A new study by IE2030 reveals that Bloomington voters, overall, oppose warehouse development in their community. In addition, the study finds that Bloomington voters overwhelmingly oppose warehouses being built near schools and homes. Click here to read the study!
Currently, Bloomington’s land zoning consists of a variety of uses, including agricultural, residential and commercial. In 2016, the San Bernardino County Supervisors voted yes to build a 680,000 square foot warehouse near Zimmerman Elementary School and are now considering building more warehouses in Bloomington -- near Bloomington High School, Slover High School, and next to residential properties. These recent development decisions, accompanied with an aggressive approach by commercial development firms to purchase agriculture and residential property, has led to the community’s desire to measure public opinion regarding warehouse development near schools, residential property, and as an economic development strategy in Bloomington.
Warehouse development in the Inland Empire has remained a critical issue. Facing community opposition, in 2015, Moreno Valley City Council voted 5-0 in support of the World Logistics Center, siding with the land developer’s claims that the largest master planned warehouse complex in the Inland Empire and the United States will bring economic prosperity to the local community.
Currently, the San Bernardino County Supervisors are aggressively approving plans to build warehouse distribution centers in Bloomington – an unincorporated area of San Bernardino County due to their belief that large warehouse distribution centers bring with them job creation. However, there are real concerns regarding job creation and warehouse development. In 2015, research by UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment found that workers in warehouses make an hourly wage of $10.05. Surveys collected from warehouse workers in the Inland Empire suggest 63 percent work through a temporary agency, and workers who self-reported as direct hires made more money than those self-reporting as working through a temporary agency. Additional research suggest actual annual earnings in this industry produces $30,000 or less. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported $19,965 as an average annual income for warehouse temporary workers, with 70 percent of warehouse temporary workers working less than full time, according to Juan De Lara, Ph.D. Other research agrees, the warehouse industry in the Inland Empire is mainly staffed through temporary employment agencies to limit worker benefits, upward mobility and wages.
Another concern is the impact on air quality. Warehouse development brings pollution with significant health and economic implications. According to Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments, the goods movement accounts for an estimated 220,000 diesel trucks passing through the Inland Southern California Region. California’s Air Resources Board states that diesel engines emit dangerous pollutants. Scientists have linked diesel exhaust to many negative health outcomes – lung disease, asthma, premature death, and exacerbated chronic heart disease. In the Inland Empire, 808 deaths and over 1,400 illnesses are caused annually by air pollution.
The impacts of the goods movement and warehouse development are being felt by communities in the Inland Empire. On the west side of San Bernardino, California, 47 percent of the children live with asthma due to the concentration of diesel trucks servicing the BNSF rail yard, while the community of Mira Loma, California, has the highest level of pollution in the nation due to the warehouse industry.
The survey was conducted from September 6, 2017 – September 8, 2017, among registered voters in Bloomington, CA. There was an average of 62 participants for each question asked during the survey.