Rapt attention

Monday, May 26, 2008

Liberty Quarry

I always have to check my hypocrisy levels when I talk about land use issues. You see, I was a real estate developer for many years and know both the lay of the land and how the game is played. I have been pretty quiet on the proposed Liberty Quarry site between Fallbrook and Temecula, although I did produce a concert in June of 2006 for the opponents.

The city of Temecula is exploring the possibility of annexation to thwart the developer, Granite Construction's plans. Granite is a behemoth, their contractor's license number is like 12 or something. Very old company with a slick P.R. Team. A Watsonville concern, they did a great job of putting the politicians in their pocket prior to even disclosing their proposal. Hollingsworth and Issa were both early supporters. I haven't kept up that much on the political battle lately.

However I think that a couple of points should be made regarding this and other similar land use decisions. Granite says that the project will benefit the public because it will offer a cheap, local source of aggregate. However they have already been issued permits for the Rosemary's Mountain Quarry, what 10 miles away? Is it really necessary to create another huge quarry site with all the attendant concerns?

We can not continue the growth cycle we have been binging on for the last 20 or 30 years. We don't have the water! Local farmers are getting rationed and with climate change, even more dire water scarcity is forecast. What happens when new roads are built to relieve congestion? Go check out how far Melrose extends in Encinitas and what has happened around it. Rather than relieving congestion, these new arteries just coo come hither to more randy homebuilders, and bring new population to compete for available water.

I have lived on either side of the proposed quarry for the last 28 years. It is a beautiful untouched space, something we respect. It isn't always easy living miles out on a dirt road. But we willingly put up with the hardship because we enjoy the peace, freedom and solitude. Yet we must be so vigilant now in guarding this and similar other projects, because they are just a fat easy plum, waiting to be picked by the Granites of this world. Check out Valley Center and its current road extension drama for similar chicanery. They have to dump on incorporated towns without political power, you think that they would stand for this in say, Rancho Santa Fe?

I ask all local residents to make themselves more aware of the pluses and minus's of this project and get politically active.


Anonymous said...

Saving every inch of undeveloped open space in San Diego and Riverside Counties should be #1 priority. Seems like saving So. Cals environment should be on everyones mind, but only takes issue, usually much too late, by NIMBY property owners who were uninformed about corporate lobbyist and the crooked elected representatives who never had ecology on their agendas.

Blue Heron said...

well said, thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Would like to read more of your thoughts on Liberty Quarry - especially now that things are heating up.