I truly cannot believe this is still coming at us like an unstoppable freight train. The question of whether we can still stop this is becoming very disheartening. I am struggling to even understand, how in the hell things have gotten this bad. How has this developer gotten 3 public chances to pitch this madness to our community, where the Upland Planning Commission will be voting to approve this madness in February? The last public workshop is before the vote is scheduled for Thursday, January 9th at 6:00 PM at City Hall and the community opposition needs to be stronger than ever. Every resident in attendance will be allowed to speak for 3 minutes to our entire city council and our planning commissioners, in front of the developer. Please show up at 460 N Euclid Ave on 1/9/20 at 6:00 PM, to help save the city that we love. Please read about the other upcoming events in this Upland Report, where you can join the fight against the looming Amazon Distribution Center on Foothill / Benson & Central. Let’s join together one more time, to keep our City of Gracious Living, intact.
So as I’ve been working and thinking about this report, the words NO AMAZON IN UPLAND kept playing in my head. I’ve been humming and singing this little tune for a few days now. It become a fun little chant, NO………AMAZON………..IN UPLAND! My husband finally said, “You know what song you got that hook from, don’t you?” I said, “No, what?” He said, “NO…..SLEEP……TILL BROOKLYN!” I said, “OMG, that’s it. I’m so upset about this thing, that I’ve hijacked a Beastie Boys hook from circa 1986!” But I must say, it’s a catchy little anthem and after you watch this short video, good luck getting NO AMAZON IN UPLAND out of your head!
As you may recall, the developer has refused to disclose who the 50 year tenant will be, to the general public. After watching the last workshop meeting in October, The Upland Report was the first publication to declare it was going to be Amazon, which was followed by the Daily Bulletin and then the Sentinel.
I can’t express how insulting it is, to have Bridge Development continue to skirt around the fact that AMAZON IS COMING TO TOWN! Bridge has tried to hide that material fact by saying they will be building only a “warehouse” on an unsightly 50 acre tract. There is a huge, colossal difference between a “warehouse” and an Amazon Distribution Center! To summarize that difference, I will provide a screenshot below from an article by author Baidhurya Mani.
“Warehouse vs Distribution Center – What’s the Difference?”
For Bridge to say this is a warehouse, is a gross misrepresentation of the facts! There is parking for 1,104 delivery vans at this Amazon Distribution Center!
The traffic is already so bad in this vicinity, that trying to get into Upland on a Friday night from the 210 and Baseline, is a form of hell. In fact, I was stuck in such bad traffic on Baseline at 5:30 PM on a Friday night trying to get into Upland, that is was quicker to turn around and cut through Claremont by turning right on Mills and come in the back way, like I was going up to Mt. Baldy! Heaven forbid the 1,104 Amazon Independent Contractor delivery van drivers, learn that trick too!
What are our city planners thinking here???? Who in the hell produced the current Upland Land Use Plan, where a major Distribution Center for the world’s largest e-commence retailer, is even a remote possibility on Foothill and Benson????? To my amazement, no one from Upland is requiring Bridge to cough up a full blown Environmental Impact Report on this 50 acre parcel! It is my understanding that this tract has been an illegal dumping site in the very recent past! Any traditional lender in this country, would demand a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment of this entire 50 acres, just to finance the construction portion of this project!
That Phase 1 Environmental Assessment would document every piece of trash on that 50 acre site and fully describe it. The findings of that Phase 1 Environmental Assessment, would very likely mandate that Bridge Development conduct a Phase 2 Environmental Assessment, to determine if there are any hazardous materials or contaminated soils on that 50 acre tract. This would require uncovering what has been previously buried on that 50 acres! WHERE ARE THESE STUDIES????? Why isn’t the City of Upland demanding a full blown Environmental Impact Report from Bridge Development????
Why isn’t out city throwing every (CEQA) – California Environmental Quality Act restriction that exists at Bridge, to try to prevent approving this monstrosity? Why isn’t our city leadership enacting a building moratorium to give them time to overhaul the existing Upland Land Use Map, which made Foothill Blvd a Heavy Industrial Corridor, where now this has happened? The developer needs to know someone in Upland is going to defend our city, like a pitbull with a steak-bone against a pack of hyenas.
