A plan to mine hills just south of Temecula was defeated today.
The 115-acre mine would have been placed just south of Temecula's city boundary. To read more about the plan, click here.
Supervisors Bob Buster, Jeff Stone and John Tavaglione voted against the project, and Marion Ashley and John Benoit voted in favor of it.
Stone earlier in the meeting said Granite Construction, the company proposing the plan, misled the public with inaccurate information in an attempt to get its project approved.
To read about what he said, click here.
The project would be an economic boon to the county, said Benoit, who praised the project.
To read what he said, click here.
The crowd erupted into applause and cheers in the board chamber as opponents of the quarry, wearing orange shirts and hats, embraced each other, many with tears in their eyes, while quarry supporters quickly and quietly filed out of the room.
"I'm over the top. I'm shaking, I'm so excited," said Chuck Washington, Temecula mayor.
"Personally, I feel very gratified, but on behalf of the Pechanga (tribe), I'm glad the (board) landed in the right place," said Mark Macarro, chair of the Pechanga Tribe of Luiseno Indians.
The site of the mine is a spot sacred to the Pechanga people, he said during previous hearings.
To see a video where he explains about the site's sanctity, click here.
This may not be the last the county has seen of this project though, and he was still leery, he said.
"I don't believe the fight's completely over ... we remain on guard for future threats," Macarro said.
The company can still try to get the project approved, but it will be an uphill battle, experts agreed.
To read about what Granite could do, click here.
For Kathleen Hamilton, the head of SOS-Hills, a group that took the lead in opposing the quarry, the vote was a huge relief, she said.
"I feel incredibly fantastic," she said.
She and her husband plan to take a much-awaited vacation. "We were arranging to go (to Paris) before, then this came up," she said.
Opponents of the project planned to meet at the Civic Center in Old Town after the meeting, according to Temecula officials.
Editor's note: A photo gallery and more stories in the wake of the defeat are developing. Check back on the homepage for updates today.