Jurupa Valley aims to restrict new businesses that create truck traffic

As the expiration date approaches for a one-year moratorium on new Jurupa Valley industry that generates heavy truck traffic, city officials are getting ready to adopt rules restricting those types of businesses. A proposed ordinance is scheduled to go to the Jurupa Valley Planning Commission later this month and could reach the Jurupa Valley City Council by early December. It would restrict where some “truck-intensive uses” — as the city calls such businesses — could locate and ban others.

Officials are working to adopt a measure before the moratorium expires Jan.

22. Heavy truck traffic long has been an issue in the city of 105,000, which is bisected by the 60 Freeway, a major artery for transporting goods. Like many Inland Empire cities, Jurupa Valley has seen an explosion in warehouse growth in recent years.

Principal Planner Jim Pechous said the trend is troubling because the massive trucks clog city streets and tear them up, pollute the air, create a hazard for pedestrians and tend to be noisy. Many businesses that generate truck traffic are next to neighborhoods.

“What it does is, it really reduces the livability of our community, lowers property values and degrades the community without generating any revenue for the city or any significant jobs for our residents,” Pechous said at the Thursday, Oct.

7, City Council meeting, according to a videotape. At the meeting, Council Member Brian Berkson blamed much of the problem on prior zoning decisions by Riverside County, which he characterized as inappropriate for the area, before Jurupa Valley became a city 10 years ago.

“We are, to this day, trying to clean up the mess that was given to us,” Berkson said. As for warehouses, Jurupa Valley currently limits new distribution centers to two places — the Mira Loma area in the city’s northwestern corner and Agua Mansa, north of the 60 Freeway along Rubidoux Boulevard. “That process seems to be working well,” Pechous said.

And, so, the ordinance targets other types of industrial businesses. To address those, the ordinance would allow “truck-intensive uses” in heavy manufacturing zones but nowhere else, and a conditional-use permit would be required, according to a city report. At the same time, the report said, the city proposes no longer allowing the following businesses in industrial park and other manufacturing zones: trucking and transport, truck or semitrailer storage yards, heavy equipment sales rental and storage operations, auto auctions, salvage yards and contractor storage yards.

“We also specifically called out two uses to prohibit them from the city altogether,” Pechous said. He said those are vehicle storage yards — except those that are a part of another primary business or entirely enclosed with a building — and truck stops. That doesn’t mean existing truck stops and storage yards would have to pack up and leave.

Businesses previously established legally could continue to operate for 40 years, Pechous said. The city also proposes to change the zoning for some industrial properties. The moratorium likely will end as planned in January, Pechous said, but city officials may ask the council to extend it for parts of town where land use changes are anticipated.

Council members and planning commissioners got a peek at the proposal Oct.

7 and generally backed it. “This, I think, is really a good plan,” said Penny Newman, planning commission chair. Commissioner Arleen Pruitt had a suggestion.

“One of my biggest pet peeves is the idling trucks,” Pruitt said, according to the videotape. “There is a tremendous amount of diesel particulate going into the air with that.”

She said the city needs to crack down on idling trucks.