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City of Temecula Seeks To Halt Tuesday's Vote On Fast-Tracking Liberty Quarry

A hearing on the matter has been set for Monday at 8:30 a.m. in the Riverside County Courthouse.

Just as the Riverside County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider Tuesday whether to fast track the revised Liberty Quarry Project, the City of Temecula has filed for a temporary restraining order against the county and the board.

A hearing on the matter has been set for Monday at 8:30 a.m. in the Riverside County Courthouse.

As per the published agenda for Nov. 6 board of supervisors meeting, District 4 Supervisor John Benoit is recommending the board award the fast-track process for the project near Temecula that's being brought forward by Watsonville, Calif-based Granite Construction.

If the temporary restraining order is granted, a vote on the fast-track process would be halted.

Granite’s original 414-acre Liberty Quarry just south of Temecula was voted down 3-2 by the board on Feb. 16. Supervisors John Benoit and Marion Ashley supported the mining operation while Supervisors Bob Buster, Jeff Stone and John Tavaglione opposed it.

In the meantime, supervisors voted 3-2 to add surface mines to the list of projects that can bypass the county's planning commission and head straight to the supervisors for consideration -- a process known as fast-tracking. Buster and Stone were the dissenting votes.

At about the same time that fast-track approval was garnered, Granite returned to the county with a scaled-down version of the Liberty Quarry project for the same location near Temecula.

In recommending that the board approve on Nov. 6 fast tracking the revised quarry project, Benoit wrote a memo stating the revised quarry project will “further reduce truck trips, associated pollution and degradation of roads throughout much of Riverside County” – issues that were problematic for supervisors the first time around.

Benoit also argues in the Oct. 29 memo that the quarry would create new jobs and generate more than $25 million in taxable sales annually.

The City of Temecula, along with some outspoken residents, has vehemently opposed the quarry project. The city has filed a lawsuit against the county alleging that certification of the Environmental Impact Report for the mining operation is invalid. The challenge contends the county erred because the EIR certification came after the project was denied.

County counsel and attorneys for Granite say the city's facts and current position are wrong. An agency can approve or reject at EIR independent of its decision whether to move forward with a project, the attorneys argue.

Paul Jacobs November 05, 2012 at 09:31 AM
Maryann Stan Shunpike, you still don't know the difference between slander and libel. Please illuminate us to what you think you are talking about. All you offer is innuendo and name-calling with no substance. Anybody can Google "Paul Jacobs Temecula" and learn about me. The same cannot be said for "Stan Shunpike," "Walking on Sunshine" or "Long Time Temecula Resident." Stan Shunpike is a fictional character from Harry Potter. Thank you, Google!
CommCare November 05, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Do you really think that the council members are just NOW starting to fight this! You are either trying to sway the election or you have not been paying much attention to what has been going on the last year!
Cheri November 05, 2012 at 08:06 PM
For complaints to the California Attorney General's office: E-mail: www.ag.ca.gov Address: Office of the Attorney General Public Inquiry Unit P.O. Box 944255 Sacramento, CA 94244-2550 For the phone # of the Environmental Protection Agency: (before this gets started) 916-323-9514 maybe if everyone complained, called ect. this would be royally looked into properly?
Eric Cartman November 05, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Comm, don't be gullible. They aren't fighting anything. They are doing this all for show: http://i.imgur.com/0noUv.jpg
Eric Cartman November 05, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Maryann/Stan, how many names do you have? "GADFLY" You shouldn't use such big words when you don't even know how to spell the little ones.

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