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Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA January 25, 2011 Election
Measure A
Azusa Rock Company Agreement
City of Azusa

Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 2250 / 68.0% Yes votes ...... 1059 / 32.0% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall Ordinance No. 10-O5 adopting a development agreement with Azusa Rock, Inc., which was approved by the Azusa City Council and provides environmental benefi ts and assurances, including millions of dollars in reclamation of the Mayan Steps, requires additional air quality monitoring, requires permanent access to Fish Canyon, provides Open Space funding, and mandates an end to hillside mining by 2038 be adopted? ¿Debería, Ordenanza No. 10-O5 adoptando el contrato de desarrollo con Azusa Rock, Inc. el cual fue aprobado por el Concilio de la Ciudad de Azusa y que provee benefi cios ambiéntales y seguridades, incluyendo millones de dólares en reclamación del Mayan Steps, requiere controlarmiento adicional de la calidad del aire, requiere acceso permanente a Fish Canyon, provee fondos para espacio abierto y manda un final a la minería en la montaña para el año 2038, ser adoptada?

Impartial Analysis from Sonia R. Carvalho
City Attorney
The City of Azusa processed an application by Vulcan Materials to modify a Conditional Use Permit ("CUP") approved by the City in 1989. The application included a Reclamation Plan and a Development Agreement. The Azusa Planning Commission and City Council took several actions regarding the proposed project on the approximately 270 acre site. One action was the adoption of Ordinance No. 10-5 ("Ordinance"), approving a development agreement ("Development Agreement") regarding land known as the "Quarry." The Ordinance adopting the Agreement was suspended through the referendum process and has been placed on the ballot for voter consideration. The Development Agreement is the subject of Measure A.

If Measure A is approved, it will adopt the Ordinance approving the Development Agreement and vest the rights granted by the modifi ed CUP. Approval of Measure A will also do all of the following:

  • Permit Vulcan, in accordance with City and State regulations, to continue its mining operations until 2038 while transferring mining operations to an 80 acre site on the western portion of the Quarry and prohibiting Vulcan from mining an 80 acre site on the eastern portion; and
  • Require reclamation of the Quarry and "Mayan Steps" in accordance with the modifi ed CUP and Reclamation Plan which exceed State standards; and
  • Require Vulcan to make an advance prepayment of $1,500,000 in extraction taxes and minimum annual prepayments of $500,000 in extraction taxes, up to a cumulative minimum advance of $5,000,000; and
  • Require Vulcan to dedicate easements for open space and trail head purposes, provide year-round access to the trail and require city program payments and open space payments; and
  • Require Vulcan to purchase an additional PM10 particulate air quality monitor to measure regional ambient concentration of PM10 within Azusa.

If Measure A is not approved by the voters, the Development Agreement would be rejected, but the modifi cation to CUP C-89-20 and the Reclamation Plan would remain in effect as they are not the subject of Measure A. In that case, it is unknown whether mining operations under the modifi ed CUP and Reclamation Plan could proceed as legal arguments have been asserted that the Azusa Municipal Code only permits new surface mining operations with approval of both a new use permit and development agreement.

Rejection of Measure A would prevent the City Council from adopting the same Ordinance and Development Agreement for one year. However, Vulcan could apply for a substantially different development agreement, which the Council could approve prior to expiration of the one-year period.

Regardless of whether the voters approve or reject Measure A, Vulcan may continue mining operations on the eastern portion of the site through 2038 under the 1989-issued CUP and a Reclamation Plan that does not require any additional reclamation of the "Mayan Steps".

Contact FOR Measure A:
Canyon City Alliance
Phone: (626) 334-1122
Fax: (626) 334-1166
Address: 130 West Foothill Blvd (Between Max's and Starbucks)

Contact AGAINST Measure A:
Azusans Against Mining Expansion
655 N. Azusa Ave. STE 119
Azusa, Ca 91702
(626) 629-9879

  News and Analysis

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Arguments For Measure A Arguments Against Measure A
Voting NO on Measure "A" WILL NOT STOP THE MINING.
It will just keep Azusa from receiving signifi cant fi nancial and environmental benefi ts. The current City Council adopted a NEW Conditional Use Permit and a NEW Development Agreement which both assure that mining will end in 2038. The Conditional Use Permit establishes the requirements for mining. The Development Agreement adds the fi nancial benefi ts that the City will receive from the mining and adds additional contractual requirements. Voting NO will give away these additional benefi ts from the mining. Voting YES will keep them.

Vulcan gives up all rights to mine on the East Side and contracts not to try and get it back. Vulcan also contracts that it will not make any application for additional hillside or canyon mining in the City. This protects the value of homes in Mountain Cove, near the Canyon, and in Duarte. In return the City grants Vulcan the right to mine the same amount of area on the West Side.

With the Development Agreement:

Reclamation is assured with an $81,125,000 bond. This includes the micro benching method that the State considers to be superior, and revegetation to match the existing untouched hillsides.

The City will be paid for overburden extraction, estimated at $1,750,000.

City staff estimates that the total payments to Azusa will increase from an estimated $53 million to an estimated $65-68 million over the life of the project. This money will include funds for purchasing open space, and for community benefi ts, including a new library.

Reclamation will happen sooner instead of later. Vulcan will begin immediate reclamation of the East Side of the canyon, and will do concurrent reclamation on the West Side of the canyon.

Voting YES on Measure "A" benefits Azusa's present and its future.

