In a San Gabriel Valley smackdown, the city of Duarte is suing its neighbor to the east, Azusa, over the latter's approval of new mining on Duarte's doorstep.

According to Duarte, Azusa stands to make more than $60 million in fees from the mining over the next 28 years. Meanwhile, Duarte residents will take the brunt of the side effects, including increased dust and loss of a nearby hiking area.

Meantime, some Azusans are gathering signatures for a referendum to stop the mining plan. But according to the Pasadena Star-News, Azusa city officials say that under city law, the referendum cannot stop the mining.

Gotta love California: Voters can stop gay people from getting married, but they can't stop a mining company from lopping off a hillside.

As with gay marriage, though, all of this will be settled in court. Duarte alleges that Azusa violated the Brown Act when it approved the mining plan, and that its environmental report was defective.

Even as this conflict heats up, Duarte and Azusa have their work cut out for them if they want to top Industry and Walnut for the title of hottest municipal rivalry in the San Gabriel Valley.

LA Weekly