April 13, 2023
The Honorable Luz Rivas, Chair
Assembly Natural Resources Committee
1020 N Street, Room 164
Sacramento, CA 94249
Re: AB 1000 (Reyes) – OPPOSE – Qualifying Logistics Use Projects
Dear Assemblymember Rivas and Members of the Committee:
This letter is to convey Inland Action’s opposition to AB 1000 (Reyes). Inland Action is a non-profit, non-partisan corporation of public-spirited leaders who have joined together to be catalysts for the economic well-being of the Inland Empire region of California since 1962. Our opposition to this bill is based on the extremely negative impact that it would have on the economy and the environment in the Inland Empire region of the State, which is home to one of the largest logistics centers in the nation. The 2018 value of international freight moving through Southern California was over $561 billion, with the goods movement sector generating 2.9 million jobs in the region. In the Inland Empire, the goods movement sector has been the major contributor to full recovery from job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout history, the inland counties have served as crossroads for commerce and travel across the nation. As a result, the logistics industry has grown into one of the largest employers in the region, providing jobs and opportunities for our residents. Through the work of municipal elected leadership, cities have adopted zoning and standards for the location warehouses which have provided community engagement and public participation for development suited to their communities. Some cities have established what have become standards of excellence for warehouse development and good neighbor policies in the State.
Through the hard work of State, regional, and local officials, this region is developing air quality programs and standards which will become the model for clean diesel and low emission vehicles for the logistics industry. The State of California has numerous policies to expedite the transition to zero-emission vehicle technology. However, as with all new cutting-edge equipment, it can take many years to fully implement emerging technology.
Where there is economic growth, more people are employed, and overall health outcomes improve. Jobs generally provide income, education opportunities, health insurance, medical care, transportation, stable housing, and access to basic amenities. The Inland Empire has had the highest job creation rate in California with 24,400 jobs added in 2020 and 27,400 jobs added in 2021 – most of them created by the logistics sector. As a result of the overall improvement in the Inland Empire economy, most of the social determinants of health have been improved in the region.
AB 1000 (Reyes) would impose extreme restrictions on new logistics facilities in California, discouraging economic development and job creation. Warehousing and logistics centers are a central component in the freight movement industry and a major employer throughout the State. Californians rely on the shipping industry to deliver and transport essential goods whether by rail, truck, ship, air cargo, or delivery vans. Logistics facilities are central to this delivery process, to sort and route goods to their final destinations or prepare them for shipping overseas, across the country, and to local stores. Logistics centers require ready access to established seaports, rail, and highway transportation networks. The restrictions on new logistics facilities proposed in AB 1000, requiring a 1000-foot setback from sensitive receptors, is a distance greater than three football fields. This is excessive and would result in unnecessary sprawl of warehouse development which would be detrimental to the environment by generating unnecessary additional transport over expansive areas and would be costly to consumers and the industry.
AB 1000 would also mandate changes in community meetings and public scoping meetings. All local governments follow established procedures that require proposed development projects to undergo a thorough, careful review to assess their environmental impact. These reviews and similar traffic impact studies are considered by local policymakers during a public approval process, where any resident may voice their concerns to staff, planning commissioners, and elected officials’ multiple times before final approval is given. This process can take years to complete. There is ample opportunity under current California law and existing public meeting procedures for residents to engage in open, transparent meeting processes without additional requirements. It is unreasonable to require local agencies to hold community and scoping meetings in remote locations for specific land uses.
For these reasons stated above, Inland Action must oppose passage of AB 1000.