Chapter 30.31D
MINERAL CONSERVATION (MC) ZONE

Sections:

30.31D.010    Purpose and applicability.

30.31D.020    Relationship to comprehensive plan.

30.31D.030    Process for review of mining applications.

30.31D.040    Submittal requirements.

30.31D.100    General performance standards.

30.31D.110    Landscaping.

30.31D.120    Setbacks.

30.31D.130    Protection of water quality.

30.31D.135    Noise

30.31D.140    Blasting.

30.31D.145    Air quality.

30.31D.150    Underground excavations.

30.31D.160    Land disturbing activity, reclamation and topsoil retention.

30.31D.210    Decision criteria.

30.31D.220    Additional conditions.

30.31D.230    Inspections.

30.31D.240    Suspension and/or Revocation of approval.

30.31D.010 Purpose and applicability.

(1) The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards for excavation and processing of minerals; protect adjacent existing and planned land uses from significant conflicts; and ensure that mineral excavation, processing and transport are conducted consistent with the public health, safety and general welfare.

(2) Excavation and processing of minerals:

(a) This use shall allow only the primary reduction, treatment, and processing of minerals and materials, together with any necessary accessory buildings.

(b) At least one of the major mineral or material constituents being exploited shall be from the property on which the mineral operations are proposing to locate.

(c) Allowed uses shall include, but not be limited to, extraction, excavation, washing, crushing, stock piling, blasting, transporting, recycling, concrete batching, asphalt mixing, and the manufacturing of terra cotta, tile, brick, and concrete products.

(d) The use shall not be detrimental to the existing, developing, or projected land use.

(3) Excavation and processing of minerals is allowed only on mineral resource lands designated in the comprehensive plan, lands zoned Mineral Conservation (MC) or mining claims officially recognized by the state or federal government and recorded with the auditor, with the exception of:

(a) The extraction and processing of rock and gravel exclusively for forest practices shall be permitted in the Forestry (F) zone pursuant to chapter 76.09 RCW.

(b) Existing, legally established non-conforming mineral operations will be allowed to continue subject to the provisions and requirements of chapter 30.28 SCC.

(c) Expansion of existing legally established mineral operations onto adjacent undesignated land where a portion of the existing site has been designated mineral resource land or zoned MC.

(4) If a parcel contains any portion of designated mineral resource lands it will be considered fully designated for the purpose of determining eligibility to apply for the permits required for excavation and processing of minerals.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.31D.020 Relationship to comprehensive plan.

(1) Sites are eligible for administrative conditional use permit or conditional use permit consideration if they meet the criteria in SCC 30.31D.010(3).

(2) Sites may be proposed for Mineral Resource designation and shall be considered in accordance with the provisions in chapter 30.74 SCC using the criteria for designation set forth in the General Policy Plan Policies LU 9.A.1 through LU 9.A.13.

(3) Designation as Mineral Resource Lands in the General Policy Plan signifies that the use of mineral lands has been anticipated and evaluated at an area-wide level in terms of potential environmental impacts. The Mineral Resource Lands Designation environmental documents, the Draft Supplemental EIS Snohomish County Mineral Lands Designation (November, 2001), Draft Supplemental EIS Addendum Snohomish County Mineral Lands Designation (July, 2002), and the Final Supplemental EIS Snohomish County Mineral Lands Designation (August, 2003), may be relied on when making threshold determinations, preparing site specific environmental documents, identifying mitigation measures in accordance with chapter 30.61 SCC, or developing administrative rules and procedures in accordance with chapter 30.82 SCC.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003)

30.31D.030 Process for review of mining applications.

(1) A conditional use permit, pursuant to chapter 30.42C SCC, or an administrative conditional use permit, pursuant to chapter 30.43A SCC, shall be required for mineral excavation and processing proposals. An administrative conditional use permit process may be used only when the mining proposal meets the following criteria:

(a) total site disturbance, including all phases of excavation, internal haul roads and reclamation, comprises 20 acres or less;

(b) no processing, crushing or blasting will occur accessory to mining;

(c) the operation will generate less than 50 total vehicle trips per day; and

(d) the duration of the operation will be 5 years or less.

Where the proposal does not meet (a) through (d) above, it shall require a conditional use permit.

(2) All proposals shall be subject to the requirements of the State Environmental Policy Act and shall be reviewed pursuant to chapter 30.61 SCC.

(Added Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.31D.040 Submittal requirements.

An application for an administrative conditional use permit or a conditional use permit for mineral excavation shall comply with the requirements set out in the application checklist as provided by the department pursuant to SCC 30.70.030. A pre-application meeting is strongly recommended pursuant to SCC 30.70.020.

(Added Amended Ord. 05-085, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.31D.100 General performance standards.

