Through seven years of disputes, a proposed rock quarry in Riverside County has been called a job creator, an economy killer, an environmental disaster and even a creation site.
The debate ended Thursday, when the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians agreed to purchase 354 acres of the site for $3 million and pay developer Granite Construction $17.35 million to end the dispute.
The site “is our people’s place of creation. It is the Luiseño Garden of Eden, Dome of the Rock and Wailing Wall,” said Pechanga tribal Chairman Mark Macarro.
Under the agreement, Granite Construction cannot own or operate a quarry within a 90-square-mile zone centered on the property for 23 years. The tribe has agreed to help the developer identify alternative sites for a quarry.
The 414-acre quarry was proposed in 2005 and would have produced about 200 million tons of concrete over several decades. More than two-thirds of the rock mined would have supplied San Diego County, where mining permits are harder to obtain.