El Monte Nature Preserve

COMMUNITY MEETING SEPT. 10 CONVENED BY OPPONENTS OF SAND MINING PROJECT IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service

September 7, 2015 (Lakeside) – Residents of El Monte Valley and other community members concerned about a massive sand mining project proposed in Lakeside are invited to join a meeting convened by the Preserve El Monte Action Coalition.  The meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. in the Lakeside Christian Church, 13739 El Monte Road in Lakeside.

The goal will be to help residents frame concerns to address them in writing to the County of San Diego.

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SEEK TO PRESERVE 37 ACRES IN EL MONTE VALLEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Supervisor Dianne Jacob proposed preservation of lands adjacent to those that Michael Beck, El Monte Nature Preserve LLC, seeks to turn into a sand mining operation.

August 7, 2015 (Lakeside) – The San Diego River Conservancy’s board voted unanimously on Thursday to support a motion made by Supervisor Dianne Jacob to lead a consortium of environmental groups in an effort to seek funding to buy parcels of surplus land that Helix Water District is planning to sell.  If successful, the acquisition would preserve the land for the public as open space with trails for hiking, horseback riding, jogging and dog walking. View full video of the hearing.

LAKESIDE RESIDENTS AND PLANNERS VOICE OUTRAGE OVER SAND MINING PROPOSAL AT HEATED MEETING

 

Story by Miriam Raftery

 

Photo, left: "Would you want these kids breathing that, every day for 15 years?" -- Jessica Webb

 

June 5, 2015 (Lakeside) –  Imagine up to 250 trucks a day – one every minute and a half—hauling sand along a rural  road right in front of your house--five days a week for the next 15 years or more in El Monte Valley, if a sand mining developer has his way.  It gets worse:  noise and dust from sand mining operations clogging the area, kicking up potentially deadly Valley Fever spores lurking in soil here, where several El Monte Valley residents have already contracted the disease. 

The sand loads would be transported for use on highways, roadways and other aggregate projects across San Diego County—potentially bringing sand  laden with Valley Fever spores to construction projects near you.  All thanks to a deal cut by Helix Water District to settle litigation over a golf course and water reclamation deal gone sour on land that Helix owned in El Monte Valley, a county-designated scenic view corridor.

This project has the Orwellian-like name “El Monte Nature Preserve” though all parties including the developer concede it is first and foremost a mining operation that will strip bare the valley for decades, lowering the valley floor 30 feet with dredging  far deeper in places, in a project three times wider than Lake Jennings.

SAND MINING PROJECT IN EL MONTE VALLEY ON AGENDA FOR LAKESIDE PLANNERS JUNE 3

UPDATE: Hear our interview on KNSJ radio with Lisa Wood, Lakeside resident and chair of Supervisor Dianne Jacob's youth activites on the river committee.  Wood discusses impacts of the sand mining project, which she believes would be severe, irreversible, and worse than Sunrise Powerlink. 

Listen online now:

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Facebook site dedicated to stopping project

May 29, 2015 (Lakeside) – A controversial proposal for sand mining in scenic El Monte Valley along the San Diego River bed is on the agenda for the Lakeside Planning Group on Wednesday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lakeside Community Center (, 9841 Vine St, Lakeside). The applicant is the “El Monte Nature Preserve LLC,” though residents voice concerns the project will be destructive to nature, not preserve it.  View application.

Lakeside resident Billy Ortiz, a videographer who chronicles Lakeside’s beauty for media outlets and the Lakeside Historical Society, opposes the project. He voiced outrage over the plan.

. “If we don’t stop them, our beautiful valley will be destroyed,” Ortiz told ECM.  “We will be there to protest and discourage the project.”

Audio: