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,