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'Largest and Most Contentious Public Hearing in Riverside County History'

The third of a string of meetings aims to decide the fate of a quarry slated for the hills south of Temecula.

The third of a series of meetings that will decide the fate of a planned quarry was held today.

The Riverside County Planning Commission and hundreds of citizens meet at 9 a.m. at Rancho Community Church for what one official called the “largest and most contentious public hearing in Riverside County history.”

Hundreds of orange hats and shirts donned by quarry critics filled the crowd. The green hats and T-shirts donned by quarry supporters that were common during previous meetings were absent in the rows of seats facing the stage on which the commissioners sat.

The meeting aimed to decide the fate of Liberty Quarry, a 414-acre site for a mile-long open-pit aggregate mine planned just south of Temecula’s city boundary.

The meeting kicked off when numerous consultants working for the City of Temecula criticized Granite’s report that analyzed the effects the quarry would have on the environment.

To read a criticism of the effect on traffic,

Members of the Temecula City Council criticized the study and the company as being misleading.

“This is the greatest attempt by any entity, large or small, to pull the wool over the collective eyes of the more than 2 million residents of our county,” Councilmember Jeff Comerchero said during the meeting.

The quarry is the most contentious issue in Riverside County’s history, and the controversy resembled one in San Diego County that led to restrictions on quarries being approved there.

“Leaders there have said they won’t approve them because they’re too ‘politically sensitive.’ Really?” he said, and the hundreds of people in the audience chuckled.

Stevo June 24, 2011 at 06:50 AM
The quarry sucks. ban it!
Jerry Simeon June 24, 2011 at 01:57 PM
If anyone wants to see what a project of this sort looks like after years in progress, go to Mira Mesa/Miramar area. From Black Mountain Rd. westerly past Santa Fe Rd. along Miramar Blvd on the north side. Vulcan company have been digging and stock piling mountains of raw material, operating a concrete, etc. company and hidden from view by fencing and recent commercial building development. You have seen other projects too if you tour the adjacent mountains. Abandoned deep pits filled with stagnant water where you never see any wild life and that is probably seeping into our ground water table. There are smaller projects too that are not so noticeable where the land has been raped and pillaged then left for "nature" to repair or replenish. Necessary evils??... or ecological and pending health hazards? Why choose areas so close to population and natural resources that create so many problems and threats??
TVOR June 25, 2011 at 07:29 AM
No matter what Granite has to say, they should not be allowed to force their mine on a city where the vast mojority of the population is against it. This is OUR city! Let them build their mine where there is no city.
Peter Terezakis September 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM
Since AB-742 was recently introduced, Granite has been crying for "local government" to decide the issue. Given LAFCO's denial of the City of Temecula's original annexation plans due to a request from Granite, I'd be tempted to say some of the $10 million dollars that Garry Johnson has invested spoke louder than local government. This fight is far from over. Granite will not go away easily. Support AB 742. Join both Native American and non-Native Americans to enact legislation which will save Native American sacred sites as well as the LAST wild river and LAST coastal wildlife corridor in Southern California: http://www.ab-742.com
Peter Terezakis September 15, 2011 at 01:13 PM
Great post Cheryl. EVERYONE needs to stay committed to the political process. We MUST elect officials of integrity - and vote them OUT of office when they cease to represent us. "The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created." - Brown Act, 1953 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Act

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