The Whatcom County Council will accepting public comments to the proposed changes to the Mineral Resource Lands designation criteria. You can speak to this issue during the open public comment session of the meeting. If you are unable to attend tonight’s meeting you can call the Council, write a letter, email them, or send your comments by proxy with a friend or family member.
This is a brief descriptor of the proposed changes that will significantly change Whatcom County’s ability to fulfill this resource locally. The amendment is AB2014-344 and Council will be hearing public testimony on this amendment tonight.
Proposed amendments to the Mineral Resources portion of the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code. The proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments include changes to general mineral extraction policies that implement Goal 8K (adverse impacts), Goal 8Q (MRL designation), and MRL Designation Criteria. Proposed amendments to the zoning code include altering the permitting process from administrative approval use to a conditinal use permit, changing the distance from rural or residential districts that surface mining activities associated with forest practices within the forestry zones trigger a discretionary permit, changing the notfication distance for discretionary permits associated with surface mining, requiring noxious weeds to not be established in buffers of surface mining operations, limiting the area of active mineral extraction, and requiring compliance with regulations and permits for neighboring mines of common beneficial ownership. County Planning Department staff and Washington State Department of Natural Resources staff will be available to discuss mineral resource extraction processes in Washington State.