Quarry proposals is a tale of two cities

February 19, 2015


County planning staffs review of two quarry proposals is a tale of two cities: Las Pilitas Resources, a small locally-owned quarry proposal that’s been heavily scrutinized by county staff, and the Hanson Quarry expansion, a larger, corporate- owned mine next door that’s been sailing through the San Luis Obispo County Planning Department.

The root of the problem lies in the county’s double-standard use of traffic numbers for each project.

Here is some of the inconsistencies:

According to the county, traffic numbers projections are 273 average daily trips at Las Pilitas (presuming maximum annual production of 500,000 tons), compared to 228 average daily trips at Hanson (permitted to extract 700,000 ton annually). How can this be?

According to the county, Las Pilitas will generate 75 daily truck trips for recycling, which would be more trips than every other concrete and asphalt facility in San Luis Obispo County combined. Hanson is only projected to generate 20 recycling trips each day.

According to the county, Las Pilitas will operate at a maximum production each day (generating 198 trucks trips), even though the Hanson Quarry only hit maximum production once in the last three years.

The math simply doesn’t add up, and reflects the county’s double standards for two similar proposals.

Bill Lloyd has lived in Santa Margarita for almost 30 years.

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For those of you who have more than one toilet in your house, how does that increase your trips, the same goes for quarries. The benifit is that when one is unavailable there another option. The public demand will change from time to time but it will be business as usual, all of which is no different than today. As for the quarries owners, they will have to share the public’s demand.

Your logic is off. The demand is there for a 24 hour quarry operation. Otherwise, they wouldn’t even bother. If they don’t sell locally, they can sell anywhere in the state of California.

So just because a new rock pit opens up there is going to be an increase in truck traffic,I’d like to know how that will happen. Will more trucks magicly appear and haul material willy nilly.


Would a second beer distributor in Santa Margarita double the amount of beer consumed and thus double truck traffic? And Hansen trucks do not make loud tire noise on the resurfaced Hwy 58 section through town but Las Pilitas drivers will both make tire noise and wantonly run over bicyclists and school children? There have been way too many deaths and serious injuries recently of bicyclists due to impaired or distracted drivers. Can anyone recall the last bicyclist hit by a commercial truck? And the last child I can remember that was killed by a vehicle was on Halloween on South Street in SLO several years ago and the driver of the Honda (the Honda was not, at the time, carrying aggregate) was not at fault.

Well that is a thought-provoking argument. I wonder how they derived their figures. However, there is still a big issue that it doesn’t address — the route from the quarry to El Camino Real in Santa Margarita.

Assuming the truck volume is proportional to the older Hansen Quarry, that would still be 177 trucks per day (including 14 for recycling). They will be on a narrow, winding rural road, going close to a school and with a train track crossing right before the stop sign and left turn at El Camino Real. That is a lot of impact — above and beyond a 70% increase in the truck traffic through town on El Camino.

The road to the new quarry is hardly narrow or winding.