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Booming warehouse growth clashes with rural life in California’s Inland Empire

In 2016, a worried Carlos nightmare landed in the mailbox. She received a letter from a developer who wants to buy her house to make more warehouses. She immediately realized that they would not accept their offer, but she was still worried about how her neighborhood would change if the project moved forward to nearby land.

“Will we be able to keep this lifestyle in a warehouse upstairs in the backyard?” she said. “I’m already imagining that kind of future for Bloomington: car pollution, noise, the lights that the warehouse produces. Are the horses sleeping?”

Even after rejecting the offer, Carlos said she calls lawyers once a month to say they are interested in buying homes in her area. She quickly told him she was not interested.

It is still battling developers who tried to buy it in 2016 as part of a local organization called Concerned Neighbors of Bloomington. They are trying to stop one of the biggest proposals for a new warehouse space, called the Bloomington Business Park Special Plan. The district is still reviewing the Environmental Impact Report for the project and will hold several public hearings before deciding whether to approve the project. If moving forward, the plan could replace the more than 200 hectares currently occupied by dozens of farms and small farming businesses.

Carlos and her neighbors are anxiously waiting to hear when the next hearing will take place. On weekends, Carlos sets up an information table alongside vendors selling home-grown vegetables, tacos, and pupusas at the highway markets where residents like to gather. Provides information sheets about the proposed warehouses. Developers only need to inform the people closest to their plans, but Carlos believes the whole community deserves to know what is going on.