Upland Council Rejects Call For Postponement Of March 23 Amazon Project Hearing

The Upland City Council this morning rejected a call that it postpone its consideration, now scheduled for March 23, of Bridge Development Partners’ proposal to construct a 201,096-square foot distribution center for on-line retail giant Amazon on property north of Foothill Blvd. and south of Cable Airport.
Originally publicly previewed last June as a three-building 977,000-total square foot warehouse complex, the project generated considerable controversy when the city allowed Bridge to use a mitigated negative declaration process rather than a full-blown environmental impact report to achieve environmental certification of the project, at that point reduced to a single building involving slightly more than one quarter of the originally proposed square footage.
There ensued a voting faux-pas in which the planning commission initially rejected the project’s site plan and then reversed itself.
City staff, touting an agreement by Bridge to provide the city with $16 million in so-called deal sweeteners in exchange for the project’s approval, has recommended that the city council give go-ahead to the project in a timely manner on March 23 to allow Amazon to complete the project in time for the 2020 Christmas shopping season.
This morning as the city council was considering precautionary measures relating to the coronavirus outbreak, project opponent Steve Bierbaum asked the council to hold off on the hearing for the project until such time as it is safe for a large number of residents to attend large public gatherings. Though Councilman Bill Velto favored Bierbaum’s suggestion, his colleagues demurred in granting the delay, and the meeting is yet on for March 23.

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