Area as released by the SBC Planning Commission. Image courtesy of SBCPC.
Area as released by the SBC Planning Commission. Image courtesy of SBCPC.

At a special environmental impact report  scoping meeting on Aug. 2, the San Benito County Planning Commission received a presentation on a quarry project that has been proposed east of the junction of Highways 156 and 101, which is two miles northwest of the city of San Juan Bautista. San Benito County Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Abraham Prado announced the county’s intention to prepare an environmental review for the proposed quarry.

The scoping meeting is the first step in the process of getting the project approved. The public will have 45 days after the draft EIR is released to review the report, which the county will respond to in the final report. 

Following the release of the final EIR, there will be public hearings before the planning commission and, if approved there, will go on to final public hearings before the San Benito County Board of Supervisors. No completion date for the EIR was given at the meeting, however similar draft reports have taken up to a year to be released.

County principal planner Arielle Goodspeed presented information about the quarry and its expected day-to-day operation.

The property, which is zoned under the general plan as agricultural, would be developed and operated by Stevens Creek Quarry (SCQ), Inc. According to the notice from SCQ, the primary quarry operation would cover 204 acres of the 271-acre parcel and involve stripping off all vegetation and topsoil, then using mobile equipment to remove the aggregate at a maximum rate of 1 million tons each year.

Quarry mining and processing of aggregate would be done from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and would employ approximately 25 people. Trucks would remove the processed aggregate from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, using a private access road connecting to Hwy 156. The proposal allows the quarry to extend its operations to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, should it be required for time-sensitive construction projects.

Drilling or blasting to break up aggregate materials is not being proposed, and the project will not include either an asphalt or concrete plant. However, materials from local demolition sites will be trucked into the site, which is going to feature a recycling plant able to crush asphalt and broken concrete.

At the completion of an anticipated 75 years of mining, all structures would be removed and the land would be backfilled and reseeded to allow it to revert to grazing land.

Monika Krupa of Benchmark Resources, the environmental consultant for the county, gave a presentation of the EIR process, which will take into consideration the following factors:

  • Aesthetics
  • Agriculture/forestry resources
  • Air quality
  • Biological Resources
  • Cultural resources
  • Energy
  • Geology and soils
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Hazards and hazardous materials
  • Hydrology and water quality
  • Land use and planning
  • Noise
  • Transportation
  • Tribal cultural resources
  • Wildfire

Environmental issues not expected to be evaluated in the EIR include mineral resources, population and housing, utilities and service systems, public services and recreation.

The new quarry is intended to replace the 35-year-old Williams Quarry, owned by SCQ, which is located at 1275 Anzar Road in San Juan Bautista. SCQ claims the aggregate reserves of sand, gravel and crushed rock have been diminished at that site.

During public comment, county resident Elia Salinas brought up the citizens group Protect Our Rural Communities and the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, saying that both organizations might file lawsuits and stage protests over the quarry similar to ones that have been aimed at other developments in the county. 

Commissioners Robert Scagliotti and Celeste Toledo-Bocanegra expressed concerns about traffic stemming from the quarry’s single access point from Hwy 156. Goodspeed assured them that there would be adequate opportunities for public comment on the issue.

The planning commission encourages people with comments or questions on the EIR to submit them in writing by Aug. 21. They can be sent by email to or by mail to:

Arielle Goodspeed
COSB Resource Management Agency
2301 Technology Parkway
Hollister, CA 95023

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