Redlands moves to restrict industrial development

Temporary ban is part of growing backlash against IE warehouses

Redlands mayor Paul Barich with warehouses (City of Redlands, iStock)
Redlands mayor Paul Barich with warehouses (City of Redlands, iStock)

Yet another Inland Empire city has moved to restrict new industrial projects.

In Redlands, a city of about 70,000 located some 60 miles northeast of L.A., the city council voted last week to approve an urgency ordinance that temporarily bans non-housing projects in a part of the city zoned for warehouse and industrial space. The Southern California New Group earlier reported the council’s move.

Redlands is currently working on a rezoning of the area; new warehouse projects, the council argued, could potentially interfere with much-needed housing that could occupy the same part of town.

“The reason it is important for the moratorium is to prevent industrial development projects from going forward while we’re in the process of going through the rezoning,” Brian Desatnik, a Redlands development director, told the council.

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The council was also expected to weigh on a broader, citywide temporary ban on new warehouse projects, but instead tabled that item until a meeting scheduled for later this month.

The Redlands legislation is part of an accelerating trend.

For decades the Inland Empire has ranked among the nation’s most important logistics and warehouse hubs. The pandemic then supercharged the market, leading to record-high leases and a flurry of new industrial developments. But in recent months many of the area’s cities — citing pollution and other quality of life concerns — have been pushing back by passing local moratoriums on new warehouse development. State legislators have also pushed for restrictions, including with a “buffer bill” that creates a minimum 1,000-foot space between new warehouses and homes or other community spaces.

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