At 8436 East Apache Trail, in the middle of a neighborhood, is a row of hills known as Twin Knolls.
The eastern hills are about to be completely destroyed by a gravel mine. The mine has been approved.
It's scheduled to begin operation this year and will take 8 to 12 years to slowly grind the hills down to nothing.
1. What we want:
A preserve or park protecting the existing eastern hills from developement.
2. What we will accept:
Houses built on the existing terrain. Read More
3. What we reject:
The destruction of existing terrain to build more houses by using mining as a cheap and
unhealthy way to destroy a natural neighborhood landmark for profit. Read More
We have a GoFundMe page to raise funds for expenses and legal action to stop the mining of the Knolls. Click here to donate.
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The Landscape Company has submitted for an air quality permit.
This was the last piece needed before they can start the project.
If Custom Landscape meets the requirements, the county must approve the permit request.
Here are copies of the permit request and air quality rules:
Rule 316 Handbook
We need to call, write, and call again, to the Maricopa Air Quality Department
at https://www.maricopa.gov/1244/Air-Quality and tell them NOT to approve the permit
for Custom Landscape Materials, LLC., the company that is planning to destroy our neighborhood.
This mine will be over 100 feet above the neighborhood where there is no possible way to contain
particulates that cause damage to one's health. Take a look at our website Links page for more
information on the damages that can be caused by poor air quality. There are also some links
to research papers that can be quoted.
Or just call to say do NOT approve this permit. If they get a permit...consider our Knolls gone!
PLEASE CALL 602-506-6010 or email a complaint to AQmail@maricopa.gov
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Time line of what has transpired to date:
April 19, 2019 - Twin Knolls property owner John Oertle submitted a Mining Exemption Application to
the Maricopa County Planning and Development Department to allow for aggregate mining on the property.
May 2, 2019 - Ray Banker, Planner in the Maricopa County Planning and Development
Department, created a plan summary. The summary provided an aerial view of the subject property
clearly showing a heavily populated residential area surrounding the property.
There are also numerous businesses to the south of, and adjacent to, the Twin Knolls property.
December 2019 - The Final Reclamation Plan was submitted to the Mining Office.
According to this plan, mining operations are scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2020.
The week of February 10, 2020 - Some residents received a letter from the Arizona State
Mine Inspector’s Office dated February 5, 2020 advising of a meeting on March 11, 2020.
This letter was the first notification residents received about our new neighbor, the mine.
The March 11 meeting was to be about the reclamation plan only. The mine was already approved.
March 11, 2020 - Reclamation Plan meeting at the Arizona State Mine Inspector’s Office.
We attempted to table the meeting due to failure to properly notify homeowners as required by law.
The Assistant Attorney General, who headed the meeting, refused to table the discussion.
Custom Landscaping Materials stated they had done a study of the flora and fauna on the Knolls
and they said they found nothing.
We asked when mining was scheduled to begin. The answer was "we don't know".
AZ State Legislator John Fillmore attended and was very vocal in support of saving Twin Knolls.
Here is the March 11 meeting audio. You may have to download in order to play it.
March 14, 2020 - An article about the mine appeared in the Arizona Republic.
AZ Republic reporter Alison Steinbach interviewed Sam Schippers, vice president of
Custom Landscape Materials(CLM), the company leasing the land to do aggregate mining.
Schippers said a third party has done “thorough studies on the wildlife”.
“The only thing we’ve found of any concern was a significant population of rattlesnakes,” he added.
March 16, 2020 - We received the December 2019 Reclamation Plan Final.
This is when we learned mining operations were scheduled to begin in Spring of 2020.
March 29, 2020 - About 30 folks came out to protest the destruction of Twin Knolls.
Helen Hunter, who is running for LD16 House of Representatives, also showed up to help us protest.
Thank you to everyone who showed up to raise awareness of this scandal.
April 13, 2020 - Cathy had a call with Steve Chucri, County Supervisor.
They discussed the elusive Flora and Fauna study and Supervisor Chucri's office will try to
secure that from whomever may have it.
Supervisor Chucri has reached out to Oertle and to CLM and both have been none responsive.
A conference call was scheduled with the landscape company and they were a no show.
May 14, 2020 - We found that the Flora and Fauna study that Custom Landscape said was done
does not exist at any government entity.
Sam Schippers claimed the Mining Inspector's Office had it which they did not.
Neither did other government entities we checked with.
June 20, 2020 - Representative Fillmore addressed a neighborhood meeting
and recommended we continue to write and call, specifically City of Mesa, Maricopa
Board of Supervisors, all our District and State Legislators AND he also suggested the Governor.
He suggested writing YOUR story and how this situation would negatively impact YOU.