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County Planning Commissioners Approve Austin Quarry

MADERA COUNTY — It was standing room only as supporters and opponents of Vulcan Materials’ proposed Austin Quarry packed the Board of Supervisors chamber and the overflow areas last night ahead of the Planning Commission’s vote on the project.

When the 6 p.m. meeting finally adjourned well after midnight, the Commission voted 3-2 to approve the 671-acre project, planned for the southwest corner of Highways 41 and 145.

The proposed Austin Quarry is hard-rock quarry and aggregate processing facility. The Commission approved the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the the mining and processing operation, the CUP for the reclamation plan, and a variance for the structure heights of the mining equipment, which will be about 70 ft. high.

Those who opposed the project now have 15 days to appeal the decision. Any member of the public has the right to file an appeal, which would then go before the Board of Supervisors. The Board would then give the public 10 days notice of the hearing of the appeal, and their decision would be final.

Opponents of the quarry have been very vocal over the past several years, citing their concerns over impacts on already low water levels, noise and air pollution, lowered property values and traffic problems caused by hundreds of large trucks daily on local roadways. Nearly two dozen opponents expressed those concerns to the Commission during last night’s six-hour meeting.

In a show of support, the board room was awash in blue shirts worn by those in favor the project, which Vulcan Materials says will generate approximately 125 new jobs in Madera County when the quarry is in full production, and would mean annual payments of approximately $250,000 in additional revenue, improvements along Highway 145 at the project entrance, and the purchase by Vulcan of two Type 6 Fire Engines for the Madera County Fire Department.

For details of the project from Vulcan Materials, please visit http://www.austinquarry.com/index.html

For details on the opposition to the project from the Madera Oversight Coalition, please visit http://www.noaustinquarry.org/

For all the documents filed with the County and the Final Environmental Impact Report, please visit http://madera-county.com/index.php/county-forms/category/773-austin-quarry-final-eir-06-2016

Map of Austin Quarry site - austinquarry


One comment

  1. In a show of support, the board room was awash in blue shirts worn by those in favor the project.”

    I have been to several meetings in Madera County regarding the quarry, and there was never anyone there in favor of it. There cannot be a worse idea for this county than a 400-foot hole in the ground that will act as a sink for local water, and over 1300 trucks on 41 and 145 to and from the quarry loaded with gravel (good-bye, our car windshields). The two-lane drive to Madera and Fresno is going to be a misery. The roads will be damaged by thousands of loaded gravel trucks per week. We do not have the infrastructure to support this quarry, and there are no plans, for years, to change or improve it. And when we do, it isn’t the quarry that’s going to pay for it. Madera County already has two quarries. We don’t need Vulcan.

    I am not fooled by the sea of blue shirts. I’ve seen that tactic before. Did you ask any of the blue-shirt wearers where they were from? Betcha none of them were local.

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