'Good Neighbor Policy' Creates Buffer Between Industrial, Residential Uses

The final version of a "Good Neighbor Policy" adopted by Riverside County in November fell short of the original author's intentions.

2 minute read

December 2, 2019, 2:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Inland Empire

trekandshoot / Shutterstock

Paloma Esquival reports on the effort to approve a "Good Neighbor Policy" that would have required a buffer between large warehouses and residences in Riverside County in Southern California's Inland Empire Region.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors recently approved the "Good Neighbor Policy," but with such significant changes that the policy's original backer voted no on the final produce.

Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries pushed for a policy that would have required a 1,000-foot buffer between warehouses and residential neighborhoods in response to a wave of construction in the region. "In the last decade, more than 150 million square feet of industrial space, the vast majority of it warehouses, has been built in the Inland Empire, according to real estate services company CBRE," writes Esquival.

“We blew it,” [Jeffires] said. “The standards that were adopted are really no standards at all.”

Regulatory constraints on industrial development in Riverside County proved unpopular, as critics of the idea cited the protections of the California Environmental Quality Act and the need for jobs in a region struck particularly hard by the effects of the Great Recession.

Among the concessions granted in the final, approved version of the Good Neighbor Policy: 1) individual supervisors retain the "ability to opt out of the policy in their districts, and 2) "instead of the 1,000-foot buffer that Jeffries had proposed, they adopted a 300-foot buffer, measured from warehouse loading docks to property lines," reports Esquival.

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