Duarte, Azusa and Vulcan to sit down next week per court order

As part of the ongoing legal battle filed by Duarte against Azusa’s approval of Vulcan Materials Co.’s Azusa Rock Quarry mining project, the three parties will have a meeting next Tuesday.

In a case like this, the court mandates a settlement hearing for the three sides to discuss any options that could prevent the issue from going to court. A mediator for the meeting is possible, officials said.

All three parties will be there, but expectations are limited. Previous settlement talks between the groups have broken down, and since then heated rhetoric has been exchanged between both city staffs.

Azusa’s City Manager Fran Delach said the city remains open to talks with Duarte, but that he has no expectations going into the meeting.

“I think there is always a possibility of getting a settlement,” he said.

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Azusa Rock Quarry battle by the numbers

Just wanted to throw out a few numbers that will be addressed in a story we will run soon about the money spent in the ongoing battle about the Azusa Rock Quarry.

Legal fees, public relations, consultants, etc. Azusa, Duarte and (presumably) Vulcan Materials Co. have all spent money in regards to the now approved amended plan that has faced a lot of scrutiny.

Here are some of the figures.


The city set up a $700,000 fund – Fight Against Vulcan Expansion – a few years ago anticipating a lengthy battle. Of that money, here is a breakdown of funds spent.

Legal (Rutan & Tucker): $200,707.53*
Printing, Postage, Flyers: $14,359.17
Public Relations: $34,332.07**
Technical Consultants: $18,010

*Total is for billing from Rutan to the city between 2005 to July 21, 2010.
**Is a combination of funds spent on city contracted public relations from Marry Barrow as well as Englander, Knabe and Allen.


The city hasn’t needed to hire a public relations firm to defend or fight the plan considering they have a technical consultant on board for the environmental impact report and staff to defend its recommendations. In addition, Vulcan has their own ability (and money) to defend its plan.

As for the environmental impact report, it cost about $613,000. (Vulcan had to reimburse the city for that money)

Also, knowing that city lawyers have been very involved in this process and will be in the future, we can assume that a chunk of the money the city spends on its city attorney and other legal fees went toward this project. Here is a city breakdown of those numbers.

Retainer for services from Best, Best and Kreiger (namely City Attorney Sonia Carvalho) – $252,315 from the city’s general fund. Other legal service charges from general fund total $79,403.

The absolute total amount of money spent of legal services for the city across all departments is $1,317, 675.


Being a private company, Vulcan isn’t bound by the same public records laws as Duarte and Azusa. What we can say is they eventually had to pony up for the EIR with the $613,000.

In addition, we know they have hired and use public relations firm Curt Pringle and Associates out of Anaheim. Throughout the process (until post-approval) Curt Pringle’s Vice President Todd Priest functioned as the spokesman for Vulcan.

Curt Pringle and Vulcan have also put out flyers, launched an education campaign in Azusa to present the plan pre-voting/city discussions, callers and door-to-door campaigns (via another PR firm and Curt Pringle).

That all didn’t come free.

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Azusa referedum still in waiting mode

Azusa citizens anxious to learn the fate of a referendum effort aimed at stopping an Azusa Rock Quarry mining plan will have to wait a bit longer.

The Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office said they have no estimated date to finish confirming the alleged more than 2,532 signatures gathered to put the referendum on a ballot. The group needs 1,650 confirmed signatures from registered voters in Azusa.

Azusans Against Mining Expansion submitted the signatures on Aug. 19 to the Azusa city clerk, who handed over the signatures to the county recorder’s office.

The referendum, if approved, would either be part of a special election or future city election. Its goal is to strike down the development agreement associated with Vulcan Materials Co.’s Azusa Rock Quarry mining plan.

The referendum group believes that by terminating the development agreement, the use permit approved for Vulcan would also be nullified. City officials believe the permit would still exist, but the city would lose out on various benefits, including taxes from Vulcan.

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Duarte files lawsuit against Azusa, Vulcan

41996-Azusa Rock.jpg

And here we go….

Duarte, after getting permission to do so from the City Council, officially filed its lawsuit against Azusa to try and stop Vulcan Materials Co.’s mining plan.

Specifically, Duarte will attack the environmental impact report done by Steve Lilburn, a consultant for Azusa, and the inadequacies Duarte believes exist in the document. If that is found to be flawed, it would then lead to overturning the entire decision to approve by the council.

In addition, Duarte will seek to prove Azusa violated the Brown Act when they voted, without it being on the agenda, to reconsider Vulcan’s proposal after initially turning it down.

Here is Duarte’s statement they released Tuesday evening:

“With the filing of this lawsuit, the City of Azusa will no longer be able to turn a deaf ear to Duarte. It will now be up to a judge in a court of law. We are very confident that the judge will be in agreement with the City of Duarte,” said Duarte City Manager, Darrell George.

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