Sent: 11/10/2010 6:40:22 A.M. Pacific Standard Time
Subj: Community Forum from the head of Rancon Group
FORUM: Developer believes quarry is a bad idea
By DAN STEPHENSON
North CountyTimes - Californian | Posted: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 12:00 am
It has been several years now that Granite Construction's Liberty Quarry application has been working its way through the
. I have followed this important issue with interest during this time and have always felt that the open review process was a valid one and that ultimately the real facts would rise to the surface. My decision was to wait for the environmental impact report to be completed before I took a stance. countyof Riverside
I have to admit that, when I first heard about the quarry, it sounded like a project that made good sense. Those of us in the development industry are well aware of the need for aggregate and other road-building materials and the fact that they obviously have to come from somewhere. The more I learn, the more I realize that this discussion should be about only where the most appropriate locations are to build a quarry.
It has become very clear to me that the proposed site for Liberty Quarry is not an appropriate location. I have not come to this conclusion lightly. After carefully weighing the information being brought forth, I realize that approval of the project would be a mistake and would seriously undermine this beautiful community that we have all fought so hard to preserve.
A great deal of my success over the years can be attributed to the fact that this region is a wonderful place for people to live. Just look at what we have that will be jeopardized by this huge mining operation. Beautifully clean air that needs to be preserved, the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve and the important scientific work going on there, and the lovely dust-free afternoon breezes may all be a thing of the past if the quarry is approved. I know proponents for the project and the EIR say the dust will be mitigated, but my common sense says it will not be.
For 40 years I have felt the breezes that are pushed from the
Pacific Oceanthrough the Santa Margarita Gap, past Temecula and Wine Country, on its way to the desert. These breezes are the key reason we have clean air and growing conditions that are ideal for vineyards. The location of the quarry is in the middle of the Santa Margarita Gap and could jeopardize what is so important to me and the community.
In studying the matter, I believe there is sufficient aggregate in the region to meet our needs, and if, as Granite says, the majority of its products will go south to San Diego County, then the quarry should go there. I realize the political environment makes it difficult to get a new quarry approved in
. It should be no different in San Diego County , especially considering that the impacts dramatically outweigh the benefits. Riverside County
It is imperative to the future welfare of our region that the Riverside County Board of Supervisors denies Liberty Quarry's application.
DAN STEPHENSON, founder of the Rancon Group, is a resident of Murrieta.