Skip to comments.Controversial Cemex land swap back before city council
Posted on 12/20/2011 11:03:08 AM PST by mdittmar
VICTORVILLE A controversial proposal to give federal land north of Victorville to Cemex in hopes of ending a 12-year dispute over mining in Santa Clarita is back before the City Council Tuesday night.
Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, first introduced the Soledad Canyon Mine Act in 2008 and then again in 2009. The bills aimed to give 10,600 acres of Bureau of Land Management property north of Victorville to cement producer Cemex USA. In exchange, the company would agree to a band on its rights to mine gravel in Soledad Canyon, where residents have been protesting the impact on traffic and pollution. The land Cemex would get here couldnt be mined, but the company could sell the property at fair market value with Victorville getting first dibs.
Victorville had planned to buy the land from Cemex, then sell it to Transit Real Estate Development. TRED has exclusive rights to develop thousands of acres in northern Victorville, around the planned terminal for the high-speed DesertXpress train to Vegas.
After McKeons bills died in committee, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, in April introduced the Soledad Canyon High Desert, California Public Lands Conservation and Management Act of 2011. The proposal was referred to the Senates Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, with no further action to date.
In an effort to revive the swap, the city of Santa Clarita sent a letter to Mayor Ryan McEachron in November asking if hed agendize a vote to support the plan. However, the city attorneys office flagged the new version of the bill, pointing out some distinct differences from the one Victorvilles City Council unanimously supported in 2008.
For starters, Victorville officials said the amount of land included in the swap was significantly reduced from what was originally proposed. Also, while the original bills granted Victorville first rights to buy the BLM land, the new version from Boxer states San Bernardino County could also make an offer.
County officials had voiced concerns with the proposal before, since they learned other companies reportedly already owned mining rights on some of the property included in McKeons bills.
What soured the deal for Councilwoman Angela Valles on Monday is that she learned Orange County developer William Buck Johns could ultimately benefit from the proposed land swap, since his company Inland Group is partnered with DesertXpress and TRED to develop the land north of Victorville. Citing concerns over the outcome of projects Johns has previously brought to the city, such as the failed Victorville 2 power plant, Valles has vowed not to support a proposal that involves him or his company.
That's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reids' baby;)
“In exchange, the company would agree to a band “
Would that be like a rubber band?
Or a three man band?
Maybe they meant a BAN on mining.
Geez, great proof reading there......
Chavez now owns Cemex.
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If you are referring the nationalization of Cemex Venezuela, that was only for the portion in Venezuela and is now a separate company than Cemex globally.
“The bills aimed to give 10,600 acres of Bureau of Land Management property north of Victorville to cement producer Cemex USA....the company could sell the property at fair market value with Victorville getting first dibs...Victorville had planned to buy the land from Cemex, then sell it to Transit Real Estate Development.”
What genius came up with this cunning plan?
Yes and Chavez nationalized it in venuzuela.
Okay, I stand corrected.
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