Santa Margarita quarry plan riles up county residents
December 12, 2014
At least 200 people attended a contentious San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission hearing Thursday on a proposed rock quarry near Santa Margarita.
Las Pilitas Resources, a limited liability company attempting to create the quarry, is planning a 41-acre mine that would produce up to 500,000 tons of aggregate annually. The proposed site of the mine is situated about three miles east of Santa Margarita on Highway 58.
At Thursday’s hearing, dozens of members of the public addressed the planning commission, many falling on both supporting and opposing sides of the project. After more than four hours of public comment, the planning commission opted to postpone its decision on the project.
Supporters of the proposal said the quarry, if built, would provide a boost for the local economy, lower the cost of road repairs and reduce emissions from transporting aggregate for long distances.
Opponents criticized the impacts on the town of Santa Margarita. One speakers wept during public comment because he said the quarry would put county residents at risk of contracting Valley Fever.
Other said it would ruin the sanctity of Santa Margarita. Many bicyclists also spoke in opposition to the project, saying trucks going to and from the quarry would disrupt their riding route.
Las Pilitas Resources says it would monitor truck traffic and only allow it at certain times of the day.
The planning commission will reconvene on Jan. 8 to take more public comment and come to a decision for or against the quarry. Any ruling made by the planning commission will likely get appealed to the board of supervisors.