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Smaller Quarry Plan Wins Recommendation

The mining company developed two plans for the open pit quarry: one 135 acres, the other 155 acres.

A downsized plan for a proposed quarry near Temecula won the approval of county planners.

Granite Construction, the company applying for mining permits, made two plans. One included a 155-acre quarry, and an alternative plan included a 135-acre one

County planners will recommend the smaller version during two upcoming planning commission meetings, according to county documents.

The meetings will be held at 4 p.m. at Rancho Community Church, 31300 Rancho Community Way in Temecula on April 26 and May 3.

County planners decided to endorse the smaller quarry reading a report on its impact on the environment, according to the documents. “The (report) deemed this alternative the environmentally superior alternative,” the report read.

The smaller quarry will produce 33 million tons, or 12 percent, less aggregate than the larger one, the report stated.

The acreage was trimmed from the northern and southern tips, nine acres from the north and 11 from the south. This will not change the size of Granite Construction’s project, which will spread out over 414 acres.

The project will border on Temecula to the north and west and San Diego County to the south.

The planning department praised the quarry in the report. “The project would bring many benefits to the county, the region and the community surrounding the site,” the report stated.

The quarry will give 99 people full-time jobs and $300 million in new sales tax revenue, said Karie Reuther, a spokesperson for Granite, in an emailed statement.

Opponents of the quarry argue it will kick silica particles into the air, which is known to cause various breathing ailments. The quarry will also worsen traffic around its freeway exit due to all the trucks coming and going.

The study on the quarry’s environmental impact took six years to complete and spans more than 8,500 pages.

“We are very happy the staff report acknowledges the projects benefits of reduced traffic, reduced air emissions, and the creation of new high quality jobs,” said Gary Johnson, aggregate resource manger for Granite, in an emailed statement.

To read the environmental impact report, click here.

