Chapter 33.62
MINERAL RESOURCE LANDS (MRL) AND MINERAL RESOURCE OVERLAY DISTRICTS (MRLOD)

Sections:

33.62.010    Purpose.

33.62.020    Mineral Resource Land.

33.62.030    Overlay District.

33.62.040    Eligibility for MRLOD status.

33.62.050    MRLOD ineligibility.

33.62.060    MRLOD ineligibility does not preclude MRL designation or surface mine operation.

33.62.070    Application requirements for MRLOD or MRL.

33.62.080    Benefits of MRLOD status.

SOURCE:    ADOPTED:

Ord. 969    11/10/20

33.62.010 Purpose.

The primary purpose of such districts is to implement the mineral resource lands designation of the Comprehensive Plan, established pursuant to RCW 36.70A.170, by allowing the type of activity that encourages and supports the opportunity for the extraction of minerals in areas of Clallam County designated as containing resources viable for long-term commercial extraction. Such a district is also designed to discourage incompatible uses from locating upon those lands where mineral extraction, as defined in this code (or creation of a disturbed area as defined in State law of under three acres) occurs or can be anticipated.

33.62.020 Mineral Resource Land.

Land having, pursuant to CCC 31.02.170(3), a written classification score of at least 100 but no more than 149 (and having at least 15 or more points from the category of underlying geology), shall be designated as Mineral Resource Land through an annual County-initiated Comprehensive Plan amendment process. This designation as “Mineral Resource Land” shall be a co-designation with the existing zoning designation applicable to that real property before the co-designation.

33.62.030 Overlay District.

The MRL Overlay District or MRLOD shall be an overlay district that overlies the prior existing underlying zoning designation. All parcels in the rural areas proposed for an MRLOD are required to submit an application for a Comprehensive Plan amendment, which will be reviewed by the Planning Commission and County Commissioners as outlined in CCC 31.08.320. Only the rules of this chapter and CCC 33.07.045 apply to land designated as MRLOD. This section does not alter, revise or repeal any federal or State law or regulation applicable to either the operation of a surface mine or an application seeking to operate a surface mine.

33.62.040 Eligibility for MRLOD status.

MRLOD status is available to those lands from which mineral extraction as defined in this code (or creation of a disturbed area as defined in State law of under three acres) of mineral resources such as sand, gravel, rock, and other valuable aggregate or metallic substances can be anticipated to occur within 20 years (or for up to 20 years) of the application date and which satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

(1) MRLOD status is available to existing surface mines as described in CCC 31.02.190(3);

(2) Have a known or potential extractable resource that meets county road standards or construction specifications in commercial quantities as verified by the submittal to the County of a geologic and economic report prepared by a qualified professional;

(3) Meet the designation criteria listed in CCC 31.02.180; or

(4) Have a written classification score of not less than 150 (and having at least 15 or more points from the category of underlying geology) pursuant to the classification scoring system found in CCC 31.02.170(3).

33.62.050 MRLOD ineligibility.

MRLOD status is not available to land:

(1) Within one-half mile of a public preserve (e.g., State or County park), urban growth area, school, day care or elder care facility or place of religious worship); or

(2) Within one-quarter mile of rural residential areas having an existing density greater than (more intense than) one dwelling unit per 5.1 acres except as stated herein. Such land is eligible for MRLOD status if there are no existing residences within 600 feet of the boundary of the parcel in question or any existing residence within 600 feet of the boundary of the parcel proposed for mining is also owned by the mining applicant. Land exceeding the density of one dwelling unit per 5.1 acres may obtain an MRL designation if a noise study is submitted demonstrating that the mineral extraction and processing activity will not exceed maximum permissible noise levels found in Chapter 173-60 WAC at the nearest residence or place of business.

33.62.060 MRLOD ineligibility does not preclude MRL designation or surface mine operation.

(1) With respect to a site ineligible for MRLOD status because of its location, gaining co-designation as Mineral Resource Land is not foreclosed, nor is the lawful operation of a surface mine if the applicant for such co-designation or use is able to comply with other development regulations found elsewhere in this title and CCC Title 31, the County’s Comprehensive Plan.

(2) Sites that are ineligible for a MRLOD because of their location but obtain a classification score of at least 100 but less than 150 per CCC 31.02.170 shall be designated as MRL.

(3) Sites that are ineligible for MRLOD status because of their location but score not less than 75 points pursuant to CCC 31.02.170 are shown to have qualities that should encourage mineral extraction and mining should be allowed at that site through issuance of a zoning CUP. The application for a zoning CUP by an applicant having a classification score between 75 and 99 shall not be denied unless the Hearing Examiner concludes there is substantial evidence in the record before the Examiner that the proposal does not meet the zoning CUP criteria found in CCC 33.27.040(1)(a), (b), (c), and (d).

