Santa Margarita, CA, quarry back on the table

Las Pilitas quarry has filed a new application to open a quarry in Santa Margarita, California, two years after losing its initial bid to operate a quarry there, reports

The new application is for a reduced project with truck trips reduced by 64%.

In 2014, the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission rejected a proposed mining project that would have produced up to 500,000 tons of aggregate a year on a property along Highway 58.

The new proposal reduces production to a maximum of 250,000 tons of rock per year. Because the new proposal does not include recycling, which is offered at the adjacent Hansen quarry, the average truck traffic will be reduced to 40 to 50 trips a day, depending on truck weight. In the previous proposal, 136 average daily truck trips were anticipated.

In addition, the sponsors of the project are considering rerouting a portion of the trucks to Santa Barbara Road as opposed to driving through downtown Santa Margarita. This is anticipated to reduce the average truck traffic through downtown Santa Margarita to 16 trips per day.

The Hansen quarry sends an average of 40% of its trucks through downtown Santa Margarita with the other 60% accessing Highway 101 through Santa Barbara Road. According to a 2013 environmental impact report, the Hansen quarry runs an average of 82 truck trips a day through downtown Santa Margarita.

By reducing the mining at the Las Pilitas quarry in half, blasting would be reduced to 12 times per year and will only be permitted between 9am and 5pm.

In the 80s, a state geological survey deemed the Las Pilitas site a rock resource area and the county zoned the property with mining as an approved use. Then in 2012, a California Geologic Survey report said California needs more aggregate sources to meet future demands.

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