Petition against the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) vote in Mariposa County

This is also a quote from Mariposa County on how they plan to define small scale mining and the amendment they plan to use against us.

Over the years, there have been real examples small scale mining operations which expand beyond their originally proposed size (some even getting over the size where a mining permit would be required) or which abandoned the property without properly reclaiming it.  At this point, the only mechanism we’ve have to monitor the small scale mining operations has been through the grading permit process.  The following is an amendment being proposed to establish specific requirements, to remedy what has been an issue on sites around the County.
Amendments to Chapter 17.108
Chapter 17.108
17.108.110 Mineral or construction material processing site standards
A. The following standards shall apply to all mining and small scale mining:
1.        Minimum setback required: Processing may not be established on a site that is less than five hundred (500) feet from an adjacent property line unless otherwise approved under the provisions of a conditional use permit.  Minimum setback requirements may be waived by the planning commission where a processing plant is located within either an MPZ or an AEZ.  The planning commission shall require written notification of contiguous property owners prior to waiving any setback requirements as provided above.
2.        Nothing in this section should be construed to be in conflict with the applicable surface mining regulations of federal and state law or county ordinance. (Ord. 704, Sec.1, 1988).
B. The following standards shall apply to all small scale mining, through an Administrative Use Permit:
1. Small scale mining shall obtain all county, state and federal agency permits required, based on the characteristics of the project, prior to commencement of work on-site.
2. Erosion and sediment control shall be proposed and maintained during all phases of the project. 
3. The boundaries of the approved work area shall be marked on-site prior to commencement of work; shall be inspected and documented by staff; and shall be maintained for the life of the project.
4. The project shall be subject to regular inspections by staff; the interval of which may be as often as quarterly and no less than annually.
5. Written reporting shall be submitted to staff, to document quantities of material processed; the interval for required reporting may be as often as monthly and no less than annually.
6. Upon completion of work, the work site area shall be reclaimed.  Reclamation shall include re-grading and re-contouring of the disturbed site to blend with surrounding natural topography.  Following re-grading work, the site shall be re-vegetated (minimum seeding and straw)
7. All costs associated with processing of the Administrative Use Permit, including conduct of inspections and review of reporting, shall be the responsibility of the project proponent.
8. If a small scale mining site is abandoned prior to completion of the required reclamation, the property owner shall be responsible for completing the required reclamation work.
The following is the text being proposed for adoption provides a definition of “Small Scale Mining”.
Mining, small scale:
Prospecting for, or the extraction of minerals for commercial purposes and the removal of mineral, ores and overburden in total amounts of less than one thousand (1,000) cubic yards in any one location of one acre or less when conducted in compliance with all applicable regulations and permits.



Mariposa is an historical mining/ranching/cattle grazing county.  Even our local Gazette is still the “Mariposa Gazette and Miner!”

Mariposa County is going to vote on a requirement that all mining in Mariposa County will require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) very soon.  The CUP would impose a third layer of regulations on mines on 160+ acre parcels zoned AG or Working Landscape.  There are already two layers of rules and regulations and costs for mining at the state and federal levels.  They are:

          CEQA—California Environmental Quality Act
          SMARA—Small Mining and Reclamation Act

These punitive Acts have shut down most mining in Mariposa County.

The idea of adding a CUP was brought before the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors and the Mariposa Planning Commission by Mariposans for the Environment and Responsible Government or MERG.  MERG is a local organization that does not understand modern mining techniques, and therefore is against mining, and other resource use on public and private lands.

The CUP will add additional costs to new mines and quarries that provide our local road base and building materials.  If the CUP passes, these costs would be passed along to local consumers, and could also affect our private property rights.

The extra costs and regulations that will be imposed will make it extremely difficult for any new mines or quarries to be approved in Mariposa County.  Mariposa’s future economy is at stake.  With no new mines there will be less economic development and fewer LIVING WAGE JOBS in Mariposa County

Thanks for signing this PETITION against the Conditional Use Permit (CUP)!

The information you provide will be used solely for the purposes of presenting this petition.  We may contact you with information directly related to this petition but your information will neither be bought, sold, given away, nor used for any other purpose.


This petition is now closed.

End date: Oct 31, 2015

Signatures collected: 71

Signature goal: 500

71 signatures

Signature goal: 500

Leave a Reply