A potentially controversial proposal to build a rock and gravel processing plant near Dry Creek east of Galt will be the subject of a community meeting Thursday night.
Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulos has requested a conditional use permit to rezone 460 acres just north of the creek to allow surface mining on land now zoned for agriculture.
The processing plant would be built on 330 of the acres on the site, just east of Borden Road on the Sacramento County line and north of the Liberty-Mackville Road intersection in Clements. The plant would be 9.3 miles east of Galt and five miles south of Rancho Seco, the former nuclear power plant.
Residents say they are concerned that an estimated 80 trucks per day would go in and out of the plant. Traffic would either go south from the plant onto Liberty Road, a narrow two-lane road that nevertheless draws considerable traffic for people going from Highway 99 south of Galt east to Highway 88 into Clements, Amador County or Calaveras County.
Trucks that don't go south to Liberty Road from Dry Creek would go on Borden Road on the Sacramento County side of the creek. Borden goes west to Herald, where it meets with Twin Cities Road. Traffic may use Twin Cities southwest through Galt's Northeast Area to Highway 99.
The project will be the topic of a public hearing by the Southeast Area Community Planning Advisory Council at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Herald Community Building behind the fire station on Ivie Road off Twin Cities Road.
The planning advisory council, consisting of residents who live in unincorporated Sacramento County south of the Cosumnes River, recommends planning proposals to the county Planning Department, Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
The advisory council doesn't plan to make a recommendation at Thursday's meeting, said council chairwoman Carol Backert of Wilton. The county will prepare an environmental impact report before any decision on the project is made by the county, Backert said.
Tom Azevedo, an accountant and consultant representing neighboring property owner Borden Ranch Vineyards, located north and west of the Tsakopoulos property in Sacramento County, said Borden Ranch owners' main concerns are dust, which are detrimental to winegrapes.
"You also have the (Borden) road itself," Azevedo said. "It's not set up for this kind of traffic. There would have to be a substantial upgrade to Borden Road and on Mackville Road.
"You have to look at the entire picture," Azevedo said. "It will affect Dry Creek in one way or another."
Azevedo also noted the possible effect on ranchettes on the north side of Borden Road, west of the proposed plant.
"I'm pro-business, but they have to look at the entire project or compensate everyone accordingly," Azevedo said.
According to Tsakopoulos" application, the gravel plant is necessary "to meet the substantial demand for these materials, which are in short supply within the Sacramento-Stockton metropolitan regions."
According to the application, Tsakopoulos said noise wouldn't be a factor because the nearest house is at least one mile away. Dust would be strictly controlled, the application says, by the Sacramento County Air Quality Management District.
Pat Stockar, a San Joaquin County planning commissioner who represents the area from Lodi to the Sacramento County line, said that building materials are in great demand.
"Some of these are a necessary evil in the building trade," Stockar said.
Stockar said he had not heard about the Tsakopoulos project, but he was confident the EIR would disclose the impacts the project would create and what the applicant would need to do to minimize them.
Troy Givens, a Sacramento County associate planner, said he had no idea when the county's Policy Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing considering work on the EIR hasn't begun yet.
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