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Temecula Fires Salvo in War Against Quarry

In a news release issued Friday, Temecula city officials slammed a proposal to place a modified Liberty Quarry on a fast track to approval.

Placing a proposed quarry -- albeit modified -- on a fast track to approval would be devastating to Temecula and surrounding areas, the city manager said Friday.

Granite Construction, which had been defeated by the city and also the Riverside County Planning Commission in its bid to build a quarry on the outskirts of Temecula, has come back with a modified plan.

The original proposed project was reduced once the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in July voted to place surface mines on the list of projects that can bypass the county's planning commission and head straight to the supervisors for consideration -- a process known as fast-tracking.

"The proposed Liberty Quarry project can’t be viewed in the same manner as building a building on a piece of property," City Manager Bob Johnson wrote in a news release.

"This project will forever destroy a mountain, alter the natural environment -- including air quality, to the detriment of our region ... and obliterate the Luiseño Indian Creation Area among many other impacts."

The heavily opposed Liberty Quarry mining project near Temecula would be among those projects using a "fast-track" process.

"Local governments sometimes use the fast-track process as an economic development tool that can reduce steps in the planning process for a project."

Johnson added that the fast-track process limits public review and that such a consequence is intended.

"How can this proposal even be taken seriously in a time when government transparency and confidence in the decision making of elected officials is so important?"

The city manager said the supervisors want to eliminate the county Planning Commission from the process.

"The County Planning Commissioners have familiarity and expertise with development issues and the importance of their role should not be overlooked," Johnson wrote.

"How could a project of such magnitude not be given the standard review by their appointed Planning Commission?"

Granite construction's claim that new jobs will be created by its proposed project is specious, Johnson said.

"Not so.  Granite Construction’s economist acknowledged that new quarries do not create new demand for construction material -- Liberty Quarry would instead shift material sales (and their respective jobs) away from existing quarries in the County.

"Even worse, the Liberty Quarry owner/operator, Granite Construction, is a contractor and will not pay sales tax on their material so Liberty Quarry takes tax revenues away from the County." 

Currently, some commercial projects can be fast-tracked if they create 40 or more full-time jobs, result in at least $5 million in capital investment or generate at least $12.5 million taxable sales.

Watsonville-based Granite Construction, which is proposing the quarry, has said it would charge 20 cents per ton at the gate, expecting to raise up to $800,000 per year.

Even if it was guaranteed to come back to Temecula Valley, said Johnson,  "it doesn’t put even a dent in the $3.6 billion loss to our region if this massive mine is approved."

