Chapter 17.72

17.72.010 Intent and Purpose

The Quarry and Reclamation (QR) Zone is established to preserve those areas of the City which have been designated by the State of California as Significant Mineral Resource Areas, or which possess market grade mineral resources, in order to ensure long-term availability of these sites for the extraction and processing of rock, sand, gravel, and similar materials. Safeguards and controls are provided to minimize the possibility of quarry and related operations detrimentally affecting adjacent properties.

17.72.020 Locational Criteria

The QR zone designation is appropriately located based upon the following criteria:

A.    The area has been designated by the state as possessing important mineral resources.

B.    The area has been subject to on-going or historic mining activity.

C.    The location shall be consistent with the General Plan land use designation of MRE (Mineral Resource Extraction).

D.    The area can physically accommodate mineral extraction activities and is supported by adequate infrastructure.

E.    The area is served by designated truck routes along arterial roadways.

17.72.030 Special Requirements

In order to comply with the provisions of the California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975 (SMARA; P.R.C. Sec. 2710 et seq.), P.R.C. Section 2207, and Title 14, Division 8, Section 3500 et seq. Of the California Code of Regulations, all mining related activities covered under SMARA will require approval of a reclamation plan, pursuant to PMC 17.102.020.

17.72.040 Uses Permitted Without Planning Approval

The following uses are allowed in the QR Zone without zoning clearance or other planning approval, except as required by state law.

A.    Field, tree, bush, berry and row crops, including nursery stock, as an interim use, provided that no permanent structures are constructed, and provided that no sludge and/or biosolid material shall be applied to any land as a soil amendment. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-1, adopted by City Council August 13, 1997.)

B.    Riding, hiking and bicycle trails and appurtenant facilities.

C.    Storage, temporary, of materials, and equipment used in construction of public or private improvements, provided that all such items are stored on the construction site and pose no traffic hazard or other adverse impact on surrounding properties.

D.    Temporary and permanent facilities for detention, retention and conveyance of stormwater runoff.

E.    Small-scale solar energy systems as an accessory use on a lot containing a permitted principal use. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 11-03, adopted by City Council December 7, 2011.)

17.72.050 Uses Permitted Subject to Administrative Approval by the Planning Director

The following uses are permitted in the QR Zone, subject to the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance as specified in this Section.

A.    Minor communication facility pursuant to PMC 17.95.040. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-3, adopted by City Council September 10, 1997.)

B.    Temporary living quarters, pursuant to PMC 17.27.030(B)(3).

C.    Temporary office modules, pursuant to PMC 17.27.030(B)(4).

17.72.060 Uses Permitted Subject to Site Plan Review Approval

The following uses are permitted in the QR zone subject to Site Plan Review Approval, except that when such a use is proposed to be established in an existing building and does not constitute a change from the previous use of said building, the requirement for Site Plan Review may be waived by the Planning Director through issuance of a Zoning Clearance, pursuant to PMC 17.26.030.

A.    Construction/contractor’s yard.

B.    Water injection wells, water percolation ponds.

C.    Utility-scale solar power generating facilities, pursuant to PMC 17.99.020, as an interim use on a parcel that has not previously been mined or as a permanent use on a parcel that has been fully mined and reclaimed in accordance with the approved Reclamation Plan or contains gravel resources unsuitable for mining purposes. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 11-03, adopted by City Council December 7, 2011.)

17.72.070 Uses Permitted Subject to Approval of a Conditional Use Permit

Premises in Zone QR may be used for the following purposes provided a reclamation plan has first been obtained for any mining activity, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 17.102 PMC, and provided a permit has first been obtained, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 17.22 PMC, Conditional Use Permits, except as otherwise specified herein:

A.    Batching and mixing plants for cement and concrete.

B.    Batching and mixing plants for asphaltic concrete, asphalt or other petroleum-based materials when it can be clearly demonstrated that such use will not have a significant impact on groundwater or other resources.

C.    Clay, cement and concrete products, manufacture of.

D.    Major communication facility pursuant to PMC 17.95.040. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-3, adopted by City Council September 10, 1997.)

E.    Mining, quarrying, excavating, processing, removing and stockpiling of rock, sand, gravel, decomposed granite, clay, cinders, diatomaceous earth, shale, limestone, flagstone, decorative stone, and rip-rap and similar materials.

F.    Race tracks. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-2 adopted by City Council June 11, 1997.)

G.    Recycled paving materials; stockpiling, crushing, and sale of.

H.    Rock crushing plants and aggregate dryers.

I.    Segregation and stockpiling of mined materials (and recovery of the same).

J.    Soil remediation units, mobil or stationary, operation of.

K.    Solid fill projects.

L.    Specialty plants using or processing rocks, sand, gravel, decomposed granite or clay.

17.72.080 Accessory Uses and Structures Permitted

The following accessory uses and structures are permitted in the QR Zone, provided that such uses are established on the same lot or parcel of land, are incidental to, and do not substantially alter the character of the permitted principal use.

