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East County News Service

October 22, 2018 (Lakeside) – The Lakeside Community Planning Group will hold a public hearing this Thursday on an environmental impact report on a controversial sand mining project proposed in the El Monte Valley. After public comments and discussion, planning group members are expected to vote on the project’s EIR.

The meeting will be held at the Lakeside Community Center at 9841 Vine Street I Lakeside starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 25th. The vote is advisory only. The next step will be a hearing before the County Planning Commission and ultimately, County Supervisors are expected to have the final say.

The project has generated widespread opposition. Around 500 Lakeside residents turned out at a recent meeting held by county planners, and all were opposed to the sand mining project proposed by El Monte Nature Preserve LLC, the deceptively named mining company.

The project would generate trucks all day long, every several seconds, six days a week over the next dozen years from dredging along the San Diego River bed near homes and wildlife habitat in the valley.

Key concerns among residents include noise, traffic, dust, and exposure to potentially deadly Valley Fever spores found in the valley’s soil.  The project would also negatively impact riding trails and equestrian based businesses, as well as habitat for many threatened and endangered species found in the El Monte Valley.

The developer contends his project is needed to provide sand for construction of roadways in San Diego County and says the land would be restored in about 15 years, after the sand mining is completed.

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