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Tide Turns in Quarry Deliberation

Three commissioners favor the quarry, one opposes it and one voices mixed feelings.

The tide turned against the quarry planned for hills outside Temecula's southern boundary today.

Only one commissioner -- James Porras -- praised Liberty Quarry during a hearing today.

Commissioners John Snell and John Petty renounced the project that was planned for a 415-acre site just south of Temecula.

To read what they said,.

Later in the hearing, Commissioner Jan Zuppardo both praised and criticized the project, though he tended more to oppose it.

"My main concern is air quality. I'm not convinced we're able to overcome those issues," she said.

She also said that the Pechanga tribe should have raised its concerns about the project being too close to its sacred sites sooner.
Though she did note some benefits, she said she opposes the project.

"The cost outweighs the benefit."

This project is one of the hottest issues in the last two decades, said Chairman John Roth. "I have never seen a project that engendered the controversy or the emotions this project has," he said.

He has been on the commission since 1992.

Roth agreed the project will not be good because "The benefits were significantly overstated."

The quarry will be a bad neighbor for the Temecula residents, who moved to the area expecting to live in a rural environment, he said. "The quarry, in my opinion, will add it's own noise spectrum," he said. "It's insufficient, in my opinion, to make up for the impacts."

UPDATE: This story was modified at 11:09 Sept. 2 to show the deliberations favored rejecting the quarry before the commission voted.