A.    Equipment and supply storage.

B.    Incidental sales of gravel, sand, decorative stone, or other mineral materials.

C.    Office and repair shop structures.

D.    Scales or weighing equipment.

E.    Truck storage.

F.    Other uses deemed by the reviewing authority which function as incidental to a permitted primary use and which are similar to and not more objectionable than those accessory uses specifically listed above.

17.72.090 Similar Uses Permitted by Planning Director Determination

The Planning Director may determine that an unlisted use is similar to and not more objectionable to the general welfare than those uses specifically listed in the QR Zone, pursuant to PMC 17.24.120.

17.72.100 Standards of Development

Property in Zone QR shall be subject to the development standards prescribed in this Section and those standards contained in Division 8, General Standards of Development.

A.    Lot area

Each lot or parcel of land created in the QR Zone shall have a minimum lot area of not less than five (5) acres.

B.    Lot width

None required except as otherwise required in this Ordinance.

C.    Yards

There shall be no excavations or structures within fifty (50) feet of:

1.    Any public street, highway or flood control easement.

2.    Any property in any zone other than Zone QR, except as provided in PMC 17.72.100(F)(2)(f).

D.    Building height and coverage

1.    The ratio of total floor area to total lot area in the PF Zone shall not exceed .25 (twenty-five percent).

2.    The height of a structure within the QR Zone shall not exceed one hundred (100) feet.

E.    Off-street parking and loading

Each lot or parcel of land in Zone QR shall have off-street parking and loading facilities as prescribed in Chapter 17.87 PMC, Off-Street Parking.

F.    Special development and performance standards

1.    Required Signage: The outer boundaries of all property used for quarring operations, involving the extraction and processing of rock, sand, gravel, decomposed granite, clay or similar materials shall be posted with signs carrying the message “QUARRY ZONE” in letters not less than four (4) inches in height, and in letters not less than one (1) inch in height, the message “This property may be used for the extraction and processing of rock, sand, gravel, decomposed granite, clay and similar materials, by Ordinance, City of Palmdale.”

These signs shall be posted not more than five hundred (500) feet apart, with signs placed at each change in direction of the boundary lines of the property and displayed in such manner as to give reasonable notice to passers-by of the message contained thereon.

2.    All mining and quarrying operations, rock crushing plants and aggregate dryers shall be established and operated in accordance with the following standards:

a.    All equipment and premises employed in conjunction with any of the uses permitted in the QR Zone shall, insofar as is practicable and feasible, be constructed, operated and maintained so as to suppress noise and vibration which are or may be injurious or annoying to persons living in the vicinity.

b.    All private roads shall be kept wetted while being used or shall be oiled or hard-surfaced and maintained so as to prevent the emanation of dust.

c.    All private access roads leading off any public street or highway onto property used for any purpose permitted in this zone shall be paved, with asphalt or concrete surfacing not less than three (3) inches in thickness, for the first fifty (50) feet of said access road.

d.    No excavation or production from an open pit quarry shall be permitted which creates a slope steeper than one (1) foot horizontally to one (1) foot vertically.

e.    No excavation or production shall be permitted nearer than fifty (50) feet of the boundary of the QR Zone.

f.    No production shall be permitted nearer than fifty (50) feet of any lot line of adjoining property in any zone or district unless the written consent of the owner in fee of such property is first secured and recorded in the Los Angeles County Recorder’s Office.

g.    Prior to the start of any quarry operations the outer boundaries of the entire property shall be continuously enclosed by a six (6) foot high fence. Where adjacent to a public street or residentially zoned area, required fencing shall be a view obstructing fence, wall or landscaped berm. Elsewhere, the fence may be constructed of chain link, provided however that the reviewing authority may, without notice or hearing, grant a modification to the provisions of this subsection where:

(i)    Such property is located in the bed or flood channel of a wash or water course and such fencing would be impractical, or

(ii)    Topographic features, locational factors or other conditions create an unnecessary hardship or unreasonable situation making it impractical to require compliance with the fencing requirements contained in this subsection.

All such requests for modification shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 17.102 PMC.

h.    All uses permitted in the QR Zone which are not conducted within an enclosed building shall confine all operations on the property to the hours between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, except in cases of public emergency or building repairs as are required to be made.

i.    Before commencing operation in any quarry the owner or operator shall secure insurance, to the extent of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), against liability in tort arising from the production, activities or operations incident thereto conducted or carried on under or by virtue of any law or ordinance, and such insurance shall be kept in full force and effect during the period of such operations.

j.    Comply with the provisions of the State Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA), including preparation of reclamation plans and annual reports, provision of financial assurances, and the conducting of annual inspections, as specified in Chapter 17.102 PMC.

G.    Any signage, fencing, landscaping, parking, loading, trash enclosures or similar requirements shall conform to the applicable provisions of Division 8.