.

Hearing Postponed For City's Suit on Quarry EIR

A new date of Nov. 14 was set to hear the case in Riverside.

A new date has been set to hear a motion for a ruling regarding Riverside County's right to approve an Environmental Impact Report for a strip-mining project south of Temecula after the county Board of Supervisors rejected the project.

The city of Temecula has been joined in the suit by De Luz 2000, a nonprofit group which has members of Save Our Southwest Hills, the group that lobbied vigorously for the denial of the Liberty Quarry project.

Also joining the suit is the Elsinore-Murrieta-Anza Resource Conservation District.

The project—planned for a 414-acre site just south of Temecula—was rejected by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, a point which city officials believe makes the certification invalid.

The county has asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the city and its co-plaintiffs; a judge ruled it is too soon to dismiss any suits until the cases are heard for both sides.

City officials contend that once the Board of Supervisors rejected the proposal to build a large quarry on the outskirts of town, the EIR for that project should not have been certified.

Granite Construction Company, which proposed the quarry, has since reduced the scope of its proposal in the hope of having some sort of mining project approved.

"This Motion for Judgment relates to the City’s first cause of action in the lawsuit, which alleges that the County erred in an attempt to certify the EIR after they denied the Project," City Attorney Peter Thorson wrote.

"Specifically, the City argues that CEQA does not apply to disapproved projects and thus the County lacked the discretionary authority to certify the EIR."

However, county counsel and attorneys for Granite have filed a demurrer with the court that states the city's facts and current position are wrong.

According to documents filed with the court, the county first approved the EIR, then rejected the project.

The demurrer also contends that even if the city claims that rejection of the project nullified the EIR, that claim is also incorrect.

An agency can approve or reject at EIR independent of its decision whether to move forward with a project, attorneys state, citing precedents.

Under the law, attorneys contend, the courts would not have jurisdiction over a project that has not been approved—when moving forward with the project entails basing it on the EIR in question, papers state.

California Environmental Quality Act guidelines would not be triggered simply by the preparation of an environmental study, court papers state, but rather, the attempt to use that study to begin a project.

A decision by the court at this point would be "purely advisory," the county contends.

The city has filed a second lawsuit, this one asking the court for an injunction against the county's fast-track ordinances; the city does not want the amended Liberty Quarry proposal to be accepted by the county without public hearings.

Tony Moramarco October 19, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Can we please get confirmation on the time and location for the hearing?
The Patriot October 19, 2012 at 07:58 PM
EVERY Temecula resident and voter needs to know that this suit is bogus. They are wasting our money just to stall the inevitable. Our Council including Naggar and Washington gave up the sphere of influence over the Quarry in 2010 for another piece of land putting us in this screwed position. Patrice Lynes has a plan of attack and it is the only chance that we have to stop it from a legal stand point. Throw the bums out and elect Patrice Lynes if you REALLY want the Quarry stopped.
Lynn October 19, 2012 at 08:36 PM
No thanks
Lynn October 19, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Anti-quarry Anti-conspiracy theory/theorist Thank you
Josey Wales October 20, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Lynn, you sound like you have been drinking too much reclaimed water.
Lynn October 20, 2012 at 02:43 AM
No doubt
wolfcreek October 20, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Oh Lynn, the people that come out to attack you are hilarious.
Mirna Alfonso (Editor) October 20, 2012 at 05:43 AM
11/14/2012 8:30 AM DEPT. 05 HEARING RE: DEMURRER TO CONSOLIDATED COMPLAINT FILED 08/03/2012 OF DE LUZ 2000,A CALIFORNIA NON PROFIT CORPORA BY COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE
Mirna Alfonso (Editor) October 20, 2012 at 05:43 AM
11/14/2012 8:30 AM DEPT. 05 HEARING RE: DEMURRER TO CONSOLIDATED COMPLAINT FILED 08/03/2012 OF DE LUZ 2000,A CALIFORNIA NON PROFIT CORPORA BY COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE Historic Courthouse in Riverside, 4100 Main St.
Gandhi October 25, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Already did! vote for Patrice and Paul Jacobs that is!
Gandhi November 08, 2012 at 08:25 AM
Ok, Patrice didnt win, but we still have to fight this, regardless of what the City Council does or doesnt do - WE LIVE HERE!! This is not right. Several of us are writing letters and making calls to the Attorney Generals office regarding this matter. I think people should go to the November 14th meeting if they can make it. I think we need to file what is called an "injunction" at this point.
Gandhi November 08, 2012 at 08:27 AM
Oh, just noticed at the end of article, the city DID file an injunction against "fast tracking", however, I believe they need to file one against the fact that the EIR was originally rejected, and then, arbitrarily with no changes made to it, approved. Contact the attorney general people, I think this case is one that merits their investigation of possible criminal activity.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something