Dewy September 01, 2011 at 04:27 AM
James porras probley still counting $ they gave him....
Ed Krinsky September 01, 2011 at 04:42 AM
Porras may be under investigation by the Justice Department. Let him count his money; We'll wait and see...................
C. Bailey September 01, 2011 at 06:58 PM
I hope Granite Construction does move to a different site. The job loss to the area would be well deserved. The people that are opposed to this have no idea how modern quarries are operated and the amount of money it brings to a community. As for Porras, he has my vote and the votes of all I know, so standing his ground and supporting this is a good move for him, in my book. All of you opposing this should look at Superiors pit on Mission Gorge Rd. in the middle of a residential area. A little research would go a long way. But educating yourselves is not the intent, stopping anything and everything is.
Cheryl Williams September 01, 2011 at 07:28 PM
Hooray, hooray, shows you what citizens can do when they fight for whats right for their community. Now we must fight to save Wine Country from Jeff Stone's destruction of our beautiful area and turning Anza Rd into a freeway! For God Sales, if this wins he will destroy Wine Country and the residents way of life by countrolling what we are allowed to do on our own property. WAKE UP PEOPLE ! This is another very important fight for our way of life and our freedoms. Join the fight! http://www.savetemeculawinecountry.com/
Ed Krinsky September 01, 2011 at 07:36 PM
"The old question "Where does an 800 pound gorilla sit? The answer: "Anywhere he wants to." Granite Construction is your 800 pound gorilla. They've spent millions and they have millions more to spend. They wanted this vote delayed, because they wanted to send a flood of lobbyists in to try to influence (with what?) our legislators to vote their way. Because of the arrests in nearby towns of legislators accepting bribes from builders, construction companies, it didn't work for them. There is also a possibility that an investigation is currently underway in Temecula silently.... This I'll tell you; I wouldn't want to be on the city board today.......!
sherry September 01, 2011 at 07:59 PM
You obviously do not live in Temecula. YOU have no idea how the wind blows here. The defeated quarry would have spread poisons into our air in the Temecula Valley. ALL my friends want Porras off any decision makings. Scary to know he is a teacher. 168 doctors testified that this quarry would be a health hazard.
Kat September 01, 2011 at 08:23 PM
Umm yes C. Bailey, what you think we just got out of bed one day and decided to protest cause we were bored?? a lot of studying and much research went into it and its overwhelming we did not want it, if you love the quarry lifestyle so much go move closer to one in Corona or near Palmdale, go inhale your lungs away - be my guest
Marelle Dorsey September 01, 2011 at 09:24 PM
Marelle Dorsey The article's beginning sentence makes no sense,"The tide turned in favor of the quarry.." What tide was he talking about? The community has not changed its overwhelming opposition during the last 6 years. 98% of the Redhawk community turned in petitions against the quarry in 2006. A win of 4 to 1 against the quarry is a BIG victory and Granite knows it. 3 to 1 would have been fine. The tide will keep going just the way it is now. Granite knows it!
Ed Krinsky September 01, 2011 at 09:45 PM
The battle isn't over-----Just watch Granite ship it's lobbyist to Riverside with "cash in hand." They have the money and will do/have anything they want.........so don't celebrate just yet.......we've won a battle, not the war. The big gorilla (Granite) sits anywhere it wants to.........!
Greg September 01, 2011 at 09:54 PM
Good work people. Remember, the government on all levels works for us - hard working, taxpaying citizens. This was clearly the correct outcome. Porras' days as a Commissioner are hopefully numbered. Liberty Quarry would have been a blight on our community. Anybody who doesn't see that doesn't care about the community.
Don September 01, 2011 at 10:00 PM
To C Bailey, I do know how quarries work, and I have visited Granite's quarry on Hwy 76 and I am STILL AGAINST quarries in built up communities. Don't jump to conclusions like Granite Construction did.
Cheryl Williams September 02, 2011 at 12:18 AM
Yes, the Gov works for us, yet some how they feel they are "Royalty" especially Michelle and Barack Obama, why because we have allowed it. It's time to take back control of our cities and country and get people in office that will respect American and truly work for the American Citizens not get into office for their own selfish reasons and to become wealthy at the expense of the American Tax Payer. THEY WORK FOR US AND DON'T LET THEM FORGET IT!. I hope we can establish term limits!
Kat September 02, 2011 at 01:12 AM
Umm Cheryl, i think you are posting in the wrong area, take a pill and go find where you belong,
Sarah September 02, 2011 at 01:16 AM
What, the 99 low-paying jobs? I think we can do without them. We'd rather have the 360 high-paying jobs in Tourism that they would drive away. YOU obviously have no idea what it is like to live in Temecula with its great air quality and the pristine area where Granite wants to put a mile-long scar. We only want to stop stupid, bad ideas that damage the many for the gain of the few. We can do without the opinions of those who support big business over the health of the community, thank you.
Sarah September 02, 2011 at 01:18 AM
Cheryl - stay on topic - this is not a forum for Obama-bashing
Kat September 02, 2011 at 01:20 AM
sorry Cheryl, didnt mean to write that out loud, was thinking it , but hit send by mistake but Sarahs' right and said nicer
Tomcyn September 02, 2011 at 03:06 AM
Exactly what I was thinking. If he was bribed to vote for this, I just hope he is fully investigated and fired.
Tomcyn September 02, 2011 at 03:17 AM
You sir are brain dead, did you even read any of the reports regarding how unhealthy this quarry would be to our community? Like other people have stated you must not live in Temecula/Murrieta area to know how our winds are here. I moved here in 1989 because of the fact that this city cares about the community. Do you really think that the property owners most affected by this ever thought "hey maybe we shouldn't buy in this area because maybe some day a company that only cares about making millions of money will want to put a quarry here" I ask all the people that are for this where do you live. James Porras lives and works in Indio, so why would he care if this is passed.
