Santa Clara County consider acquiring Santa Clara Quarry

Santa Clara County consider acquiring Santa Clara Quarry
14 February 2022

Lehigh Cement’s (HeidelbergCement group) Santa Clara Quarry could be purchased and shut down by Santa Clara County, under a plan made public last week.

Santa Clara County Supervisor, Joe Simitian, announced a proposal to require Santa Clara County officials to issue a report in 90 days spelling out options for purchasing the Lehigh Hanson property, including negotiating with its owners or seizing the land by eminent domain.

“It’s an opportunity to conserve the land,” Mr Simitian said, “in a way that is consistent with the open space values that I think are essential to the place that we are here in Silicon Valley.”

Any public purchase of the property, also known as the Permanente quarry, would likely cost tens of millions of dollars. A forced sale could spark years of legal battles. Simitian said funds could be raised through a parks bond, through housing development proceeds or other methods.

Lehigh Hanson owns 3510 acres around the quarry, an area three times the size of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

“The Permanente cement plant and quarry have been and remain key contributors to the local economy and vital suppliers to critical Bay Area construction projects,” Lehigh Hanson spokesman Jeff Sieg said in a statement. “As we evaluate optimal reclamation approaches and the future of the property in general, we look forward to hearing the county’s ideas that respect both the community interests and Lehigh’s property rights, as well as help create a more sustainable future.”

Its current permit requires the large open pit limestone mine to be “reclaimed,” or restored, by 2032. In 2019, the company applied to the county for an extension, seeking to expand the quarry. The county has not granted it, and last February, the company sued the county over the delays.

Published under Cement News