With the rousing 2012 Election season winding down to little more than a quiet hum, an epic battle continues to brew over the proposed Liberty Quarry in Temecula.
After a divided Riverside County Board of Supervisors elected to allow a fast-track review of the controversial mining project despite two recent lawsuits filed against the county, Temecula city officials and residents are gearing up for a hearing tentatively scheduled for Dec. 11 that could spur the project into motion.
Temecula Mayor Chuck Washington has vigorously opposed the mining project and vowed to see its demise, despite Granite Construction’s re-vamped proposal that would mean a smaller scale version of the original Liberty Quarry.
“We still have lots of kick still in us. I have no doubt in my mind that I can speak for my city council colleagues when I say we will fight this,” Washington told SWRNN previously.
Washington is joined by Temecula City Mayor Pro Tem Mike Nagger who has promised a stalwart defense of outside forces that are trying to bring the Liberty Quarry to Temecula.
“What (Granite Construction) wants to do is to destroy one of our most pristine environments,” Naggar said, adding that the threat to Temecula’s way of life might necessitate that the city finds a way to purchase the land.
The debate surrounding the Liberty Quarry has been a years-long battle for city officials and residents.
Despite Granite Construction’s promise of jobs, the controversial Liberty Quarry project has long drawn stiff opposition from Temecula city council members, Pechanga tribal leaders, and local groups who reject the idea of a rock quarry clouding up Temecula’s picturesque hills.
The original Liberty Quarry was voted down with the Riverside County Board of Supervisors’ 3-2 vote against the proposed mining project on Feb. 16, 2012.
In May, a divided Riverside County Board of Supervisors moved to certify an environmental impact report for the strip mine near Temecula, drawing sharp criticism from those opposed to the project and opening the door to a “fast-track” proposal that has been debated at the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors will consider the fast-track in a meeting tentatively scheduled at 9 a.m. on Dec. 11 in the Board of Supervisors chambers on the first floor, 4080 Lemon St. in Riverside.