Resistance Forming Vs Effort To Construct 213-Acre Industrial Park In Bloomington

Residents in Bloomington, concerned that a 213-acre project slated for their community will displace more than 200 families now living there, have formed a coalition to halt the proposal.
Howard Industrial Partners has filed an application with the San Bernardino County Land Use Services Department for approval of a specific plan relating to the construction of an industrial business park involving a mixture of land uses that include warehousing, manufacturing facilities, offices, and a business park with a limited commercial component over an estimated 20-year buildout. The specific plan for the approximately 213-acre site, which is intended to serve as a management tool to guide the development, is divided into two parts. The first phase covers an initial approximately 141-acre development area. The second outlines the game plan for construction to take place on what is designated as an approximately 72-acre future development area.
The initial development area would allow for highcube/manufacturing/warehouse/office space at a maximum development potential of approximately 3,070,983 square feet, based on a proposed floor area ratio of 0.5:1. The future development area would allow for the same land uses at a maximum development potential of approximately 156,816 square feet based on a proposed floor area ratio of 0.05:1.
Floor area ratio is the relationship between the total amount of usable floor area that a building has, or has been permitted to have, and the total area of the lot on which the building stands.
A maximum development potential of up to approximately 3,227,799 square feet could be constructed under the specific plan. Adoption of the specific plan will require amendments to the county’s general plan and its zoning map.
The land use designation of the specific plan area would change from very low density residential use and low density residential use the property in question currently falls under to what is referred to as a special development land use designation. The current zoning of the property stipulates some of the property being slated for conversion into single residential units with one-acre minimum lots allowing some agricultural applications and the rest of the property being developed as single residential units with 20,000-square foot minimum lot sizes. Under Howard Industrial Partners’ request, the property is to be given a specialized zoning in the specific plan.
Since the area to be subject to the specific plan’s zoning would change from residential to a non-residential use, a net loss of future housing units in Bloomington could result. As a consequence, in conformance with Senate Bill 330, also known as the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, which requires replacement capacity for any displaced residential unit potential at the time of a project’s approval based on the zoning of the site in effect on January 1, 2018, the project includes the rezoning of a residentially-zoned site, referred to as the upzone site, to a higher residential density zone that would offset the loss of residential unit capacity in the area covered by the specific plan. Residential zoning at the specific plan area would allow up to 213 residential units, and the upzone site would allow a total of approximately 53 residential units based on the zoning in effect at both sites on January 1, 2018. The specific plan for the project would amend the land use designation for the upzone site from low density residential to medium density residential and amend the zone from single-family residential with 20,000 square foot minimum lots to multiple residential. As a result of the designation and zone change, the upzone would allow a total of approximately 480 residential units, thereby avoiding an overall net loss of residential unit capacity from rezoning the specific plan area to a non-residential land use.
Documents on file do not explicitly say so, but seem to indicate most if not all of those 480 units will consist of apartments.
Aron Liang, of the San Bernardino County Land Use Services Department, had not, by press time, responded to the Sentinel’s questions relating to whether the specific plan will place the 480 residential units into proximity to light industrial or medium industrial operations or warehouses which will expose those future residents to vehicle exhaust, production process emissions, chemicals or hazardous materials.
The project will involve a general plan amendment. The county has determined that an environmental impact report will be required for the project to be given clearance to proceed.
The group that is forming to lodge a protest with the San Bernardino County Land Use Services Department, the San Bernardino County Planning Commission and the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is going by the name of Concerned Neighbors of Bloomington.
The draft environmental impact report for the project, which should provide more detail, will likely be available in April.
-Mark Gutglueck

Leave a Reply