Surface mining overlay update


The Board of County Commissioners held a public hearing on November 25, 2014 and adopted changes to the surface mining overlay (SMO) as follows:

These changes took effect on January 1, 2015.

Supporting Documents:

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