Ask County Supervisors: Support Better Enforcement of Ridgeline Easement at Lehigh Quarry

Landslide on right side is in the area of the easement. Photo by Jitze Couperus

On Tuesday, August 17, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will decide whether to better enforce environmental protection at Lehigh Quarry by sharing some enforcement authority with Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. Please ask the Supervisors to share environmental enforcement at Lehigh Quarry.

What’s Happening

For decades, Lehigh has been operating the largest active quarry in the foothills on the outskirts of Cupertino. In 1972, Lehigh made a legal agreement with the County – an easement – to protect the ridgeline on its property. However, since at least 1987 – and possibly before then – Lehigh’s quarrying has resulted in landslides that lowered the ridgeline below the promised level, causing it to erode.

The County and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) have now proposed legal methods that would allow the District to help enforce the easement.

Why It’s Important

Hundreds of acres of the Lehigh property have been reduced to moonscape conditions, with untouched land under threat from new plans. MROSD is a special-purpose government that preserves open space and the environment in the area around the quarry. It specifically owns land immediately adjacent to it, land that would be protected by the easement if adequately enforced. That land is part of Rancho San Antonio Park and Open Space Preserve.

The County and MROSD worked together to protect the Rancho San Antonio Park and Preserve, so giving MROSD the authority to help enforce the easement protecting its land would be an appropriate way to stop the ongoing harm and also protect the public.

What You Can Do

To protect communities and the environment near Lehigh Quarry, please email the Supervisors and ask them to support sharing enforcement with MROSD for the County easement on the land!

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