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A quarry opponent waves his orange hat while surrounded by the green flags of quarry supporters during a Riverside County Board of Supervisors hearing on the proposed Liberty Quarry at the Riverside Convention Center, Monday, Feb. 6, 2012.
A quarry opponent waves his orange hat while surrounded by the green flags of quarry supporters during a Riverside County Board of Supervisors hearing...

Granite Construction sells Liberty Quarry site to Pechanga Tribe, agrees not to build mine within certain radius


Thursday, November 15th, 2012
Issue 46, Volume 16.


MURRIETA - The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and Granite Construction Co. have forged a historic accord that will amicably resolve a long-standing land use dispute involving the proposed Liberty Quarry project in Riverside County and end the proposed quarry.

Pechanga and Granite announced today the sale of 354 acres of land that was part of the Liberty Quarry Project site to the Tribe for $3 million and the completion of a separate inter-dependent and comprehensive settlement and release agreement under which Pechanga will pay Granite $17.35 million to settle the dispute over Granite’s proposed Liberty Quarry Project on the Riverside-San Diego County line.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Granite has also agreed to not own or operate a quarry within a six mile radius to the north of the property along the Riverside-San Diego County border and three miles to the south through 2035. For its part, Pechanga has committed to providing Granite input regarding potential impacts to tribal historic and cultural resources at other potential aggregate sites outside of the restricted area that Granite may consider over the same 23-year period.

"This area holds profound historic, cultural, and spiritual importance to the Pechanga and Luiseño Advertisement
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Peoples," said Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro. "Today, a small yet essential piece of our historic territory is once again united with its original stewards to preserve for future generations."

"Granite has a strong history of cooperation with stakeholders in communities where we work and is pleased to have been able to reach an equitable solution with the Pechanga Tribe regarding this project," said James H. Roberts, Granite’s President and CEO. "We remain committed to Western Riverside and San Diego Counties and look forward to continuing to grow our business in this area."

Granite first submitted an application to Riverside County for the quarry project in 2005 that would serve Riverside and San Diego Counties with a long-term supply of aggregate. The Pechanga Tribe opposed the project, arguing it would have desecrated an area with strong cultural and spiritual importance to the Luiseño Peoples. After seven years of environmental review and numerous hearings by the County, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors denied the Project but certified the Environmental Impact Report in May, which is now the subject of two lawsuits. In July, Granite submitted a revised project application for a slightly smaller project.


 

15 comments

Comment Profile ImageNick
Comment #1 | Thursday, Nov 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm
Okay Pechanga, you have deservedly earned some of my hard-earned money. When is the party? Wooot!!!
Comment Profile ImageJennifer Eis
Comment #2 | Thursday, Nov 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm
What a wonderful, peaceful way to settle a land dispute. Our family is grateful to the tribe for its leadership in local conflict resolution.
Comment Profile Imagenickycc
Comment #3 | Thursday, Nov 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm
i have a quarry in the works, over the hill in rainbow.
Comment Profile ImageLee Chew
Comment #4 | Thursday, Nov 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm
This is the best news in years. For this kind act of Pechanga I will visit your casino every weekend until 2035. With my luck they should be able to recoup the 17.35 Million paid to Granite from myself and my fellow Chinese friends etc. Thank you, Thank you Pechanga.
Comment Profile ImageSherrie
Comment #5 | Thursday, Nov 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm
I am so proud to live in this community. Thank you Pechanga!! My parents and I went to a lot of the meetings. Our Southwest Hills are saved.
Comment Profile ImageLee
Comment #6 | Thursday, Nov 15, 2012 at 7:56 pm
OK . . . not so fast. Anybody besides me picking up on the following? (Maybe I'm incorrect about it . . . but I always trust my first instinct.)

The third paragraph states that " . . . Granite has also agreed to not own or operate a quarry within a six mile radius to the north of the property along the Riverside-San Diego County border and three miles to the south through 2035. For its part, Pechanga has committed to providing Granite input regarding potential impacts to tribal historic and cultural resources at other potential aggregate sites outside of the restricted area that Granite may consider over the same 23-year period." And in the next to the last paragraph, it states that "we [Granite Construction] remain committed to Western Riverside and San Diego Counties and look forward to continuing to grow our business in this area."

