There’s controversy in the air, and it smells like asphalt. Ford Construction has proposed an asphalt batch plant at the Hogan Quarry near Valley Springs, adjacent to the Calaveras River and situated between the La Contenta and Rancho Calaveras subdivisions. It has been alleged that a hot asphalt plant at this location could mean unacceptable noise levels, air and water pollution, traffic congestion, road degradation and adverse impacts to tourism at New Hogan Reservoir.

On April 30, Calaveras County Planning Director Peter Maurer sent a letter to Ford Construction that “concluded that an asphaltic concrete hot asphalt batch plant, or ‘hot plant,’ is permitted” by right under the quarry’s General Industrial zoning. Maurer rejected the argument by Ford’s attorney that the asphalt plant was a vested right but considered the point “moot.” Maurer’s decision is facing multiple appeals. If the asphalt plant is permitted by right, it would not be subject to environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act or require public notice.

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