Don April 17, 2011 at 10:14 PM
What the commision realy meant, was, the smaller alternative was "The lesser of two evils".
Popeye April 17, 2011 at 11:30 PM
The planning commission lives in Riverside area. No representation. Gary is misinformed that there is any benefit. His crew will be working in an area that the City of Temecula does not support if this is approved by Riverside County Supervisors. Listen to the citizens, the majority does not want this project.
Dave April 18, 2011 at 12:07 AM
The windshield repair companies should do well. Add how many minutes to your already long commute. How many people will be killed by truck involved accidents? Particulate in the air...how will it affect the grape growing? Is it going to be an eyesore....I would have voted against it.
Sunnylark April 18, 2011 at 12:22 AM
Sunnylark: Contrary to what the county planners state, there is NO benefit to the communities surrounding the project; real estates values will drop as people learn of an impending quarry, insurance rates will go up as claims come in related to quarry accidents. Businesses will not relocate to the "quarry county", the wine country and tourisn will be negatively impacted and over time destroyed, and agriculture in the De Luz Valley will be destroyed. This does not even count the negative effects on the ecology and wildlife of the area, the Santa Margarita River and the Santa Margarita Ecological Research Reserve. No stated benefits of the quarry can offset the multiple negative effects.
Cheryl Williams April 18, 2011 at 04:16 AM
What else would you expect from this corrupt Council. Follow the money as they say. They don't care about this city or it citizens, the air, health, traffic, noise, polution our life styles and our beautiful Wineries and quality of wines. They blight any area they want to steal, bring in un-wanted freeways, electric power lines, muslim mosques, just an example of how much they care. Just makes descent citizens sick to watch the corruption we are forced to live under. I say it's time to clean house!
deleted April 18, 2011 at 03:18 PM
They say there will be 99 jobs. I want to know how many of those jobs will go to residents of the effected areas. Even if all 99 jobs went to members of our community, it is too high a price to pay to allow our environment to suffer the results of mining operations in our area.
C. Bailey April 18, 2011 at 03:19 PM
Quarry jobs are needed. The impact of a quarry is always less than the "opponents" claim it will be. I have worked at several quarries and have seen this come about many times. The other benefit is cheaper building materials close by, that stimulates construction and road work, more jobs. Right now I dont think any city or county bureaucrats should block anything that gives us jobs.
Don April 18, 2011 at 06:12 PM
First of all, those 99, jobs they talk about will not be available until they are in full production, which could be ten years away. By that time I would think that jobs will be available in better industries than mining. Secondly, I doubt if they will take in workers without experience, so that would mean that they were probably laid off from their other quarries.
Don April 18, 2011 at 06:15 PM
To Mr. Baily, the fact that building material is close by doesn't stimulate work. The work has to come first.
C. Bailey April 18, 2011 at 06:49 PM
Having building supplies close by does stimulate work as it cost less to do the work because of transportation costs. Rock is heavy and cost to move it. The jobs will come as soon as the machinery is delivered, it takes people to run it. The work pays well and any money coming into a community right now is a good thing.
Popeye April 19, 2011 at 04:46 AM
Our community does not want this. There are other quarries that are available to produce the materials. Rosemary's Mountain Quarry Granite Pit Lakeside Sand Pit Let San Diego County create there own quarries. This type of industry is not wanted in our area, infact it will impact thousands of commuters in Temecula that drive on 15 to get to work. We do not need the additional truck traffic. The biggest project; expansion of 15 will be completed soon without the Quarry. 99 jobs is not worth it. Temecula will lose in the long run, it will lose future business, reduce value of homes, impact the wineries and health of our community, we will not stand to be the fall guy for Riverside County troubles. Nobody is going to want to build in a community with a Quarry in its back yard. Who are you fooling "C. Bailey".
C. Bailey April 19, 2011 at 03:24 PM
I am part of the community, and I do think 99 jobs is worth it, especially if you are one of the 99 that do not have a job now and are trying to feed a family. Your claim that it will impact traffic on 15 during rush hour shows you do not understand the business of a pit. Work usually starts in the pit at 7:00, and ends at 3:30. Trucks would not use 15 until after the rush hour in the morning is over, due to load time and would be off the freeway long before the evening rush hour commences. I think it is very audacious of you to think you can even ask the question of "Who are you fooling" when it is obvious you have little to no understanding of the working of a gravel pit. The San Diego County gravel pits are on HWY 67 and have had very little impact on the traffic, as they run trucks during the day when there is very little commuter traffic.
Don April 19, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Mr.Bailey, if it's true what you say about the trucks and their timing, then why is Granite proposing to spend millions of dollars on new on and off ramps, traffic signals, and extra merging lanes. You might also want to read my comments from April 18.
Popeye April 19, 2011 at 07:11 PM
C. Bailey you may be a renter in our community (which means you can move any time), but if you are a owner your values to your community is lacking. Of course I do not have work experience in a Gravel pit and pretty sure the majority of community does not have these skills or strive to acquire such skill. Our unemployment rate is very low (I believe in the 9% range and declining) compared to the rest of Riverside County (13%) and I can tell you why.......Most of Temecula Residents are white collar professionals making combined incomes of 100k and higher. We are a very educated work force with most having Master Degrees. We commute to Orange and San Diego County because Riverside County can't get any type of Technological Industry, only Gravel Pits.... I rather see other businesses come into Temecula that can partner with the educational system so our children don't leave.
deleted April 19, 2011 at 07:50 PM
The bottom line is that very few residents of this area want a mining operation here. We don't believe the claims that it will benefit our community.
Thomas Evans April 26, 2011 at 03:33 AM
This is a natural tragedy waiting to happen. If you haven't seen what open pit mining does to the land, go to Hibbing, Minn., or Irwindale south of the 210. It is sickening. This beautiful precious area will become sterilized if that mining goes in. Get on-line and read the comments from analysts. Water supply pollution to Camp Pendleton and Fallbrook, dislodged rocks falling onto the 15, shaken loose by the constant explosions, etc. etc. It is barbaric.
SPB November 23, 2011 at 10:37 PM
What do musims have to do with a quarry? If you are angry that the planning commission didn't try to overturn the first amendment, then you may need to re-read the bill of rights.
Anita Louise Cressy December 17, 2011 at 07:01 PM
NO NO NO "I DO NOT WANT TO SEE, HEAR OR SMELL ANY SIZE QUARRY"
Winchester Collection January 03, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Property rights should be protected!!! If the quarry is a legit business and will conform to the windshield claims and other environmental impact as well as other land owners impact, let them be. I doubt that the quarry would cover those cost but these stipulations should be insured. I think that freedom and rights are most important. Do we only provide rights to some but not others? I remember in 1993 or so Jeff Stone City council for Temecula led an aggressive campaign against Walmart on Winchester Rd. Where the Office Depot center is now and other vacant stores. The guise was quality of life and special rezoning required. Well as we all know now a Mall, Lowes and Other vacant stores and restaurants sit there. Is this better than WalMart or the same. Tax base is better, but property right where violated. under some motion to quality of life. I do not want the quarry, but lets think everything through before we get all emotional and out of control.
TVOR January 04, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Eminant domain should never be used to allow any entity to build a commercial interest on property privately held and not offered for sale. To force a person off of their property so someone else can profit from it is a huge violation of rights.
Don January 04, 2012 at 04:11 AM
As has been stated before, if Granite moves to San Diego County where most of their wares will be sold, then the jobs will still be there. Further more, the $300mm they keep touting is nothing but B.S. and it was prooved at the hearings.
DeAnn May 16, 2012 at 03:28 PM
The residents of the area have shown, without a doubt, that this quarry is unwanted, over and over again. And I'm sure that some of the people who worked against the quarry are unemployed (I know, I'm one). We're not talking about jobs, we're talking about loss of quality of life, i.e. air quality, pristine water from the Santa Margarita River, wildlife corridors; agriculture (hello - have you seen all the avocados that grow there and yes, the quarry will have a detrimental effect even on the avocado industry) as well as loss to the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve. Check out this link: http://www.sos-hills.org/Mine/dig.htm The Riverside Co. Planning Committee and Board of Supervisors should take heed. You WILL be voted out of office if you back peddle on this issue.

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