Azusa council votes to reconsider Vulcan Materials Co’s mining plan

AZUSA – The City Council unanimously voted to reconsider an Azusa Rock Quarry mining proposal at Monday night’s council meeting.

The vote to reconsider was not on the city’s agenda prior to the meeting, but was added via a motion from councilman Uriel Macias.

State law generally requires that any proposed city council action be placed on a publicly available agenda at least three days before it is discussed or voted upon.

Video: Azusa City Council Meeting (Relevant discussion occurs at 2:11:40 mark)

The city council in May rejected the Vulcan Company’s request to exchange 80 acres of land permitted for mining on the most eastern end of its property for 80 untouched acres the company owns on the western end, which isn’t permitted for mining.

Macias said he wanted to take another look at the project because he hoped Vulcan could come forward with an improved environmental plan with more stringent language in the application and development agreement.

“I think there are things that can be addressed,” Macias said. “I think we should try to get the best possible situation that we can.”

The company owns 270 acres, but has a permit to mine 190 .

Initially, the council voted for reconsideration based on rules that said such a vote must be done in the meeting immediately following the one in which the original vote took place. Duarte attorney Jeff Melching spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting and said his reading of the rules differed from Azusa’s attorney.

Mayor Joe Rocha said he did not know the reconsideration issue would arise Monday night.

“I had no idea this was going to happen tonight,” he said. “It just came to us tonight. We did not have the time to notice it. None of us new this before hand. I know I am going to get the phone calls tomorrow. I am not trying to rush anything through or hide anything.”

Now that the council has voted for reconsideration, there will be a June 21 meeting to provide a staff report to the council regarding the reconsideration process. At that meeting, the council can provide direction to its staff and outline a public hearing process.

The vote to reconsider “revives” the process to consider Vulcan’s plan, but a public hearing and council deliberation must be heard for a second time before any re-vote takes place.