33.62.070 Application requirements for MRLOD or MRL.

(1) All parcels in the rural areas are required to submit an application for a Comprehensive Plan amendment, which will be reviewed by the Planning Commission and County Commissioners as outlined in CCC 31.08.320. For the first two years after the adoption of this provision, DCD will allow a Comprehensive Plan amendment at no cost to the applicant. All Commercial Forest Areas with the following geology (Ev(cf), EV(cp), Qgo, and Qgo(i)) per the mineral land maps would be designated MRLOD through the adoption of this section. All rural areas with the following geology (Ev(cf), EV(cp), Qgo, and Qgo(i)) per the mineral lands map, or through a study submitted by the applicant and approved by DCD, would be eligible for a Comprehensive Plan amendment at no cost to the applicant in perpetuity.

(2) Submit a SEPA checklist.

(3) Pay the applicable fees for review of the relevant development regulations and the SEPA checklist.

(4) Supply an operations plan, which shall include, at a minimum, the following:

(a) A site plan including, if applicable, but also not limited to, the location of all critical areas and their buffers on the site and the operator’s plan to manage them in a manner consistent with Chapter 27.10 CCC, the County’s critical areas ordinance;

(b) Planned hours of operation;

(c) Number of employees;

(d) Any associated activities (crushing, sorting, screening) the applicant intends to undertake at this site;

(e) Noise mitigation plans;

(f) A noxious weed control plan;

(g) A buffer plan, if needed, in conformance with subsection (7)(h) of this section;

(h) Contact information (email or phone) for a representative of the surface mine who can be contacted outside of normal business hours if needed or in case of an emergency;

(i) A draft DNR reclamation plan showing existing and proposed contours in a front, side and plan view; and

(j) To the extent needed, all mitigation plans intended to reduce the adverse environmental impacts of the surface mine to below the level of “probable” and “significant.”

(5) If processing (crushing, sorting or screening) is to occur within one-quarter mile of a residence, then a noise study will be required such that after any mitigation actions are implemented the noise generated by the applying surface mine at the residence that is most distant from the processing area but within one-quarter mile of the processing area shall not exceed the maximum environmental levels authorized by Chapter 173-60 WAC.

(6) If there is to be mineral extraction within five feet of a water table (aquifer) then the applicant must supply a hydrogeological report to ensure the mineral extraction will occur without any adverse environmental impacts to groundwater.

(7) Submit a separate application for a zoning conditional use permit if the applicant for MRLOD status chooses to install or construct and then operate an asphalt or concrete plant for more than 120 days in any one calendar year.

(8) If critical areas are present on the applying parcels, then the applicant must comply with Chapter 27.10 CCC and SEPA.

(9) The Comprehensive Plan amendment designation of all MRLOD in rural areas shall provide notice within 1,000 feet of the boundary of the MRLOD as outlined in CCC 26.10.410(2)(c).

33.62.080 Benefits of MRLOD status.

(1) The County will place the location of all MRLOD on the critical area maps to inform future landowners of their existence and to be aware of the provisions of Chapter 27.12 CCC. Any land division, building permit, or development within 600 feet of the boundary of land designated as an MRLOD must comply with the terms and conditions of Chapter 27.10 CCC, entitled “Right to Practice Forestry, Mining and Agriculture,” including, but not limited to, placement of the disclosure text required by CCC 27.10.020 on any development, building permit or division of land occurring within 600 feet of the MRLOD designated land.

(2) Mineral extraction, as that term is defined in the County’s development regulations, is an allowed use at any parcel or parcels designated as a MRLOD regardless of whether undertaking mineral extraction requires a conditional use permit in the underlying zoning district.

(3) Operation of the surface mine in a manner consistent with the operations plan on file with the County and in compliance with all state and local regulations applicable to mineral extraction and processing operations shall not be deemed a public nuisance.

(4) Home-based industries, including outbuilding or storage areas, with a focus on rural or recreational activities would be permitted as long as the home-based industry does not utilize more than five acres of the parcel or parcels designated as MRLOD.

(5) A parcel or parcels designated as MRLOD may be assessed for tax purposes as resource land.

(6) After the mineral resource extraction is no longer occurring and the reclamation has been completed to the satisfaction of the State DNR the landowner may request a County-initiated Comprehensive Plan amendment which would remove the MRLOD designation. The amendment, if approved by the County Commission, would change the underlying zoning to either (i) the underlying (prior) zoning for the site or parcels mined, or (ii) the zoning designation applicable to an abutting parcel, or (iii) the landowner(s) for large contiguous areas (over 160 acres) may propose a specific zoning designation, provided it is not considered a spot zone. The subsequent use of all parcels over 16 acres in size in the Agricultural Retention District shall be retained in Agricultural, and are not eligible for a Comprehensive Plan amendment through this process.