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Over 15,000 Residents Request Removal of Their Name From a Referendum Petition Being Circulated in Moreno Valley

MORENO VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iddo Benzeevi, President & Chief Executive Officer of Highland Fairview, the company that is developing the World Logistics Center (WLC) in Moreno Valley issued the following statement today:

Over 15,000 rescission signatures have been submitted to the City Clerk in Moreno Valley by residents requesting that their names be removed from a referendum petition launched with the goal of overturning three city-adopted initiatives in support of the World Logistics Center.

Residents who petitioned the City Clerk request that their names be withdrawn from the referendum against the Moreno Valley City Council’s approval of The World Logistics Center land use and zoning initiatives, approved on November 24, 2015.

“We feel that the out-of-town proponents of the referendum have deceived our residents. First, as it turns out, all the referendum proponents are out-of-town special interests hiding behind a handful of local NIMBYs looking to sue the city for profit and gain or to advance their own interests to the detriment of Moreno Valley taxpayers. Not a single dollar spent on the referendum came from Moreno Valley residents. Most troubling is that they mislead residents to believe that the referendum will place the World Logistics Center itself on the ballot for approval by the voter - that is a complete falsehood. The referendum was specifically designed by out-of-town special interests to enable them to sue the city for their own gain, costing residents millions of dollars and thousands of jobs. I ask you. What city in their right mind would ever ask their residents to sign a petition to allow outside special interests to sue them? They must think we are fools,” said Robert Harris, a member of the Moreno Valley Job Coalition.

“Moreno Valley residents continue to make it clear that they want the city to move forward with the World Logistics Center (WLC) project as quickly as possible, creating jobs, hope and opportunity for thousands of residents. As we have seen time and again, residents overwhelmingly support the World Logistics Center. Sadly, out-of-town special interests want to use the courts to force the residents and the city to conform to their own interests and agendas. By raising unsubstantiated environmental claims, they seek to delay the creation of 22,000 permanent jobs and 13,000 brand-new construction jobs in Moreno Valley. Unfortunately, CEQA allows anyone to make unsubstantiated environmental claims and use the courts, at hardy no cost to them, even if they lose, to delay or stop much needed and beneficial projects in California communities. We are hoping that we can all move forward with the business of creating jobs and opportunities for Moreno Valley and the region,” said Iddo Benzeevi, President & Chief Executive Officer of Highland Fairview.

Background
A voter who has signed an initiative, referendum, or recall petition pursuant to the Constitution or laws of this state shall have his or her signature withdrawn from the petition upon filing a written request therefor with the appropriate county elections official or city elections official prior to the day the petition is filed.

The WLC will create 13,000 brand new construction jobs and 22,000 permanent jobs at all skill levels from entry to high-level management. WLC means many Moreno Valley residents can leave their long commutes behind and take new jobs right here at home. That means more family time, less money spent on gasoline and car maintenance, less tedious driving, traffic jams and automobile emissions. As an important and related benefit, the WLC will generate $27 million a year in new local tax revenues which will pay for high quality, vital city services, especially police, fire, library, and parks.

The City Council initially approved the project and its related environmental documents. Subsequently, opponents of the WLC tried but failed to qualify a referendum to overturn the City Council’s initial approval. Supporters, in turn, obtained over 48,000 signatures to qualify measures to affirm and support the City Council decision to approve the WLC project.

An extensive Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that runs more than 10,000 pages and took over three years to complete was created for the project and circulated publically. The EIR analyzes in great detail every applicable environment impact related to the construction and operation of the WLC and concludes unequivocally that this project is an environmental winner for our community. In fact, the WLC’s 2,600-acre footprint will be one of the most sustainable developments of its kind, anywhere. WLC will employ the latest innovations in environmental design, water conservation, diesel and other goods movement related technologies that exceed current regulatory standards. Moreover, the project will comply with all the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and all other applicable State and Federal regulations.

About Highland Fairview
Highland Fairview is a privately held real estate development company specializing in large scale Industrial, Commercial, and Residential developments. The company is currently engaged in the development of world-class projects encompassing over 41 million square feet of buildings and facilities. In the Inland Empire region of Southern California, the Company is known for their 1.8 million square foot building which serves Skechers North American Operations Headquarters. This facility has been honored as the largest LEED Gold Certified building of its kind in the nation to ever have been awarded this distinction by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Media Contact: Eric W. Rose (805) 624-0572 or Eric@ekapr.com

Source: Highland Fairview