OK folks, anybody else picking up on the "read between the lines" stuff? One, so what about the area OUTSIDE of this restricted zone, can developers go after that? If so, yikes! Two, what about 2035, what happens then? Can developers quarry those lands then? Three, hurray, hurray for Pechanga! Really? It seems to me that Pechanga, although, yes, did an amicable deed, mainly protected the immediate area next to their casino and reservation! (True, one could say that no other area was affected at the moment. I understand.) But again, what about the area outside of the zone?

To me, there are plenty of unanswered questions left!
Comment Profile ImageHuh?
Comment #7 | Thursday, Nov 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm
Future home of Hard Rock Casino, Temecula....
Comment Profile ImageJefffery
Comment #8 | Thursday, Nov 15, 2012 at 9:51 pm
Thank you Pechanga! These hills are sacred to us too.
Let us share the cost with you.
Comment Profile ImageJamie
Comment #9 | Friday, Nov 16, 2012 at 8:29 am
heh....now the Pechanga's have new land. Get ready for that new Casino on this "sacred" land.
Comment Profile ImageHarvestonian
Comment #10 | Friday, Nov 16, 2012 at 10:42 am
Lee is right. This is not over. Someone needs to read through the whole agreement and analyze it.
Comment Profile Imageobserver
Comment #11 | Friday, Nov 16, 2012 at 11:09 am
If it sounds too good to be true,it probably is. We'll see. That said, I'm stunned. Talk about "out of the blue".
Comment Profile ImageTemecula mom
Comment #12 | Friday, Nov 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm
Thank you Pechanga, but pleaaasee, no more casinos.
Comment Profile ImageDoubting Thomas
Comment #13 | Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm
When I read this news item, I suspected there was a lot of tax avoidance planning involved here. The sale price $3 million was not believable; but with over $13 milliion in settlement money to go to Granite, in addition to that $3, makes a more reasonable price to pay for over 300 acres in this area. Also, I wonder, what is next following the transfer of property to Pechanga? Maybe another casino? I agree with comment #6 above. We'll have to watch and see what isn't apparent right now.
Comment Profile Imagerainbow
Comment #14 | Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm
No quarry in the mountaions...and no casino..waste of money... i am have lived in rainbow for 65 years...
Comment Profile ImageRuck
Comment #15 | Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 11:45 pm
I encourage readers to not "read between the lines," and just stick to the black parts, the typing, the actual words. There is no conspiracy, or secret plan. Pechanga will probably never build another casino in any location, though their State Compact does allow it. But they probably will soon build another hotel tower, as they are constantly at capacity. Every weekend is always booked out.

You will never, ever see any kind of commercial development of any sort on the land Pechanga bought from Granite. This would be wrong and would bring serious misfortune to Pechanga. They know that. That land is more valuable to Pechanga just the way it is than developed in any way. They purchased it to keep it just the way it is. They always look to do things right, and despite some mistakes and some unfortunate criminal activity (part & parcel of any huge business), Pechanga is the most successful Casino in California because they do things the right way.

What you need to consider is that Granite and other construction companies desperately need quality agregate (rock) from a local source, and they will eventually get it somewhere. But they aren't going to get it from Pueska Mountain, or from within the negotiated exclusion zone until no sooner than 2035. I believe they will target the mountain West of Pala & South of the 76, behind the old Lucio dairies. Soon.

Pechanga has done this for their own Tribe's interest, not for anyone else. But this has nothing to do with future development, or some kind of a conspiracy. The rest of the surrounding community benefits greatly, celebrate that. Be happy for this! But know that this was not an act of good will or done for Western Riverside County, or Fallbrook, or Temecula. This was done because that mountain has a deep spiritual and cultural significance that probably can't really be understood by an "outsider."

If I sound like an "insider" who knows what he's talking about, that's because I am. The passing of time will prove what I have said.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Fallbrook Village News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

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