East County residents upset over sand mining proposal

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LAKESIDE, Calif. - An East County community is outraged over a possible sand mining project in the El Monte Valley in Lakeside.

Wednesday night, dozens of Lakeside residents filled the Lakeside Community and Teen Center to voice their concerns over the proposal. Sand mining company, El Monte Nature Preserve, wants to excavate nearly 200 of the 575 acres of El Monte Valley. The company proposes digging nearly 100 feet into the ground for sand that can provide products in San Diego County.

El Monte Nature Preserve presented the plan to the Lakeside Planning Board Wednesday night. Company representatives said they expect the project to last at least 15 years, excavating 15-18 million tons of sand each year. The work would generate an estimated 150 trucks trips in and out of the two-lane road leading into El Monte Valley.

Residents opposed the plan, calling on the planning board to preserve the valley as historic open space. Another concern expressed by some opponents to the sand mine  was  the threat of Valley Fever, a fungal infection that can spread with the disruption of the soil.


  • Fred

    Sand is needed to make concrete. The companies in San Diego are having to import sand from San Bernardino and Imperial valley. Let’s use some of our resources here and bring the costs down. These darn “not in my back yard” people are too funny. I get it, you’re here and you have your house but no one else should be able to come here and live…..dumb.

    • Carrie

      Hey Fred,

      There are more issues to this than trying to save a few bucks. Please don’t be so narrow minded. There’s excess traffic that will be created, land taken away from nature preservation, noise pollution, etc. It’s not about not wanting anyone to come and live here, it’s about keeping a balance between development and open space.

    • Jim Schilling

      The company is a sham and a bunch of hucksters. They got caught mining illegally under their golf course permit, now they renamed the company and act like they are doing this out their environmental heart.

      They want a special permit outside of existing zoning (the valley is zoned agricultural with a scenic corridor designator); why? it is about 200 million dollars worth of sand. No jobs, no benefits to community…just strip mine, take the money and run. Btw there is sand in other parts of the county, it seems no else wants a strip mine though

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