Azusa City Council Members
/s/ Keith Hanks
/s/ Robert Gonzales
/s/ Uriel Macias
/s/ Angel Carrillo

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Do not be deceived. Voting Yes on Measure A EXPANDS the mining of Azusa's mountains for the next 28 years. Specifi cally, Measure A:

  • EXPANDS mining DESTRUCTION of 80 acres of undisturbed natural habitat
  • LEVELS Van Tassel ridge (700 feet removed)
  • INCREASES annual production, blasting, and dust up to 500%

Although the Council claims no additional east side mining, the "reclamation" EXPANDS the mining boundary 600 feet CLOSER to Mountain Cove, yielding Azusa Rock an ADDITIONAL 2.7 million tons of rock.

The $81 million reclamation bond is effective only for the fi rst year. After that time, the amount will be drastically reduced by the state mining board.

Claims of large fi nancial benefi ts to the city are wildly exaggerated. The mining company has paid less than $1 million in mining taxes over the previous 22 years, so we shouldn't trust Vulcan's promises of grossly infl ated future tax revenue. Even if the city gets $4.8 to $12.4 million how will this pay for open space and a new library, which, at minimum, costs $18 million?

Why is Vulcan Materials Company supporting Measure A, if defeat of Measure A only saves them money they would have had to pay to the city of Azusa? It's because, Vulcan knows that defeating Measure A takes away their windfall profi ts from the mining expansion plan approved by the city council.

Do not be deceived! Voting NO on Measure A STOPS MINING EXPANSION IN AZUSA.

/s/ James Ayon, Azusa Resident
/s/ Erlinda Ayon, Azusa Resident
/s/ Manuel Rodriguez, Azusa Resident
/s/ Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez, Azusa USD Board Member
/s/ Margaret A. Martinez, Former Director
Azusa Downtown Business Association


The Azusa City Council, in a 4-1 vote (WITH MAYOR JOE ROCHA VOTING AGAINST), approved a revised use permit and development agreement with Vulcan Materials Company (Vulcan). Measure A expands strip mining in Azusa's mountains.

Voting NO on this development agreement, which is legally bound to the use permit, WILL PREVENT THIS EXPANDED DESTRUCTION OF OUR MOUNTAINS.

Vote NO ON MEASURE A because the plan:


  • FORGIVES Vulcan from past underpayments of mining taxes, potentially millions of dollars
  • Advanced tax payments from Vulcan could require the City to PAY BACK UP TO $5 MILLION WITH INTEREST

  • Relies upon "micro-benching," UNPROVEN TECHNOLOGY in granite hillsides
  • Allows Vulcan to SCRAP THEIR "ENHANCED" RECLAMATION PLAN because of "scientifi c, technical and geotechnical factors or events"
  • DESTROYS an additional Azusa ridgeline in direct violation of recommendations by Azusa's Citizens Congress
  • Requires only "SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE" rather than FULL COMPLIANCE, allowing Vulcan to circumvent reclamation promises

  • Allows INCREASED SILICA DUST, blasting and truck traffi c by over 500% over current mining rates
  • IGNORES THE AQMD RECOMMENDATION to fund two additional air quality monitoring stations in Azusa

The Azusa City Council ignored the requests of Azusa citizens to hold the referendum at the same time as the municipal election, just six weeks later, which will cost the City AN ADDITIONAL $60,000, enough money to fund free swimming to Azusa's children all summer long. The Azusa City Council needs to know that the voters of Azusa WILL NOT put up with the business-asusual expanded mining operations within our City.


/s/ Cristina Cruz-Madrid, Former Azusa Mayor
/s/ Jeri Vogel, Azusans Against Mining Expansion
/s/ Bruce Knoles, Azusa Cultural & Historic Preservation Commissioner
/s/ Pearl S. Latta, Azusa Resident
/s/ Lupe M. Granados, Azusa Resident

Rebuttal to Arguments Against

Measure A Prevents Mining Expansion in Azusa - Forever!

Measure A is Fiscally Responsible:

  • Requires Vulcan to Pay to Restore Our Hillsides
  • Requires Vulcan to pay Azusa approximately $65-68 Million through 2038.
  • Requires Vulcan to Give up mining rights near Azusa Homes and Schools.
  • Requires Vulcan to pay for new Open Space Land that will never be mined.
  • Requires Vulcan to provide insurance that Guarantees Our Hillsides are restored.

Measure A, which was adopted by the Azusa City Council, mandates new mining restrictions that will reduce environmental impacts, stop mining expansion, remove the scar from our hillsides, and provide much needed resources to our community. And the Air Quality Management District confi rmed there are no air quality risks associated with this project since blasting will be reduced and annual production levels will be lowered.

Measure A - Facts:

  • Requires REPAIRING AND REPLANTING of the Mayan Steps immediately.
  • Provides PERMANENT OPEN SPACE land that can never be developed.

The Azusa City Council, Community and Education Leaders, and Law Enforcement urge you to Vote Yes on Measure A.

Measure A will permanently fi x our Hillsides and Prevent Expansion. Visit or call the City and ask to see the documents!

Vote YES on Measure A.

/s/ Robert L. Donnelson, Azusa Resident
/s/ Diane M. Chagnon, Former Mayor of Azusa
/s/ Inez Z. Gutierrez, Former School Board Member
/s/ Jesse Alva, Azusa Resident
/s/ Barbara Dickerson, School Board Member

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Created: March 11, 2011 09:10 PST
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