San Jacinto Wildlife Area. The overall city project area is 3,818 acres of which approximately 2,600 acres will be developed as a logistics campus accommodating up to 40.6 million square feet of high cube logistic facilities and related uses. The remaining 1,200 acres owned by the state will remain as permanent open space.

Before the approval of the project, only 9% of Moreno Valley land area was zoned for job producing land uses, (industrial and commercial) far below the level necessary to produce the crucial job-to-housing balance in the community. The city also ranks far below the average job producing land allocation for the region. With the development of the WLC, Moreno Valley will still rank at or below the regional average. The goal of the WLC is to help in closing this job-to-housing gap that has resulted in tremendous challenges for the city and its residents. Moreno Valley's objective is to build a city where one could live and work, and the WLC will help.

Moreno Valley suffers from one of the lowest jobs-to-housing ratios in the region, with almost 90% of its households required to commute long distances and many hours to their jobs as reported by the US Census Bureau. The WLC takes land that was previously designated for thousands of additional housing units and converts it to job-producing land uses. The project will be a next-generation logistics campus that will attract the world’s leading companies to the region, a region that has become a high-value crossroads for the movement of goods throughout North America.

In addition to thousands of jobs, the City’s EIR estimates that the WLC project will generate over $27 million a year in taxes for schools, police, fire, parks and other public and city services. The broader economic base will help stabilize the local economy and strengthen home values. Economic benefits will extend to everyone in Moreno Valley, from job seekers to homeowners to everyone who wants a strong and prosperous community.

Just as important, the 2,600-acre campus will be one of the most sustainable developments of its kind. The project will include innovative environmental design, water conservation strategies, as well as its use of the most advanced and cleanest diesel technology available. In fact, Highland Fairview will require that all trucks serving the WLC comply with the EPA clean diesel 2010 emissions standard, which is near-zero emission, to ensure the highest environmental protection available. It is important to note that the State will not adopt this standard until 2023. The project will be constructed over a period of 15 years, generating thousands of construction jobs each year throughout this period.

About the Moreno Valley Jobs Coalition

The Moreno Valley Job Coalition is taking an offensive stance to ensure our city receives the jobs it deserves!  For more information about how we are empowering the younger generation for jobs and social/positive work relationships, click here.

About Highland Fairview

Highland Fairview is a privately held full-service real estate development company specializing in large scale Industrial, Commercial, and Residential developments. The company is currently engaged in the development of world-class projects encompassing over 41 million square feet of buildings and facilities. In the Inland Empire region of Southern California, the Company is known for their 1.8 million square foot building which serves Skechers North American Operations Headquarters. This facility has been honored as the largest LEED Gold Certified building of its kind in the nation to ever have been awarded this distinction by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Media Contact:
Eric W. Rose (805) 624-0572 or Eric@ekapr.com