A photo of Perris City Hall.
Early returns show Measure A, a special business tax to fund road maintenance, does not have the necessary support from voters to pass. (Photo by Alicia Ramirez)

The Perris City Council last month voted to send a proposed warehouse project at the intersection of Mapes and Trumble roads back to the Planning Commission for further review of the merits of its conditional use permit (CUP) request.

“As a council and a mayor, we need to know whether or not this project meets conditional use findings for the CUP,” Mayor Michael Vargas said.

The project, as originally conceived, called for the construction of a 395,500-square-foot industrial warehouse building on a 19-acre lot. When the CUP for that project was unanimously rejected last August by the Planning Commission, the developer filed an appeal with the city. Last November, the City Council raised similar concerns and suggested that the developer revise the project to address the concerns.

“Since then, I think we’ve done kind of a 180 with the project and certainly listened to what the Planning Commission, what the City Council and what staff was [saying]… and kind of massaged the project to what it is right now, which is, I believe, the right project for the city,” Developer Russell Pierce said.

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As presented at the May 28 meeting, the revised project proposal now includes a 350,000-square-foot industrial warehouse building along with two smaller business park buildings totalling 14,000 square feet. The new proposal also includes a community benefit donation of $100,000 to provide students in the city of Perris with scholarships for college or trade schools.

Despite the changes to the project, all seven residents who came out to speak on the proposal were against it, citing the location’s proximity to the Big League Dreams sports complex as well as air quality and traffic concerns.

“Any new warehouse development is a wrong choice for us,” Karla Cervantes, a member of Perris Parents for Clean Air and Perris Neighbors in Action, said. “And I hope that you guys make the right decision for your constituents and not for the benefit of a warehouse developer.”

And though the project was continued off-calendar to allow for the collection of additional information, Councilmember Marisela Nava thanked those who spoke for sharing their concerns about the growing number of warehouse and other industrial projects in the city.

“For the record, there wasn’t a single resident here in the room who gave this project 100% their approval and their consent,” she said. “I just want to make that very, very obvious, because I know we’ve had the same frustrated residents come out time and time before, and I just want you to know that, on my end, your comments aren’t falling on deaf ears.”

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Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.

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