Opponents of a proposed 40.6-million-square-foot logistics project in Moreno Valley are gathering signatures in an effort to get the issue on the local ballot.
The petition drive, which began right after Thanksgiving, has several more weeks to get the signatures of 8,000 registered voters who live in Moreno Valley, said Tom Thornsley, one of several volunteers gathering signatures.
The effort is aimed not at blocking the World Logistics Center but making it more environmentally friendly and acceptable to the community at large, Thornsley said.
“There are still people who believe this project can be stopped, but that window closed when the city council approved it in August,” said Thornsley, an 18-year Moreno Valley resident. “What we want to do now is make it a better project. We want to turn the clock back to August and go from there.”
On Nov. 24, three months after it approved the project with a 3-2 vote, the council voted 5-0 in favor of measures intended to protect the World Logistics Center from any legal challenges based on environmental issues.
In effect, the council said the benefits of the project – specifically the estimated 20,000 jobs it will create – outweighed any environmental concerns, and that it should not be placed before voters.
Developer Iddo Benzeevi said he “fully respects the democratic process” but said the council has already ruled on the project twice and got it right both times.
“All they’re trying to do is make it possible for outside interests to sue and stop the project,” Benzeevi said.