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Pechanga Tribe Plans To Purchase Liberty Quarry Land

Liberty Quarry proposed site.
Riverside County Planning Department
Liberty Quarry proposed site.

Pechanga Tribal leaders announced Thursday that they have agreed to purchase the Liberty Quarry site south of Temecula from Granite Construction.

Granite Construction has agreed to sell 354 acres of land designated for the quarry to the Pechanga Tribe for $3 million. They also forged a separate "interdependent and comprehensive settlement and release agreement" under which Pechanga will pay Granite $17.35 million to settle the dispute over Granite’s proposed project, according to the tribe.

The Liberty Quarry site is just north of the San Diego County line in Riverside, west of Interstate 15. Much of the rock and gravel from the Liberty Quarry could end up coming to San Diego construction sites.

Riverside Supervisors rejected a plan to open the quarry earlier this year, saying it would create dust, noise and traffic, ruin the tourism industry around rural Temecula and violate a Pechanga Band sacred site.

But in early November, the Riverside County Board overturned that decision and fast-tracked approval of the project.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement between Pechanga and Granite, Granite has also agreed to not own or operate a quarry within a six-mile radius to the north of the property along the Riverside-San Diego County border and three miles to the south through 2035, according to the tribe. Pechanga will provide Granite with input on "potential impacts to tribal historic and cultural resources at other potential aggregate sites outside of the restricted area that Granite may consider over the same 23-year period."

“This area holds profound historic, cultural, and spiritual importance to the Pechanga and Luiseño Peoples,” said Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro in a statement. “Today, a small yet essential piece of our historic territory is once again united with its original stewards to preserve for future generations.”