In granting an administrative* conditional use permits or a conditional use permit* for mineral excavations, the following conditions shall apply in all cases, except when more restrictive conditions are imposed by the approval authority:

(1) The operator shall bury or remove all metal, lumber, or other refuse on the site in a method approved by the hearing examiner;

(2) After completion of excavation operations, the operator shall dismantle and remove within three months all equipment introduced to the site in support of the operations, with the exception of equipment necessary for reclamation for excavations not regulated by the state pursuant to chapter 78.44 RCW, which equipment shall not be removed until such reclamation is completed to the satisfaction of the state or local authorities. For excavations regulated by the state pursuant to chapter 78.44 RCW, removal of reclamation equipment shall be determined by the applicable reclamation plan. This three month period shall not be assumed to include time between projects or times when the plan is temporarily inoperative due to economic, weather, or other similar conditions recognized as reasonable by the hearing examiner. Such temporary discontinuance of operations shall not be the cause for removal of equipment;

(3) All excavation operations and trucking directly related to such operations may be permitted only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, unless the approval authority determines that no nuisance exists, or that unusual and justifying circumstances are present, in which case the relaxation of this regulation shall terminate when such conditions and circumstances are deemed by the hearing examiner to no longer exist;

(4) If property to be developed for excavation has an exterior boundary line which shares a common property line with developed property, or if in the judgment of the approval authority, the nature and location of the operation is such as to constitute a hazard to public safety, then a solid wall or fence at least five feet in height shall be installed and maintained at least 50 feet from the excavated area. All openings in the fence shall be barred by locked gates when the permittee or the permittee’s agent are not on the premises;

(5) The area shall be posted with signs having letters at least three inches high and two inches wide, giving clear warning of the dangerous conditions resulting from the excavation. The signs shall be not more than 50 feet apart around the periphery of the subject property and shall be maintained in good repair until excavation and reclamation operations are completed; and

(6) One copy of approved excavation and reclamation plans and specifications for reclamation of excavations not regulated by the state pursuant to chapter 78.44 RCW shall be kept on the site at all times during the progress of the excavation operation.

(7) In no case shall mineral operations impair lateral support or cause earth movements or erosion to extend beyond the exterior boundary lines of property being excavated.

(8) Impacts resulting from traffic generated by mineral operations shall be addressed pursuant to chapter 30.66B SCC.

*Code Reviser Note: The text shown above in italic font was added by Amended Ord. 05-083 but was not indicated with addition marks.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.31D.110 Landscaping.

Landscaping shall be in accordance with SCC 30.25.027.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.31D.120 Setbacks.

Mineral excavation and processing operations, as well as related structures and buildings, shall be set back in accordance with SCC 30.23.110(27).

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006; Amended by Amended Ord. 17-004, May 10, 2017, Eff date June 1, 2017)

30.31D.130 Protection of water quality.

(1) Operators shall divert or protect all natural drain courses to prevent pollution or reduction of natural flow, shall impound runoff as necessary to hold run-off to levels existing prior to the introduction of excavation operations, shall protect streams and grounds from acid forming or toxic materials exposed or produced by excavation operations, shall seal off to the extent directed by the approval authority, any breakthrough of acid water creating a hazard, and shall not allow water to collect nor permit stagnant water to remain in excavations. Wherever possible, the operator shall refrain from disturbing natural drainage course, streams, rivers, and lakes.

(2) All applications for an administrative conditional use permit or a conditional use permit for mineral excavation shall also include a hydrogeologic site evaluation pursuant to chapter 30.62C SCC. The excavation shall identify an adequate separation between the bottom of the excavation and the groundwater table.

(3) Pursuant to SCC 30.31D.220, the approval authority may require summer testing of groundwater levels and quality.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006; Ord. 07-090, Sept.5, 2007, Eff date Sept. 21, 2007; Amended by Amended Ord. 15-034, Sept. 2, 2015, Eff date Nov. 1, 2015)

30.31D.135 Noise

Excavation and processing of minerals shall be conducted so as to comply with the maximum permissible noise levels established in chapter 10.01.

(Added Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.31D.140 Blasting.

Blasting or other activities producing ground vibration shall not constitute a nuisance to, or damage in any way, the property of adjacent land owners. The approval authority may require testimony by technical specialists in order to determine appropriate amounts and placement of explosives and other vibration producing equipment, and may place such restrictions as are appropriate to avoid such nuisance or damage.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.31D.145 Air quality.

Extraction and processing shall be conducted to comply with state air quality standards and any permit requirements as set forth by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. The approval authority may, as a condition of approval, require the use of best management practices (such as watering of the site and equipment) to control emissions of suspended particulates.

(Added Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.31D.150 Underground excavations.

