Contact Us

New CA Bill Could Require 100K SF Warehouses To Be 1,000 Feet From Residential Uses

An aerial view of a cluster of warehouses in the Inland Empire.

A state bill that would require new warehouses reaching or exceeding 100K SF to be built 1,000 feet away from residential and other “sensitive uses” in the Inland Empire has passed the California State Assembly and is moving ahead. 

The bill’s author, Assembly member Eloise Gómez Reyes, whose district is within San Bernardino County, said on the Assembly floor that throughout her district and the state, “warehouses are being built right next to homes and schools. I believe it is time to establish reasonable standards to protect communities while at the same time allowing commerce to flourish,” CoStar reported.

The bill as it was proposed would have applied to the whole state, but it was scaled back to apply only to San Bernardino and Riverside counties, also known as the Inland Empire

The bill would also require a “skilled and trained workforce,” as defined by the state Public Contract Code, to be hired to build the warehouses, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.

Warehouse development in the Inland Empire has exploded amid a boom in industrial real estate that was largely fueled by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent explosion in e-commerce adoption. But even before then, the warehouse hub, where developments regularly top 1M SF and some in planning go up to 40M SF, has seen residents and municipalities pushing back against the proliferation of this type of real estate. 

Some cities in the region have enacted or tried to enact temporary moratoriums on building new warehouses. The local air quality district has created a requirement aimed at helping to improve air quality in areas where the warehouse industry is active. 

Many in commercial real estate, along with business interest groups, have strongly opposed past regulations on warehouses and are also opposing this proposed law. 

“The bill would do great economic harm to state and local economies, even when singling out two counties,” NAIOP SoCal CEO Tim Jemal told CoStar. “The Inland Empire is a critical hub for moving national goods, creating jobs and a key link to the supply chain.”