Tomcyn September 02, 2011 at 03:38 AM
Just to inform all the angry people out there for James Porras's in favor of quarry vote, he doesn't even live in Temecula so why would he care. The people involved in this vote should have only been Temecula/Murrieta residents only. James Porras lives and works in Indio. His wife is Linda Nichols Porras works for CI Web Group and At Miramonte Resort and Spa in Indian Wells as an Esthetician. I think we should boycott anyone that is affiliated with James Porras's decision, because I know if it was me I would have convinced my husband on the strong impact points on the negative impact his decision would make. Thankfully the other 4 voted no on this and James vote was meaningless. I tend to weigh in on James getting a payout from Granite company for his favorable vote.
Peter Terezakis September 02, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Mr. Porras was re-appointed by County District Supervisor Benoit and his term ends June 2015. As Tomcyn pointed out, Mr. Porras lives in Indio. Granite has a facility in Indio (http://www.graniteconstruction.com/about-us/ca-scalifornia.cfm). Indio's Mayor Pro Tem Glenn Miller is also quoted in Granite's anti-AB 742 press release (http://www.libertyquarryfacts.com/press/8-4-11-Granite-Construction.pdf). Connecting the dots.... Could be that what is "adequate" (Mr. Porras used that term at least seven times when rubber-stamping his point-by-point approval of the Granite-funded EIR) for Indio may not necessarily be the same for Temecula-Rainbow-Fallbrook areas. I suggest anyone who was/is upset by Mr. Porras's condescending attitude, wrong and potentially injurious decision, take two minutes and call the office of the elected official who appointed him. Just let them know who you are, and what you think: County Supervisor John J. Benoit's (District 4) Palm Desert office: 73-710 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 222 • Palm Desert, CA 92260 • Phone: (760) 863-8211 • Fax: (760) 863-8905 We won this battle, for the moment. Granite has already said they will appeal. The war to remove Liberty Quarry from the community is not over. Granite has invested close to $10 million dollars on their project, and has recently hired two top lobbying/PR firms. This is not the time to become complacent. Please sign and promote this petition: http://sacredskysacredearth.com/ab-742/
Greg September 02, 2011 at 06:03 PM
Well said Peter. Thanks for the info. I for one will be calling to express my opinion.
Greg September 02, 2011 at 06:09 PM
The Rosemary quarry located on Highway 76, just a few miles from the proposed Liberty quarry site, is owned by Granite Construction. Rosemary is not producing much at all because Granite keeps getting underbid by other companies. Why does Granite need two quarries so close in proximity?
Peter Terezakis September 02, 2011 at 07:35 PM
Given the geology in San Diego, desert sands and mountains of Imperial County to the east, and a harbor that can float in aggregate from anywhere, I think Granite has a lot of competing sites and businesses around them. Like any business, they want everything and to operate without competition.
Peter Terezakis September 02, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Thanks, Greg.
Popeye September 02, 2011 at 10:48 PM
This article is incorrect, please fix.
Don September 03, 2011 at 12:25 AM
Don't be sorry Kat, Cherryl shouldn't be talking politics when it comes to the quarry
Popeye September 04, 2011 at 03:31 AM
It would not put dent in job loss, in fact there would be a job increase without the Quarry. There are business waiting to come in Temecula, but they are holding out until the final outcome. So if you are for more jobs, Vote NO for the quarry
Laura Reames October 02, 2011 at 10:04 PM
My question is obviously this is going to the Board of Supervisors for a vote. If they deny then is all said and done? Can Granite come back at anytime and repetition? My husband and I have been working to move to Temecula so we can raise our kids on land and in a beautiful community. One of our neighbors told us about the quarry. Since finding out about the quarry my husband will not move there unless the quarry is denied. I love Temecula and I want to move. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am going to sign the petition and attend any necessary meetings. Thanks
anotherview October 02, 2011 at 11:37 PM
Laura: Like a bad cold, the quarry near Temecula proposed by Granite Construction Incorporated may not go away for a while. The Riverside County Planning Commission still has to meet a second time to render a permanent decision rejecting this proposed project. The matter could end then and there. GCI will, however, likely appeal a rejection to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Hundreds of millions of dollars lie at stake for GCI. Even if expecting the RCBS to follow the decision of the RCPC in rejecting the proposed quarry, GCI will likely appeal anyhow, as a matter of form. Next, GCI could file a lawsuit to overturn decisions against its proposed quarry. A united Temecula community no doubt would go to the mat with GCI to fight its lawsuit forcing its corporate will on the community. The Pechanga tribe still has a proposed amendment to existing state law to prohibit the proposed GCI quarry near Temecula because this project would violate the sacred Pechanga creation site. State law already bans certain mining projects near sacred tribal sites, and the proposed amendment would improve this law. The proposed GCI quarry may go away soon, or this matter could drag on for years.
avoman October 26, 2011 at 06:35 AM
As a resident of Fallbrook and a former resident of Temecula, I am glad the planning commission is moving in favor of rejection of the quarry. But as many have said, the battle isn't over yet. I have seen battles in my area, specifically the dump site proposed along hwy 76 next to the San Luis river last for many years. Unfortunately, insanity seems to be ruling on this issue as it is likely that a dump WILL be built along a major watershed (San Luis Rey river) in the Fallbrook area. As if we should gamble with a water source being polluted by a dump on the side of a river! Good luck with defeating the quarry... I hope that is one battle that can be won....

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