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.