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Thread: Mining in the City

  1. #1
    Member hindered's avatar
    Mar 2004

    Mining in the City

    We are in the process of investigating the annexation of land containing large deposits of gypsum. These parcels are currently in ag production with no mining activities currently occurring. However, it is estimated that within the next 15-20 years this land will be opened up and extraction will begin. The gyp company owns most of the land they suspect of having gypsum, but not all.

    We are checking into annexing this land because we may have a voluntary annexation adjacent to the gypsum land and preliminary talks with gyp company reps have been inquisitive, but not negative. We currently have no gypsum land within the City. All of the mining and mills are located in the County which allows new extraction by special exception only. If annexation occurs, we plan to work with the company to develop zoning controls to make sure they are allowed to open up their land for mining with minimal conflicts; likely through the development of an overlay zone and/or mining district. In preparation for this, we are educating ourselves as to the possibilities prior to submitting a possible proposal to the gyp co's corporate.

    This is a unique situation in these parts since there is very little mining in this agricultural state aside from sand, gravel, & limestone. We just happen to have one heckuva large deposit of gypsum here. Mining here has been going on for 100+ years and probably will for 100+ more, but development has been getting closer to the deposits over time. Our main objective would be to protect this large industry from harm rather than to restrict mining rights in favor of more urban-type development in those areas. One reason the gyp co might be open to annexation is that the County hasn't really grasped the common sense of land use control. Haphazard residential development is becoming more common in the County not less common. It is not inconceivable that future County officials might be more interested in pacifying rural residents than protecting this industry.

    Probably more than you wanted to know, but I'm looking for some ideas. I've tried APA and the info I received was minimal to say the least. Surprise.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian H's avatar
    Feb 2003
    Not sure of the question, but:

    What is the current county land use (zoning) for the land? What are the vested rights of the mine? In FL we have a state program for vesting rights to mine over a period of time. Maybe your state has something like that and then the city would not have to annex to protect the mine.

    Gypsum is radioactive so i hope the rural developments you speak of are not too close.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
    Oct 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I might be able to find something. Copper mining is huge in Arizona and several cities are in close proximity, but not sure if Phelps Dodge allowed anything to be incorporated.

  4. #4
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
    Jul 1998
    On the Mother River
    I'm not sure what you are needing either but here are my thoughts. If you make your intentions clear to the corp. it should look like a less risky proposition than the uncertainty of being in the county. I would investigate the tax implications, with the size of the tracts of land it could be much more expensive to be inside the city. I would be ready with those figures.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    I would approach the company and work with them to prepare plans for reclaiming/redeveloping the land once mining is completed, perhaps in phases. They could look at this as a win-win proposition if you have the right attitude. As far as regulation is concerned, I would check with your state DNR to see what rules they have on the books.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break
    You have not said, but I am assuming these deposits are near the surface? If so, we're talking about open pit or surface mines? Are you located in a 'mining state' (out west)? If so, have you or your municipal attorney done any preliminary investigation into state statutes concerning mining? There are significant differences between states on this issue. I agree with Cardinal you should check your with your state's DNR (sooner in the process, as opposed to later) as a first stop in your investigation.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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