JP September 21, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Go away Granite Construction. Go away.
Candi Oliver September 22, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Go up to Watsonville and see what a mess they made. We don't want them here what else do we have to do. How dare you let Supervisors vote one way and then change their mind, that is not the way it works. The days of Florida shinannagans during an election are over and Nepitism sucks for that Supervisor that changed his votes. Exam his pockets. If the supervisors up in Riverside want this so badly they are willing to lie cheat and doing anything they want; put it next to their houses in Riverside.
Popeye September 22, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Currently, some commercial projects can be fast-tracked if they create 40 or more full-time jobs, result in at least $5 million in capital investment or generate at least $12.5 million taxable sales. Granite open up a McDonalds.... that would be the equvalant of your 40 employee work force.
Jerry Simeon September 22, 2012 at 02:49 PM
In very familiar words.... "This town ain't big enuff for scoundrels like Granite". They should charged, convicted, and forced to pay restitution for the financial, political, regional, and attempted fraud damages already created and perpetrated on this community. This is a viral cancer seeking to victimize the property owners and businesses along with the environmental destruction of this community thru corporate deceit and political skullduggery.
Curt McDowell September 22, 2012 at 03:14 PM
http://www.libertyquarryfacts.com/studies/reportsandstudies/2009July20/LQ%20Draft%20EIR_July2009.pdf Taken from the EIR ================ Where potentially significant impacts were identified, mitigation measures are proposed to reduce the extent of the impacts to a less-than-significant level. With the exception of impacts related to air quality and traffic and transportation, all other impacts are expected to be reduced to less-than-significant levels with implementation of the proposed mitigation measures. Impacts related to air quality and traffic and transportation, are not likely to be mitigated to a less-than-significant level and represent significant and unavoidable impacts of the Proposed Project. In addition, with implementation of mitigation measures, cumulative impacts would remain considerable and unavoidable for air quality, biologicalresources, transportation and traffic, and utility and service systems. In accordance with the requirements of CEQA, a statement of overriding considerations would be required for significant and unavoidable impacts when approving the Proposed Project.
V.W.D.S. September 22, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I don't get the article's title at all. Who's Salvo? Where is any of that discussed in this article?
Lash LaRue September 22, 2012 at 04:07 PM
If the area is the birthplace of man as the Indians claim, I am going to stop by the casino and pick up my monthly check because I am a Pachanga Indian too.
Thetis Pressley September 22, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Granite has Tavaglione, Benoit, and Ashley in their pocket. It is all about the money. 40-60 jobs worth the loss in aesthetics, air quality, etc. In addition, most of the "jobs" they created in other areas did not end up with local residents, they went to others driving into the site. These snakes are totally self-serving. Again, it is all about the money.
Danielle Raymond September 22, 2012 at 05:46 PM
This is a declining area. I will have to leave, no way can I keep my son near this Quarry with his asthma. Temecula home owners are generally health conscious people, I imagine that most people who make this the nice area it is will flee. The current Temecula home owners are generally health conscious people, who will eventually sell their houses for cheap. The future of Temecula... a dust covered city filled with new, low income residents who don't mind the dust and bad air quality. If they are interested in money, they should consider that Temecula will turn into another Menifee or Hesperia in the long run.
Don September 22, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Words fail me, just like the supervisors have failed the people
TVOR September 22, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I nwver thought I would say this but I hope they find some sort of critically endangered species on the property.
Bec September 22, 2012 at 06:40 PM
SALVO is ammo "They fired "AMMO" in war against Quarry"........
Mr. Temecula September 22, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Come on, you can’t be that dumb! A “SALVO” is the simultaneous release of ordinance towards a target or the simultaneous discharge of weaponry in a controlled organized fashion towards one target. Its not just ammo but how its organized and fired. Next time if you want to sound smart by knit picking someone’s post at least do some research into what you’re trying to criticize.
Diane September 22, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Thanks,,, I must be uninformed also,,I was also wondering the title SALVO. Must be a military term? Good to know. And why is this stupid quarry like gum under a shoe. It just won't go away!
V.W.D.S. September 23, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Thanks Bec, because it just wasnt' clear throughout the entire article what the heck the title meant! I'm not a big time quarry issue follower - I thought once it was voted out, that was it - really can't believe they are still trying to weasel their way into the town from the backside.
V.W.D.S. September 23, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Mr. Temecula - I dont' need to 'sound smart' I ask questions when things aren't clear, and this is not an area I have followed. I apologize if this annoys you but I want a clear understanding of what is discussed and I wasn't nit picking anyone's post - just looking for information. The way it read to me, was someone was 'fired' or at least the title insinuated something to that affect. I don't post online to stroke my ego or 'act smart'. I am perfectly comfortable with my limitations and willing to learn. Once I form an opinion - it is usually based upon reviewing BOTH sides of an issue against our Constitutional Rights, Quality of Life, and over all fairness for all concerned.
Tracy September 23, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Get 60 minutes on the case....something smells REAL fishy with this fast track. Get the investigative reporters on it!!
Cynthia Myers September 23, 2012 at 01:58 PM
As Supervisor Benoit stated this giant quarry/pit mine has already been "thoroughly vetted in a very public process," and was overwhelmingly opposed by the community, was overwhelmingly denied by the County's own Planning Commission, and then denied by the BoS. Why do we need to do this all AGAIN when it didn't pass muster the first time?
Connie Lingus September 23, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I hear y'all railing against Granite yet no one talks about the 800 lb gorilla’s riding dirt bikes on 2-5 ac motocross tracks in the wine country. Why is that? Anyone can head out to WC on most any day, expecting to enjoy the peace and serenity of WC yet they hear the God Awful racket and see and breath in the massive lung clogging silica dust clouds generated by these inconsiderate and rude residents of WC. AQMD will cite them if they receive a complaint. The RSD will occasionally test the DB levels and cite the homeowners. The County Code Enforcement will occasionally respond but nothing substantial ever comes of it. Decade after Decade of stolen peace, stolen air quality and stolen quiet enjoyment of one’s property, instead you are forced to suffer the bone jarring and ear splitting insane MX racket and slow death on the wind. Residents downwind of these WC motocross tracks are virtual prisoners in their own homes, slowly dying of Black Lung, Silicosis and Valley Fever thanks to our city turning a blind eye to the danger. If Liberty Quarry is soooo bad, why are the WC motocross tracks any less dangerous to our health, peace and quiet enjoyment of our properties? Google Temecula WC, count the MX tracks East of Butterfield, South of Rancho and North of DePortola, then note the poor souls downwind and remember the valley breathes in and out each day, the silica blows both east and west.
Jane Beyer September 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM
I had never heard the term salvo before - learn something every day, I guess: n. pl. sal·vos or sal·voes 1. a. A simultaneous discharge of firearms. b. The simultaneous release of a rack of bombs from an aircraft. c. The projectiles or bombs thus released. 2. Something resembling a release or discharge of bombs or firearms, as: a. A sudden outburst, as of cheers or praise. b. A forceful verbal or written assault.
Stuart Holmes September 24, 2012 at 01:07 AM
This project is SHADY.....The will of the people is that it not be allowed to proceed. That is very clear. There is no economic benefit to the area from this project. There are plenty of mountains between here and San Diego that could deliver the same aggregate. The issue is, the company spent a bunch of money on this, thought they had the votes bought and didnt expect the oversight. Hell no to the quarry and shame on those that are still pushing to get this approved. this Steve guy is a troll probably on the payroll for Granite.
Sam Bradstreet September 24, 2012 at 04:11 PM
There are hundreds of unemployed experienced quarry workers all over Southern California. The jobs will go to former Granite employees who were laid off at other sites, NOT inexperienced Temecula unemployed. This is not a job producer for this area. It is a polluter, a danger to our windshields and a destructive mess. Steve Newman Dyke, is a shill for the Murrieta-Temecula Republican Assembly. That organization has had funds directed to it by Granite, in exchange for people like Steve Newman Dyke and Bob Kowell, so they can print up signs for their effort to ban red light cameras and install term limits in Temecula......don't be fooled. There will be no new jobs for the people of Temecula, just jobs for former Granite unemployed workers.
Popeye September 24, 2012 at 05:05 PM
San Diego county reported no need for addition aggregate. Low demand, that why San Diego county does not need this Quarry.
Popeye September 24, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Well established in all the meetings that there was no need for additional aggregate. Wasn't this open pit denied?
Paul Jacobs September 25, 2012 at 04:50 AM
This salvo is like the blanks fired in the Temecula Old Town gunslinger show. Local control was given up when the City Council failed to fight LAFCO.

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