Underground excavation operations shall not be left in a condition so as to be or become hazardous. Mine shafts, air courses, inclines, or horizontal working temporarily unused or deserted shall be blocked by solid bulkheads constructed of concrete, wood, or steel. A locked manway or door may be installed as part of the bulkhead. Where shafts, air courses, inclines or horizontal working are to be permanently abandoned in accordance with good mining practice, the collar portal to such workings shall be completely blocked by permanent bulkheads constructed of concrete and/or steel or by causing the collapse of solid rock at such collar or portal in such manner as to prohibit the reopening of said workings by natural movement of the collapsed rock by gravity down inclined workings.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003)

30.31D.160 Land disturbing activity, reclamation and topsoil retention.

(1) Where applicable pursuant to SCC 30.63B.020, excavation and processing of minerals, and other mining-related development activities, including but not limited to road construction, drainage facilities and detention ponds, and reclamation of mining sites not subject to chapter 78.44 RCW, shall be in accordance with chapter 30.63B SCC.

(2) Topsoil that exists on a site shall be retained on the site in sufficient quantities to ensure an adequate supply for reclamation purposes for excavations not regulated by the state pursuant to chapter 78.44 RCW.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006; Amended by Amended Ord. 10-023, June 9, 2010, Eff date Sept. 30, 2010)

30.31D.210 Decision criteria.

Applications for an administrative conditional use permit or a conditional use permit on sites which meet the criteria in SCC 30.31D.010(2) and (3) shall not be denied unless the approval authority makes a finding of fact and a determination that any of the following situations exist:

(1) It is determined that the reclamation plans and operating procedures for excavations not regulated by the state pursuant to chapter 78.44 RCW proposed by the applicant are not adequate to protect the general welfare and adjoining properties or the natural environment to an extent deemed reasonable as conditioned by these local circumstances:

(a) the operation will probably endanger the health, comfort, welfare, or safety of the public by the pollution of any waters or the atmosphere, or create unusual and dangerous traffic conditions; and

(b) the operation probably will endanger life or property by the storage of explosives, unduly decreasing property values or the removal of subjacent lateral support;

(2) The applicant has ever had a previous county permit permanently revoked for cause; or

(3) The applicant has previously forfeited a security device attached to a previous operation, unless corrective measures have taken place without cost to the county or state.

(4) The suitability of the location and the operation considering the nature and degree of surrounding development.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006; Amended by Amended Ord. 10-086, Oct. 20, 2010, Eff date Nov. 4, 2010)

30.31D.220 Additional conditions.

Additional conditions may be established or imposed on an administrative conditional use permit or a conditional use permit for excavation and processing of minerals and may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Regulation of the height and location of all equipment installed on the site, above and beyond the setback restrictions of this chapter, if unusual circumstances bearing on public safety or other vital concerns are deemed to exist;

(2) The number and locations of points of ingress and egress to and from any mining operation;

(3) Wherever possible the operator shall schedule his excavation sequence in such a manner as to provide either natural or reclaimed buffers between the operation and adjoining properties;

(4) Lighting to minimize visibility from adjacent property and preclude it from shining directly onto adjoining property;

(5) Stockpiles and tailings shall not exceed the height, slope and moisture content limits determined by the hearing examiner, nor shall such stockpiles or tailings be so located as to threaten adjacent slopes or properties. In making this determination, the approval authority may consult with the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Department of Natural Resources, the director of the department of public works, or other authoritative sources;

(6) Selective cutting of timber in power line corridors;

(7) Control of signs;

(8) The selection of building materials in scenic areas;

(9) The preservation of animal trails by use of trestle and culverts;

(10) Public access to unexcavated areas, especially if the areas include waterfront property;

(11) Closed aggregate washing systems;

(12) The location of mining towns, mills, tailing dump sites, settling ponds;

(13) The removal of access roads in wilderness areas after the completion of mining, as well as their restriction from public use during such operations;

(14) Provisions for groundwater testing;

(15) The establishment of a haul route agreement; and

(16) Required participation in a monitoring program.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006)

30.31D.230 Inspections.

The granting of any permit hereunder is conditioned upon the consent of the owner to permit inspection of the site at any time. The inspection may include:

(1) A review of all applicable county permits;

(2) A review of all work actually being conducted on the site; and

(3) A comparison of the actual performance with approved methods contained in the permit, as well as a recording of any known violations of state or federal permits. All violations shall be noted whether or not they are corrected in the presence of the inspector.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003)

30.31D.240 Suspension and/or Revocation of approval.

Administrative conditional use permits or conditional use permits for excavation may be suspended or revoked in accordance with SCC 30.85.300 or 30.85.310.

(Added Amended Ord. 02-064, December 9, 2002, Eff date February 1, 2003; Amended Ord. 05-083, December 21, 2005, Eff date Feb. 1, 2006; Amended by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)