CalChamber-Led Coalition Continues to Oppose Job Killer Warehouse Ban

(January 9, 2023) The California Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of employer groups and local chambers of commerce remains opposed to AB 1000 (Reyes; D-San Bernardino), identified last year as a job killer and de facto ban on warehouses.

AB 1000 is scheduled to be considered again on Wednesday by the Assembly Local Government Committee, which rejected the proposal last year. The coalition is asking the committee to reject AB 1000 again.

As amended on January 3, AB 1000 fails to address the list of concerns raised by the coalition and by some members of Assembly Local Government last year, the coalition pointed out in a letter to committee members.

AB 1000 is still far too prescriptive and will lead to the elimination of high paying jobs, quash critically needed housing associated with mixed use developments in the region, increase vehicle miles traveled for heavy-duty vehicles coming from California ports, incentivize frivolous litigation with a new private right of action in California law, and exacerbate supply chain issues that will increase the costs to move goods, thereby increasing the cost of living on all Californians.

As amended, AB 1000 continues to require a setback of 1,000 feet from “sensitive receptors” for all new or expanded logistics use facilities 100,000 square feet or larger in Riverside and San Bernardino counties and any city located within the two counties.

Like all prior versions, AB 1000 relies on significantly outdated information that will in effect create a de facto ban on warehouses throughout the region, which will have statewide implications to California’s goods movement system. AB 1000 continues to create a new private right of action in California that empowers virtually anyone to act as a prosecutor to sue to block a project.

As amended this year, AB 1000 differs from the version rejected by Assembly Local Government last year by changing the alternative pathway provided to local governments from a 750-foot buffer to a 500-foot buffer if a project applicant can satisfy all mitigation measures outlined in the bill. The alternative is illusory because the mitigation measures required are either infeasible or so cost prohibitive that they cannot be achieved.

These mitigation measures are in addition to those imposed by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as well as a plethora of rules and regulations required by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) that are leading the nation in air quality management and have reduced heavy-duty truck particulate matter emissions by 99% since 2005.

Job Losses

AB 1000 takes for granted California’s 12 ports, which serve as an economic engine for the state, processing about 40% of all containerized imports and 30% of all exports in the United States. More than 1.6 million trade-related jobs in Southern California alone are associated directly with California ports, and millions more California jobs in manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, construction, transportation and warehousing rely on healthy goods movement. AB 1000’s de facto ban on logistics use facilities will undermine the state’s ability to remain competitive.

Canadian and Mexican ports, as well as other seaports in the United States and abroad, are challenging California’s position as the international trade leader of the nation and taking jobs out of California. As more and more cargo once bound for California heads instead to places like Virginia, Georgia, New York or Texas, more than 1 out of 7 Southern California jobs tied to logistics is threatened, as well as jobs at the other California ports.

Prevents Housing Construction

AB 1000 essentially eliminates the ability to locate housing near job sites, which will stymie mixed-use development projects from moving forward. If AB 1000 were law, projects such as the recently approved District at Jurupa Valley project — 1,192 residential units and 7 acres of open space and parks alongside commercial, retail and logistics use facilities — would not come to fruition.

Frivolous Lawsuits

By creating a new private right of action in California, AB 1000 provides plaintiff’s attorneys with another avenue to act as the Attorney General and sue project applicants in order to enrich themselves, slow projects, drive up development costs and hurt businesses of all sizes.

Jeopardizes Healthy Supply Chain

Millions of California jobs depend upon a healthy goods movement system. This complex supply chain is jeopardized by AB 1000’s de facto ban on logistics use facilities, the coalition said.

Exacerbating supply chain issues and increasing goods movement costs will have the practical effect of increasing the cost of living for every Californian in a state already expensive enough.

Staff Contact: Adam Regele