But who will that someone be, that is going to defend our city from Amazon??? It certainly isn’t going to be Mayor Debbie Stone, as she’s believed to be in favor of the Distribution Center and she’d have to be delusional, to ever run for re-election after what she’s done to Upland over the last 3 years! Debbie Stone has also refused to appoint TWO NEW Planning Commissioners since June of 2019, when two members had their term limits expire! Stone has also refused to allow each council-member to make appointments to the Planning Commission, from their own Upland Voting Districts. Instead, Debbie Stone has made all appointments to the Planning Commission, to date.
Currently, all of our Planning Commissioners reside in the exact same district that Debbie Stone resides in, EXCEPT ONE! That means all of South Upland is totally unrepresented, as there are ZERO Planning Commissioners who reside in Districts 3 or 4. Furthermore, District 1 has only 1 Planning Commissioner who resides in District 1, out of a 7 member board! The Amazon Distribution Center will be located on the borderline of Districts 1 & 3, which is Foothill Blvd! And because of Debbie Stone, Districts 1 & 3 are grossly under-represented or NOT REPRESENTED AT ALL, ON UPLAND’S PLANNING COMMISSION!
Every current Planning Commissioner already knows, that 4 of our 5 City Council Members, have publicly agreed to enforce term limits on the Upland Planning Commission. With that being said, our current Planning Commissioners are all on notice that they will NOT be reappointed to the board, once their term limits expire. Being that this outgoing body of Public Officials is set to vote on the Amazon Distribution Center in February, many residents are very concerned this will indeed pass. I am one of those residents. Since the site is currently zoned for this permitted use as a Heavy Industrial Tract, OUR CITY STAFF HAS NOT AND APPARENTLY WILL NOT, REQUEST FROM THE DEVELOPER THE ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES NECESSARY, where our Planning Commissioners could deny this use on Foothill Blvd because of negative impacts to our community.
Can anyone imagine a 50 acre Amazon Distribution Logistical Complex, right next door to In-N-Out in La Verne on the corner of Foothill Blvd & D Street? That’s exactly what’s about to happen here, right next door to our In-N-Out near the corner of Foothill Blvd & Benson! This massive logistical center in the middle of residential Upland, will forever transform our once City of Gracious Living, into the City of Industry! Planning Commissioner Shelly Verrinder just resigned from the commission in December, after her term expired in June and Mayor Stone refused to replace her, as well as, Commissioner Linden Brouse who remains on the commission today. Shelly Verrinder is a class act!
I am uber impressed with Shelly Verrinder, as she continues to interject her opinions about the upcoming planning commission decisions, as a civilian. She has recently made some very sound points about the Amazon situation facing her former planning commissioner colleagues, on the Nextdoor Social Media Platform. My personal thanks goes out to her for doing so. My hope is that Shelly Verrinder will attend the upcoming and last public Workshop Meeting on Thursday, January 9th, to get her profoundly sound reasoning into the public record, as a civilian.
I believe our city council needs to replace Steven Flowers as our Interim City Attorney immediately and swiftly hire another law firm, other then the exact same law firm that James Markman also worked for! It is my belief their law firm has been involved in this 50 acre tract and a settlement agreement with the property’s ownership, at the request of former Interim City Manager Martin Thouvenell. At least that’s the word on the street and in fact, here is that settlement agreement. What is starting to leak out on social media, is that our public officials are now saying the owner of the 50 acre tract and or Bridge Development or both, will sue Upland if Upland does not approve this Distribution Center. The property owners have leased their land to Bridge Development for the next 50 years. If ever there was a good reason to allow Upland to get sued, this is it.
If Amazon / Bridge has to face years in court trying force a judge, to force Upland to approve this, they will have to relocate their Distribution Center somewhere else. This type of legal strategy is called winning by attrition, because it will take years to get this to a courtroom and the locusts, will have to move on to find greener pastures. No matter what the legal bills are for Upland to fight this in court, they will never be anything close to the cost of 50 years of code enforcement, street maintenance, law enforcement and maintenance to our existing infrastructure, by the wear and tear of this massive Distribution Center for the next 50 years. Especially since as an E-Commence Distribution Center, Amazon will pay next to nothing in the way of sales taxes to our city.
