Dec. 11 is Tentative Date for Liberty Quarry Hearing

A county staff report on Liberty Quarry will be posted at least 10 days prior to the hearing, which is tentatively set for Dec. 11.

The Liberty Quarry project has been planned for south of Temecula for at least seven years, and for just about as long, it has been contested by locals.

Granite Construction Company may soon come one step closer to realizing its long-term goal. A hearing regarding a scaled-down verision of the project has been tentatively been set for Dec. 11 before the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

A county staff report on the project will be posted on the Riverside County Planning Department website at least 10 days before the hearing, which is tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors chambers on the first floor, 4080 Lemon St. in Riverside, according to an advisory issued by a county spokesperson.

On Nov. 6, the Board—with a 3-2 vote—narrowly approved fast-track status for Granite Construction.

The goal of the board's revised fast-track policy is to have a project vetted and voted on in 90 days in the interest of job stimulation and economic growth.

With fast-track status, the project could move forward to the board, rather than have to be brought before the county Planning Commission.

The Nov. 6 supervisors' meeting was held a day after a Riverside judge struck down the city of Temecula's petition for a temporary restraining order against the Board's vote.

Temecula city council is scheduled to meet in closed session Tuesday to discuss two ongoing lawsuits against the county in its attempt to keep the quarry away from the city's southern boundary.

Opponents of Liberty Quarry believe the pit would produce health-damaging levels of silica dust, mar area aesthetics, ruin rural peace, add to road congestion and permanently alter landscapes that the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians consider sacred.

Orignally planned as a 414-acre site, Granite Construction is now seeking fast-track approval, promising:

—Establishment of a proposed $0.20 per ton fee that will generate $92 million  in new revenue for Riverside County of which an estimated $61.3 million will be paid by San Diego County users;

—30 percent reduction in life of the project (25 fewer total years);

—20 percent reduction in maximum truck trips per day (160 fewer truck trips/day);

—25 percent reduction in maximum aggregate production over the life of the project (reduced from 235 million to 174 million tons over the life of the project);

—20 percent reduction in annual production (1 million fewer tons per year);

—30 percent reduction in mining depth (300 feet); and

—Mining activity will be restricted to daylight hours only.

Supervisor John Benoit has stood by his position that the mine has countywide benefits, such as increasing the supply of construction-grade aggregate—asphalt, gravel and sand—closest to the areas that need it most in Riverside and San Diego counties.

Supervisor Jeff Stone, whose third district includes Temecula and Murrieta, has consistently voted against the quarry.

"This issue has divided our board significantly, and I regret that it's happened," Stone has said.

—City News Service contributed to this report

Candi Oliver November 13, 2012 at 03:07 PM
What makes you think that Granite will sell it. This is a game now and they are going to show us who has the money and who makes the rules. They are also going to show us what they they think of us and Temecula.
Joan Lennert November 13, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Quarry NOT THEN (when it did not pass through an honest route) and NOT NOW (when corruption caused the values of the majority of the Riverside Board to fall to the lowest level). How can it come to this in the beautiful Temecula Valley? How can money to the county (as they say a tip) so negatively impact our community's health and tourist industry. Think ahead RIVERSIDE BOARD do you really want to stop getting our honest taxes? Your dishonest TIP in the long run cannot trump our lives and our taxes. Proceed with your dishonestly and you will spend the county's taxes and your time in the courts. Come on guys do the right thing, STOP THE QUARRY!
keepn it real November 13, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I can't lelieve this is still going on Benoit is not for the people..why does he want it he will never hold a place in office again....and if he thinks its such a great Idea then Move to temecula....riverside is already ugly put it their
Ponce de Leon November 15, 2012 at 09:37 PM
PE.com reports that Pechanga is buying the land where the quarry would have been built, so it's never going to happen; http://www.pe.com/local-news/reports/liberty-quarry/liberty-quarry-headlines/20121115-liberty-quarry-pechanga-tribe-to-buy-site.ece


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