owners say dump back on track
Gregory Canyon landfill gets new investors and maybe a new life.
J. Harry Jones, June 5, 2015
A San Diego-based private equity firm has completed
its takeover of Gregory Canyon Ltd., the company thats
been trying to build a landfill in North County for 20 years.
Capital Management Group has paid off a $200 million debt
Gregory Canyon had amassed over the years and at a foreclosure
hearing in El Cajon on Thursday was the lone bidder for the
1,770-acre property off state Route 76. The company paid $18
million for the land.
President Todd Mikles said the company intends to pursue the
landfill plans and has begun running television ads touting
the need for a North County facility.
just want to get people behind the project and reinvigorate
it and make sure everybody knows its something were
working on, Mikles said. We want to rally public
support about it. Theres a lot of misinformation and
we want to make sure people are educated about what needs
landfill has already secured several major permits needed
to start construction, but two more important ones remain.
said in the past few weeks an application was submitted to
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restart the application
process for a permit required by the dumps proximity
to the San Luis Rey River. He said work began a couple months
ago preparing information the Corps will need to restart the
review process, which was suspended last year after Gregory
Canyon Ltd. ran out of funding and couldnt produce information
the Corps requested.
spokesman for the Corps said Friday there is no telling how
long the permitting process might take, but said it could
still be years.
project also needs a permit from the countys Air Pollution
Control District which canceled an earlier application in
late 2013 due to unpaid bills.
Senior Engineer Steve Moore said no new application has been
received and wont be considered until $403,688 is paid
to the county for work that has been done to date on the earlier
application and late fees.
a check does arrive, Moore said, it would likely take 12 to
18 months before a decision on a permit would be made.
that the landfill plans have been brought back to life has
left opponents shaking their heads.
tribe is assessing the significance of the purchase (of the
land) but it does not alter the tribes resolve to keep
a landfill from desecrating the sacred site of its forebears,
said Pala Indian tribal Spokesman Doug Elmets. This
fight has been going on for 20 years and the tribe will continue
the fight for another 20 years if necessary.
landfill would be built just south of Route 76 about 3 1/2
miles east of Interstate 15 in a canyon on the west side of
Gregory Mountain, parts of which the tribe considers sacred.
Pala reservation, and its casino and resort, are located on
the other side of the mountain. The tribe has spent countless
millions of dollars battling the dump plans.
too, concerned about what long-term impact a landfill could
have on the San Luis Rey River among other things, also said
the fight will never end.
just feels like good money after bad, said environmental
lawyer Everett DeLano who has been involved in the dump battle
was a bad idea from the start and they just keep throwing
more money at it. I dont understand why thats
happening. Nothings changed from our perspective. Its
still a bad project.
has redone the gregorycanyonlandfill.com website, where it
makes a case for the need for a new county landfill.
1994, voters approved Proposition C, a measure that amended
the countys general plan and zoning ordinance to allow
a landfill without a major-use permit, thereby at least
theoretically streamlining the projects approval. Ten
years later, the project withstood another major challenge
when voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have invalidate
moving forward with what we have as an asset, Mikles
said Thursday during a brief interview following the foreclosure
sale. What the property has today is permits. Its
been voted on, its entitled. Its zoned.
said that, Mikels also said that the company is open to other
uses of the land. Were not opposed to something
said there have been some discussions with the Pala tribe
about the tribe buying the property, but they went nowhere.
plans on issuing a news release next week detailing its plans
and efforts to date. They declined further comment Friday.