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Supervisor Pushes For Liberty Quarry Fast-Tracking

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.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider Tuesday whether to fast track the revised Liberty Quarry Project.

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.

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.

The next hearing in the matter is scheduled Nov. 14 at the Riverside Superior Courthouse.

Gandhi November 03, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Well Repub, YOU'R GONNA SEE EM HERE!! We are fighters here in Temecula, we're not ignorant, and we dont roll over and let people like YOU walk all over us!! Our health is important to us, and 100 crappy jobs are not a good trade off for it! You're a liar, you are employed by Granite, and your posts have no creedence whatsoever, stop wasting our time here. We are NOT a "small minority" Bub, get that through your thick head once and for all!! SDG&E wanted to route their huge power lines through our community and thanks to a very vocal and persistent group they did NOT win. You are going to find out, do NOT mess with Temeculans!! As a matter of fact, I suggest you move elsewhere, since you obviously do NOT have the best interests of this town at heart. Buh-bye!!
Gandhi November 03, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I'm with you Candi!! I've been here for 25 years now, and it seems like just as soon as we get done with one huge fight, like this one, another one crops up! Its a shame our city council, who is overpaid to begin with, cant take on this bs without all the citizens having to spend their time/money and sanity trying to do it. As a matter of fact, this city council gave away most of our rights when they let that land go OUT of our "sphere of influence", they knew exactly what they were doing. Now they make a sham and mockery of the judicial system, using OUR money to make it look like theyre doing "something" right before the election, they know damn well they gave it away!
Gandhi November 03, 2012 at 10:27 PM
He's WITH Granite Quarry, thats how! They LIE, thats how! Read? I doubt it.
Gandhi November 03, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Because they're greedy crooks Citizen, thats why. WE, the people, have to squeeze them into a corner so they can't get out, probably through the judicial system, since our own city council sold us out. We might think about contacting some of the BIG environmental groups, EDF, is one that comes to mind, Sierra Club, maybe, Greenpeace possibly, god knows these groups are constantly fighting the 1% and greedy crooks around the earth. At "keepn it real" - Do you actually think they care? Dont you think your property value with go down? Dont you think that you will have to "disclose" in your sales documentation about the quarry being there? I guarantee you will, and that will drop the value of your property and everybody's in this town. That is why we MUST FIGHT!!! And WIN!
Gandhi November 03, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Thats exactly what they are opening themselves up for, and I for one, am looking into it now. They wont be able to make enough money to off set the type of lawsuit I would bring against them, and I will bring in the "big guns", some of the top environmental groups on this one. I fought injustice here before, and I like to win and have many times!. ;)

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