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Articles

Ozena Puts Brakes On Gravel Trucks

By Sondra Murphy

It is a question that comes up randomly in conversation or whenever a 30-ton tractor-trailer grinds by. “What’s going on with the gravel truck efforts?”

Stop the Trucks Coalition was formed about three years ago when residents were disturbed by gravel truck traffic along Maricopa Highway and began complaining to each other. Looking into the matter, they discovered Ozena Valley Ranch Mine trucks were one of four companies contributing to the disturbance and found conditional use permits that restricted the hours for deliveries. Since then, the coalition maintains that there have been numerous violations by gravel trucks traveling along this Highway 33 corridor during forbidden hours.
According to Dan Klemann, manager of the commercial and industrial permit section of the Ventura County Planning Division, Ozena delivery trucks are limited to traveling through the Highway 33 restricted route between 6 to 7 a.m. and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. They are further limited to 50 round trips during any given 24-hour period and may not exceed 10,197 trips in any given year.
Stop the Trucks Coalition Chairman Michael Shapiro spoke to the Ojai City Council recently regarding its continuing work to reduce gravel truck travel through the Ojai Valley. Shapiro reported that the group had been meeting with representatives from Ozena Valley Ranch Mine.
“It seemed like we were in agreement to (eliminate all valley deliveries) except for two locations: Copus Concrete Ready Mix and Ojai Lumber,” Shapiro told the council. “We thought that sounded fair, but we wanted to know how many per week or month, and they said they would get back to us.”
That was November. Shapiro reports no further contact from mine representatives has been received despite coalition efforts to continue discussions. “So we began to challenge and had complaints investigated by the county,” said Shapiro. “We’ve tried our very best to settle this. The other side is just not ready, I guess.”
Shapiro later said besides Ojai Lumber and Copus Concrete Ready Mix, Ozena representatives requested they be allowed to deliver to Concrete Express on Ventura Avenue near Brooks Institute. “I immediately objected because I don’t consider that local. I indicated that I could not speak for the coalition, but was confident I could enter into negotiations on what constituted ‘local,’” Shapiro said.
Shapiro said he met with

Stop the Trucks Coalition was formed about three years ago when residents were disturbed by gravel truck traffic along Maricopa Highway and began complaining to each other. Looking into the matter, they discovered Ozena Valley Ranch Mine trucks were one of

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