Mosler feels rights were violated
By Logan Hall
Mining operations up Maricopa Highway were dealt another blow last week. The Ventura County Planning Commission voted 4-0 to deny Larry Mosler’s appeal of 14 notices of violation for his rock quarry north of Ojai.
The county says that Mosler, who lives in Newbury Park and bought the quarry in 2005, has failed to follow guidelines for the operation of his mine. Mosler is accused of exceeding the maximum of 20 daily truck trips, operating non-permitted equipment, trucking through restricted zones at restricted times, particularly in front of Nordhoff High School, and mining outside of the boundaries of operation. Mosler’s property is 93 acres, 13 of which are permitted for mining.
Mosler and his attorney argue that he is following all guidelines and that the county is targeting him specifically, and he also alleged that county staff trespassed on his property to take photographs, although the Planning Commission says their staff was not on Mosler’s property when the photos were taken.
“There is a disproportionate focus on this quarry,” said Mosler attorney Derek Cole, addressing the Planning Commission. “You have a staff that has been focusing a considerable amount of attention on the smallest mine in this county. There has been, in my opinion, a very deliberate effort to make an issue of this quarry.”
The Planning Commission countered by saying they are responding to a number of complaints from the community about the trucks using the streets and highways of the Ojai Valley without following said guidelines.
The county also stated that Mosler has a balance of $77,184 for the violations and owes another $8,186 for his appeal. Cole argued that there are no grounds for the numerous violations and that “we shouldn’t be here right now.”
Mosler told the Planning Commission that his rights are being violated, stating he was cited for entering his property before 7 a.m. According to Mosler, the county has stipulated that the property is only used for mining, and only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. “If I want to go up on a Saturday … have a barbecue by the creek or something,” he said, “I’m not allowed to do it. The U.S. Constitution has a lot to say about property rights.”
The county has stated that they want to settle with Mosler, and hope to end the dispute reasonably. Mosler will have the opportunity to appeal the Planning Commission’s decision to the county Board of Supervisors.