I urge a yes vote on the Las Pilitas Resources LLC application.
From an economic standpoint:
1. A recent news article describes how regulations and fees are driving up the cost of housing. San Luis Obispo County housing is already prohibitively expensive for low and moderate-income renters and home buyers, and approval of the appeal for the plan will help mitigate future increases in housing costs;
2. Another quarry will introduce additional competition to help hold the line on prices for locally quarried products.
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3. The property and other taxes and revenues and wages as well as operating expense funding generated by the quarry operation will stay in San Luis Obispo County.
On the issue of truck traffic: My property is within three miles of the Hanson Quarry and occasionally I will hear the “whump” of blasting and other quarry-related sounds. There is also some noise as the gravel trucks accelerate on El Camino Real. I drive El Camino Real regularly and observe no convoys of trucks hauling gravel, ready-mix or asphalt, although, infrequently, there may be two or three in tandem.
The highest level of quarry traffic congestion occurs on Santa Barbara Road in Atascadero between El Camino and the freeway as loaded trucks from Hanson and Rocky Canyon quarries merge to access the freeway. I opine that the truck traffic from the two quarries on this stretch of road is heavier than that which may come about on Highway 58 in Santa Margarita.
Nevertheless, there will be an increase in truck traffic through Santa Margarita as a consequence of the new quarry. However, the truck loading process imposes an interval between the trucks that will lessen the possibility of truck convoys. The quarry will be able to load only two trucks at a time: one with small material at three minutes per truck and a second for large material, taking 15 minutes each truck. Consequently, most trucks will be spaced at least three minutes apart as they exit the quarry and travel toward Highway 101.
I daresay that the trains that now pass through Santa Margarita create more noise and traffic congestion than will result from the proposed quarry traffic.