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PDFWAC 365-190-070

Mineral resource lands.

(1) In classifying, designating and de-designating mineral resource lands, counties and cities must conduct a comprehensive countywide analysis consistent with WAC 365-190-040(10), with the exception of owner-initiated requests for designation. Counties and cities should not review mineral resource lands designations solely on a parcel-by-parcel basis. Counties and cities may de-designate mineral resource lands without a comprehensive countywide analysis if mining operations have ceased and the site reclaimed.
(2) Counties and cities must identify and classify mineral resource lands from which the extraction of minerals occurs or can be anticipated. Counties and cities may consider the need for a longer planning period specifically to address mineral resource lands, based on the need to assure availability of minerals for future uses, and to not inadvertently preclude access to available mineral resources due to incompatible development. Other proposed land uses within these areas may require special attention to ensure future supply of aggregate and mineral resource material, while maintaining a balance of land uses.
(3) Classification criteria.
(a) Counties and cities classify mineral resource lands based on geologic, environmental, and economic factors, existing land uses, and land ownership. It is expected that mineral resource lands will be depleted of minerals over time, and that subsequent land uses may occur on these lands after mining is completed. Counties and cities may approve and permit land uses on these mineral resource lands to occur after mining is completed.
(b) Counties and cities should classify lands with potential long-term commercial significance for extracting at least the following minerals: Sand, gravel, and valuable metallic substances. Other minerals may be classified as appropriate.
(c) When classifying these areas, counties and cities should use maps and information on location and extent of mineral deposits provided by the department of natural resources, the United States Geological Service and any relevant information provided by property owners. Counties and cities may also use all or part of a detailed minerals classification system developed by the department of natural resources.
(d) Classifying mineral resource lands should be based on the geology and the distance to market of potential mineral resource lands, including:
(i) Physical and topographic characteristics of the mineral resource site, including the depth and quantity of the resource and depth of the overburden;
(ii) Physical properties of the resource including quality and type;
(iii) Projected life of the resource;
(iv) Resource availability in the region; and
(v) Accessibility and proximity to the point of use or market.
(e) Other factors to consider when classifying potential mineral resource lands should include three aspects of mineral resource lands:
(i) The ability to access needed minerals may be lost if suitable mineral resource lands are not classified and designated; and
(ii) The effects of proximity to population areas and the possibility of more intense uses of the land in both the short and long-term, as indicated by the following:
(A) General land use patterns in the area;
(B) Availability of utilities, including water supply;
(C) Surrounding parcel sizes and surrounding uses;
(D) Availability of public roads and other public services; and
(E) Subdivision or zoning for urban or small lots.
(iii) Energy costs of transporting minerals.
(4) Designation of mineral resource lands.
(a) Counties and cities must designate known mineral deposits so that access to mineral resources of long-term commercial significance is not knowingly precluded. Priority land use for mineral extraction should be retained for all designated mineral resource lands.
(b) In designating mineral resource lands, counties and cities should determine if adequate mineral resources are available for projected needs from currently designated mineral resource lands.
(c) Counties and cities may consult with the department of transportation and the regional transportation planning organization to determine projected future mineral resource needs for large transportation projects planned in their area.
(d) In designating mineral resource lands, counties and cities must also consider that mining may be a temporary use at any given mine, depending on the amount of minerals available and the consumption rate, and that other land uses can occur on the mine site after mining is completed, subject to approval.
(e) Successful achievement of the natural resource industries goal set forth in RCW 36.70A.020 requires the conservation of a land base sufficient in size and quality to maintain and enhance those industries and the development and use of land use techniques that discourage uses incompatible with the management of designated lands.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 36.70A.050 and 36.70A.190. WSR 23-08-037, § 365-190-070, filed 3/29/23, effective 4/29/23; WSR 10-03-085, § 365-190-070, filed 1/19/10, effective 2/19/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 36.70A.050. WSR 91-07-041, § 365-190-070, filed 3/15/91, effective 4/15/91.]
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