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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

Carole Masson November 12, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Yeah, who has bought you off patch. Where's the stats of the negatives it will cause like more accidents and traffic on our freeways. Lung and health problems, decreased property values when we are already struggling now. What other chemicals & minerals will be released to wash into the water supply and land on anything growing not to mention noise and animal displacement. This is biased reporting!!
Dave November 12, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Although the project is in Riverside County, the adverse health effects also impact neighboring San Diego County communities. Its curious that Rainbow and Fallbrook are silent during the environmental review period.
5150 November 12, 2012 at 03:03 PM
John Benoit is a Fool! Recall this idiot!! Smells of corruption, we need an investigation.
Chris November 12, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Write the EPA! Tell them this whole deal smells fishy. Comment on the air, water shed, and noise pollution issues. Santa Margarita River Basin destruction! Also write the state attorney general. The legal issues that are in question can't go unnoticed. Open pit blasting mine on top of a mountain with strong west winds to contaminate our valley is insane! Dont be fooled. Granite can resubmit their operation application to extend the life of this mine 100+ years arourd the clock!
Nita German - Dancin DJ November 12, 2012 at 04:34 PM
how bout large orange tarps on every residence, business, winery, real estate office, grade school, middle school, high school, church, etc etc....then call out a major TV news crew for helicopter footage ?
TVOR November 12, 2012 at 05:24 PM
No Quarry! Not for one gawdam minute!
Megan November 12, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Complete corruption plain and simple
Cynthia Myers November 12, 2012 at 07:10 PM
This awful proposed massive pit mine has already been thoroughly vetted and then DENIED by both the County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. Now Granite has teamed up with (or bought off?) a few pliant Supervisors to do an end run around the entire land planning process. It's outrageous, and it's also outrageous that the Patch seems to have published a Granite PR fluff piece verbatim.
Cynthia Myers November 12, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I'm in Rainbow and we have not been silent. We've been protesting this proposed monstrosity since the day the idea was floated.
The Republican November 12, 2012 at 07:22 PM
It is going in. Stop your NIMBY whining along with your false data. These things are all over California in areas with higher property values than Temecula. I don't see the demonstrations in the press or streets in those areas.
Cynthia Myers November 12, 2012 at 07:40 PM
How about we put a giant massive open pit mine and asphalt plant and cement plant next door to YOUR house, and see if you're still happy living there? Or better yet, why don't we fast track a nuclear power plant just upwind from your house? That would create a lot of jobs!
Candi Oliver November 12, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Go take a look at Watsonville, also look at Lake Elsinore or how about just look to the right on the the 15 on the way to Corona. They look just lovely! Mr. Republican if you live in this area which you supposedly do I hope your place is just next to the proposed mine area...you deserve it. We don't need people like you in our valley. You accept whatever is put in front of you and do not think those that have freedom of speech should speak about things they do not want in this community. This is America and we have the right of free speech whether you like it or not... stop telling people what to do. You sound like you have been looking for issues on mines inother areas are you involved with Granite?
TVOR November 12, 2012 at 08:30 PM
The bottom line is these people should not have the right to put in something that will be a detriment to our community against the wishes of the vast majority of residents here. The drawbacks far exceed any percieved benefits of this operation. There are plenty of places in the area that are not directly upwind of a 110K+ population.
TVOR November 12, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I meant 100k+
David Shisler November 12, 2012 at 08:50 PM
well that's see Irwindale and neighboring cities, Baldwin Park, Azusa, El Monte, were concerned about pollution of air and water from mining operations in Irwindale. They had a study of the Envirnonmental effects of Gravel mining in the area, Prepared for Congresswoman Hilda L Solis and Congressman Henry A Waxman. Dec 12, 2002. Key findings, The mining operations in the Irwindale area contribute to the air pollution problems affecting the area, mining operations generate large quantities of Dust, including par 2.5, in the process of digging and processing the gravel, and machinery and trucks that burn diesel fuel. The study also stated that because of lack of information as to how much, they were unable to assess the magitude of the water and air pollution. That is just one mining area that is complaining of pollution, Elsinore residents have their complaints in the paper all the time. One reason we are demonstrating, we were here first, not this gigantic mining company.
Dave November 12, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Perhaps we can gain more traction if SD county gets involved on behalf of their residents.
On the right side November 13, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Where is OUR newly elected city government that was supposed to be so wonderful? They should be out front and center supporting the wishes of the majority!!! Silence makes you wonder.
JohnJ November 13, 2012 at 04:59 AM
The only thing that upped property values was the funny money derivatives market from the Bush years. Irwindale, Indio, Azuza, Lake Elsinore, all experienced white flight. As I drive through Corona I used to remember the days all the signs on the main drag were in English. And Indio, it's worse than it used to be 20 years ago. It's going down and hard. Banning has always been a place to go die.
Tom Courbat November 13, 2012 at 05:49 AM
I find JohnJ's comments to be racist and request they be removed from the dialog.
Carol Krieg November 13, 2012 at 09:09 AM
Please, can't someone come up with a plan so we can "all" jump on the band wagon and prevent this catastrophe. We've all read enough to know we're all fed up and tired of the b.s.. We must fight this by the masses. Any ideas? Come on, someone out there must have an ingenuous idea. It's time we all ban together. I'm ready!
SPB November 13, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Whats racist about talking about a city's changing demographics?
SPB November 13, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Why doesn't Pechanga just buy the land? I'm sure their pockets are deep enough.
Tom Courbat November 13, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Thank you for removing the offending racist comment. There is nothing wrong with talking about the city's changing demographics - you no longer see the comment John J made that contained the racist comment.
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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