Could Unanswered Concerns in an EIR Hold Your Project Hostage?

The lack of Warehouse & Trucking Industry information delays the EIR Process

City Planning Officials often worry their approval of a new warehouse facility may create serious problems with local citizens and voters. A commissioned EIR may not sufficiently address potential issues and can, in turn, lead to a delay in the project’s completion. Add to that, attorneys acting on behalf of unions may use the CEQA EIR regulations as a play to delay projects further.

Time is Money: Here’s What Can Happen with Delayed Projects:

1. Lost Rent Opportunity
Assumption: 1 million sq.ft. warehouse X $.32/sq.ft.  =  $3,840,000/year in rent)
Lost Rent Opportunity: $320,000 per month or $10,667 per day

2. Missed Market Cycle
Developers must catch the market cycles at the right time — any delay could be costly

3. Potential Tenants See Delays as an Anti-Business Environment
Tenants could easily pass on considering a particular location

Some examples of City Planning Department Concerns:

  • How will the warehouse minimize the risk of potential hazardous cargo spills?
  • What types of activities go on inside an average warehouse facility?
  • Are the warehouse job skills transferable?
  • Do warehouse tenants have sustainability programs in place?
  • Are the warehouse’s trucking companies concerned about the environment and the community?
  • Do the Ports of Long Beach & Los Angeles Clean Truck Program impact air quality issues in my city?

Addressing such concerns with valid solutions, early in the process, can help bring City officials into their “comfort zones” – for example:

1. Today’s technology-focused and in some cases, highly-automated warehouse operations teach employees skills transferable to Retail, Manufacturing and R & D.
2. 93% of the Top U.S. Trucking Companies participate in the EPA Smartway Sustainability Program.
3. The Ports of Long Beach & Los Angeles Clean Truck Program reduced Diesel Particular Matter 85%, Nitrogen Oxide 50% and Sulfur Oxides 97%.

The City Planning officials lack of warehouse and trucking industry knowledge leaves these officials susceptible to Union Lawyers unreasonable fear tactics and mitigation suggestions; tactics which clearly extend the EIR process, increase project costs and delay completion.

When I discussed this matter with John Condas, Attorney/Partner, Allen Matkins, he stated, “Logistics Information should be introduced at the front end in collaboration with the Air Quality and Traffic Engineer consulting firms. Such information could decrease the mitigation obligation on a project and could render some mitigation measures infeasible.”

Projects that are delayed due to EIR concerns or CEQA abuse cost developers time and money due to project delays, possible loss of tenants and questionable litigation. Addressing these concerns early in a project may alleviate some or all of these concerns and allow projects to proceed in a timely, cost-effective manner.

By having a Trucking & Warehousing Operations Consultant contributing to the EIR process the City officials feel much more comfortable about getting answers to their various concerns.

Contact Jon DeCesare at 310-963-6172 or via email at to learn how using logistics information can help make your EIRs more bullet proof.