If the Planning Commission votes to approve this in February, our immediate recourse is that residents can spend thousands of dollars to appeal the Planning Commission’s decision and get this issue in-front of our Upland City Council Members, who will have to vote to either overturn their decision or uphold it. The alternative to that is, a council member can also appeal the Planning Commission’s vote and put this issue on their own meeting agenda, which will force a vote of the other council members. With this being an election year and the Mayor’s seat being on the ballot, this should be done regardless!
In fact, let me make a prediction here, any elected official who supports an Amazon Distribution Center on Foothill / Benson / Central, will never get re-elected in Upland! This nightmare will be under construction all this year and open for business before the 2020 election hits. Upland residents will have lived through unprecedented construction, dust, traffic, increased noise and air pollution because of this megalithic site, all year by then. My bet is, if this gets approved, Upland residents will want some serious political payback come November.
One other thing all of us should consider doing, is starting a Go Fund Me Campaign to raise money to retain a highly qualified CEQA Attorney like John McClendon. John was the CEQA Attorney who Mt. Baldy residents turned to, to help them stop Verizon from turning 17 acres of their community, into a massive cell tower array site. John is a great guy and can help us all, determine what can be done to try to stop this now.
Another thing we can do, in addition to signing up to speak for 3 minutes against this project at the city’s workshop on Thursday, January 9th, is to attend Councilman Rudy Zuniga’s workshop about the Distribution Center on Tuesday, January 7th at 6:30 PM. Zuniga’s event will take place at Mt. Baldy Masonic Lodge at 611 N. 3rd Ave in Downtown Upland.
Then, on Saturday, January 11th at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, is the Grassroots Community Workshop, which is being held at the Landecena Community Building
1325 San Bernardino Road in Upland. Come join the other Upland residents who are banning together to help educate each other because they dedicated to stopping this project. Upland residents are asked to RSVP to obtain their free tickets to the venue ONLINE HERE, or by calling or texting 909-285-4919. The organizers have a website you can visit at www.NoAmazonWarehouseUpland.com.
There is also a Facebook Group Page called No Warehouses Upland, which is sponsored by the Upland Coalition of Concerned Citizens. There you can find breaking information about the status of this project, which is regularly updated. So to recap, this week we have three very important civic meetings taking place which are:
IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER REGARDING STOPPING AMAZON’S DISTRIBUTION CENTER!
Tuesday, January 7th @ 6:30 PM – Councilman Rudy Zuniga’s Event at the Mt. Baldy Masonic Lodge located at 611 N. 3rd Ave, in Downtown Upland.
Thursday, January 9th @ 6:00 PM – Last Joint Workshop Meeting With Upland City Council Members, Upland Planning Commissioners & The Developer at Upland City Hall, located at 460 N Euclid Ave, Upland, CA 91786 ****This is a must attend, all hands on deck meeting!!
Saturday, January 11th @ 11:00 AM – Grassroots Community Workshop – at the Landecena Community Building located at1325 San Bernardino Road in
Upland. Please RVSP for your free tickets to the venue ONLINE HERE or by calling or texting 909-285-4919.
PLEASE EMAIL OUR CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS & PLANNING COMMISSIONERS TO TELL THEM NO AMAZON IN UPLAND! THEIR EMAIL ADDRESS ARE BELOW!
You can cut and paste their collective email addresses below, to send a single email to all, with your concerns and comments:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Yvette@premier-is.com
Lastly, please email these important dates using this pre-made email via The Upland Report HERE, to anyone in Upland that may also want to stop this Amazon Distribution Center from gaining approval. As always, thank you for reading The Upland Report and I hope to see you all at the upcoming meeting this week, so we can stand together in firm opposition to this project! Happy New Year Uplanders and I appreciate every single one of you, so much more than I am able to articulate. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, for taking your valuable time to read these reports and writing in, to share your thoughts and comments with me. We will, as always, fight on, together!
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