Concrete Firm Seeks Change in Quarry Fill

A possible change in the method of filling the large Chandler quarry in Rolling Hills Estates--one that would permit structures to be built on the fill--has rekindled interest in the property as a luxury home site.

Chandler's Palos Verdes Sand and Gravel Co., which operates a decades-old ready-mix concrete business and landfill along Palos Verdes Drive East, has applied for a city permit to replace the current system of loose dumping into the 127-acre quarry with a compacted fill operation. Compacted fill is required if buildings are to be put on the land.

The Planning Commission is expected to take action on the application at its meeting Monday.

No Chandler representative could be reached for comment, but Planning Director Stephen A. Emslie said the request is significant "because they would be creating buildable land and it has a tremendous impact on the community and the surrounding area."

Officials said they expect the commission to recommend that the City Council form an advisory committee to study the impact of developing the Chandler land and to establish guidelines.

The committee would study density, traffic circulation and vehicular access, drainage, retention of open space and the impact of additional population on city services if the site near the Lomita border is developed.

The quarry is expected to be filled in 10 to 15 years, at which time officials say it and adjoining Chandler land could be sold to a builder or developed by the Chandler.

Said Planning Commissioner William Ailor: "My impression is the people there are trying to cover their options. When it is filled, it is not buildable if they continue as they are. But if they compact it, they have the option of selling it or developing it."

A lawsuit is pending over a previous 300-acre, 600-home development plan that would include the quarry, the surrounding Chandler property, the adjoining Rolling Hills Country Club and a public park in Torrance. In that plan, the quarry was to be used for the golf course, so it did not require compacted fill.

The suit, filed in May by Cayman Development Co., seeks to force Chandler to honor an alleged oral agreement to sell Cayman the bulk of the land needed for the development.

At public hearings in the fall, residents of an 18-home neighborhood across from the quarry asked the commission to impose conditions to protect them from dust, noise and the large number of trucks from the operation.

Officials said the commission is expected to require that Chandler close some of its entrances and landscape part of Palos Verdes Drive East and impose other limitations to improve neighborhood conditions.

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