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Gravel miners may get to skip Planning Commission 

A group of sand and gravel miners will get to lay out their case to SLO County supervisors for why they shouldn’t have to follow the county’s usual process.

The board will consider the request at their Sept. 16 meeting.

The Department of Planning and Building, however, recommends in a strongly worded report that the board deny the miners’ request.

The response states that staff was accused of “having a complete lack of intelligence and the ability to make informed decisions; personal bias and personal agendas ; delay tactics; dishonesty and complete incompetency.”

According to the miners, their projects had been purposefully stalled by county staff and the Planning Commission and saddled with more stringent environmental review.

“The applicants are understandably frustrated by this turn of events; however, that does not make the applicants’ accusations appropriate. ; Staff takes issue with these accusations ;”

Paul Viborg’s mining project on the Estrella River will also be on the Planning Commission’s agenda on Sept. 11, but the project is being recommended for denial after letters from state agencies caused the environmental review to shift from a Mitigated Negative Declaration to a full Environmental Impact Report.

Viborg, John Pehl, and Colin Weyrick previously sued one opponent, Colleen Enk, who they said had prevented their sand and gravel operations, but the case was dismissed on Aug. 5.

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