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Quarry Permit Denial Upheld

The Riverside County Planning Commission make their rejection of a plan to build a mine near Temecula official.

A decision to deny an application to build a mine near Temecula was upheld today.

The Riverside County Planning Commission voted 4-1 to uphold a decision it made in August to reject the plan to build Liberty Quarry, a 115-acre mine just south of the city. Commissioner Jim Porras was the lone dessenter.

For details about the project, . To read what the commissioners said before they rejected the plan, .

Officials from Temecula, the Pechanga Tribe of Luiseno Indians and Granite Construction gathered at the County Administration Center in Riverside today to watch the commission make their vote.

About a dozen people in the audience wore orange T-shirts and hats emblazoned with anti-quarry themes. One audience member wore a green "Friends of Liberty Quarry" shirt.

Commissioners made small changes to a document that describes the commission's findings and lays out the reasons for the rejection.

Today's vote makes the denial official, and Granite Construction officials are now able, if they choose, to appeal the decision.

Granite officials vowed earlier to fight the decision. To read about what they said,

If they do, the decision will go to the for a final vote.

"I don't agree with any of the language, even if it's modified," said Commissioner John Petty before the staff changed the document.

Commissioners found problems mostly with the "benefits" portion of the document, which outlines what the commission concedes are the projects benefits.

It made the project sound too beneficial, said Commissioner John Roth, and swaths were stricken from the document.

After the changes were made, the document won the approval of the City of Temecula, said City Attorney Peter Thorson.

"You'v addressed all the concerns we had," he told the commission.

One audience member and local anti-quarry activist, Fred Bartz, approved of the changes. "We support your findings and hope you'll move forward with this," he told the commission.

To read a letter to the editor Bartz wrote for Temecula Patch,

Smartone December 08, 2011 at 02:42 AM
United we should keep standing against the quarry in our Valley!
Don December 08, 2011 at 06:20 AM
Quarry opponents should rest for a few weeks because the evil doers will most certainly come back fighting. Oh, and 'paying'
nicholas biddle, jr. December 08, 2011 at 07:09 AM
"It's as if the Planning Commission hearing never happened. Essentially, it all starts over" Granite's Karie Reuther, quoted by pro Granite Californian reporter, Aaron Claverie in lead column for tomorrow. WHAT?! Six hearings in Temecula filled with experts and Temecula citizens never happened? Now we know why Granite has years of huge multistate fines and criminal actions against them.
Goldstein December 08, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Why would we want to devalue our properties, ruin the air, and tear up our roads? All for just 99 jobs? Even if it were 2099 jobs, there is no reason to choose Temecula as the quarry location. This is a great city that offers so much, including clean air, and people that believe in making their voices heard. Let's keep it that way! Granite Construction... please.... find another place to call home. You are not wanted here!
anotherview December 09, 2011 at 03:54 AM
Few people, including news media workers, understand the environmental review process. Plenty happened yesterday, by decision of the Planning Commission. It killed the proposed aggregate quarry for now. GCI may appeal the action of the commission to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, a decision-making body influenced by political considerations. Therein lies the rub for GCI. The unity of the Temecula Valley community and some nearby areas along with various authorities all coming out against this proposed project represent a large political constituency, of which the supervisors will take note. The supervisors may look beyond the simplistic economic argument GCI surely will mouth again. So far, this view has failed to prevail over the negative impacts of the proposed project. It may fail with the supervisors, too. We shall see.

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