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Citizens, San Diego County meet over environmental impact report for Cottonwood Sand Mine project

Written comments on report accepted until Feb. 28
Posted at 6:33 AM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 09:33:07-05

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - Close to 300 East County residents spoke out virtually Wednesday over their concerns surrounding the Cottonwood Sand Mining project at the Cottonwood Golf Course in El Cajon.

Plenty of residents had a lot on their minds during Wednesday night's virtual meeting with San Diego County officials. It was over the draft environmental impact report for the project and the project itself.

"We and others say that the draft environmental impact report is inconsistent. It's not complete; it glosses over many of the areas that citizens have raised,” said Elizabeth Urquhart, the Board Chair of Stop Cottonwood Sand Mine.

Organizers of the effort to stop the sand mine say this meeting about the report is a part of a 75-day process for public input on the draft report.

"We don't know if there's a way to change it and make this acceptable. Number one, it's just not consistent with the character of the existing neighborhood,” said Barry Jantz, a concerned citizen and member of the Stop Cottonwood Sand Mine group.

Other issues include environmental concerns with open spaces, traffic concerns, and emergency response times.

The county's presentation about the report showed a variety of solutions when it comes to addressing noise, traffic issues, and air quality.

"This is not a County of San Diego Project. This is a private development project proposed by the property owner. And as the county staff, our role is to process the permit,” said Mark Slovick, who is with the county's Planning and Development Services department.

Slovick added, “There's a county process for it. And what we do is evaluate the environmental impact of that permit."

Some had questions about who would enforce the mitigation measures if the permit was granted.

"There would be a set of conditions that would be applied. Those would be recorded against the property, and they would be enforced by the county,” Slovick said.

There's hope the concerns of those against the mine don't fall on deaf ears.

"If they need to redo a part of or all of the environmental impact report, that's going to take some time,” Urquhart said. “And we want everyone who's now involved and participating to remain involved and participating."

The county is encouraging people who wish to submit written comments regarding the project’s draft environmental impact report to via email or to

Robert Hingtgen
Planning and Development Services County of San Diego
5510 Overland Avenue, Suite 310
San Diego, CA 92123