Help end problems
at South Bay quarry
In the hills above Cupertino a huge expanse of rock and dirt scars the hillsides, visible to tens of thousands of people from Milpitas to Palo Alto. For years now, this scar has been expanding and becoming ever more visible -- despite the view protections that we thought had been agreed upon between Santa Clara County and the owners of the land.
This mile-long scar is the most visible evidence of Hanson Quarry's several environmental violations, all of which encroach on our viewsheds. Please speak up and urge Santa Clara County and the Hanson Quarry operators to ensure that our hillsides are appropriately protected from quarry activities.back to top
Because this particular quarry began operations more than 60 years ago, before the County had regulations for such operations, it is not required to have a County permit. Other quarries that initiated operations more recently would be subject to more direct County oversight entailed by permit requirements.back to top
Problem 1: Ridgeline dumping and scarring
The major contributor to the scar we see today is this waste rock (also known as overburden) which is being piled high on top of and behind the ridge at the northern end of the quarry. Hanson Cement states that this dumping of rock at the summit of the quarry is expected to continue for at least another year. While quarry operators promise to revegetate the area, the scarring will get visibly worse for a year or more, and will take years beyond that before it fades from view.
News flash: On March 9, 2005, CGF announced that the operators of Hanson Quarry have agreed to stop the ridgeline dumping and revegetate the scar. This is a wonderful victory - thanks to each of you who spoke up on this issue.
Read our March 9 press release here.back to top
Problem 2: Public easement not providing adequate
Unfortunately, the easement does not protect the area now being scarred with rock waste. However, even the limited protection afforded by the easement appears to have been violated. Four fixed monument markers were installed to mark the elevation of the protected area (and the area below which the quarry could not lower the ridgeline), but two of these markers are now missing, and a series of landslides have moved vast quantities of dirt near the ridgeline.back to top
Problem 3: Quarry walls tumbling down
Landslides from the quarry may have done more than violate the ridgeline easement. Records from Santa Clara County suggest that landslides from the quarry may have collapsed adjacent land owned by Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD). If this is the case, the landslides caused by the quarry are a violation of the public's rights.back to top
CGF working with County and others to find solutions
It's time for the public to speak up and demand solutions to these violations to the public viewshed.
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