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Transportation planning

Surface mining overlay update

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The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held a work session on August 27 to talk about the county's policies and development regulations related to mining. County staff are currently working with stakeholders to revise comprehensive plan policies and update development regulations related to mining.

At a public hearing on July 8, the BOCC discussed the Planning Commission recommendations on where the surface mining overlay should be applied. The BOCC agreed with the Planning Commission recommendation with one exception, which was to remove Area 5 Courtney Pit from the list of areas.

Note that no changes have been adopted by the BOCC. The application of the surface mining overlay, the comprehensive plan policies and changes to the development regulations will all be adopted together by ordinance in an upcoming public hearing.

Information on Planning Commission proceedings, minutes, and a link to a video of the previous hearing is available on the Planning Commission webpage.

Project summary

Clark County adopted a Surface Mining Overlay map and code standards as well as mineral lands policies in the mid-1990s. These standards and designations have not changed substantially, since there have been major changes at the State level that have prompted the County to initiate an update of our mineral resource lands regulations.

Counties planning under the Growth Management Act are required to identify, designate, and protect mineral resource lands that are not already characterized by urban growth and that have long-term significance for the extraction of minerals (RCW 36.70A.170). There are four mandatory elements when updating the Surface Mining Overlay (SMO):

  • The County must approach the effort as a county-wide or regional process.
    The Surface Mining Overlay update will be county-wide and will provide opportunities for owner-initiated requests.
  • The County must identify and classify mineral resource lands from which the extraction of minerals occurs or can be anticipated.
  • The County must designate known mineral deposits so that access to mineral resources of long-term commercial significance is not knowingly precluded.
  • The County must review its policies and development regulations for mineral resource lands. (RCW 36.70A.131).0

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