The Board of Supervisors has rescheduled a hearing to December 13 on Rise Grass Valley’s petition for vested rights to conduct mining operations at the Idaho Maryland Mine. The hearing was originally scheduled for October 27.
Due to the unprecedented volume of material provided to the County in the petition, and the responses that are expected to be submitted by the public, the Board rescheduled the hearing to provide County staff additional time to review and respond to Rise Grass Valley’s petition.
“With over 2,000 pages submitted with the petition for recognition of vested rights, which far exceeds most other known petitions for vested rights, and after consultation with our outside counsel, it was clear that we needed additional time to review and analyze the petition," explained County Counsel Kit Elliott, adding that "the issues involved are unique and complex and staff want to make sure that all history is verified, and the legal analysis is complete before preparing the presentation before the Board of Supervisors.”
A vested right is “a right to continue activity that existed before a zoning restriction became effective,” Elliot said. “A vested rights finding for Rise Grass Valley would mean that the applicant has a legal right to mine on the Brunswick Industrial Site.”
The hearing on the petition for vested rights will be held at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, December 13 in the Board chambers, 950 Maidu Ave, Nevada City; with a second day added Thursday, December 14, beginning at 9:00 a.m. if necessary to accommodate public testimony and Board deliberation. A formal Public Hearing notice will be released as required prior to the public hearing in accordance with Nevada County Land Use and Development Code and California State Law.
The hearing will be limited to: 1) presentations from the applicant and from County staff related to the history of the use at the site and the governing law on vested rights, 2) questions by the Board, and 3) public comment limited to the history of the use at the site. Public comment will be allowed prior to the close of the hearing.
After public comment, the Board will conduct its deliberations. The Board can then make a final determination on whether the petition for vested rights should be granted. The Board will make the determination based on facts confirming the historical use of the Idaho Maryland Mine property currently owned by Rise Grass Valley and the applicable law on vested rights.
If the Board grants the petition, the next step would be a consideration of a reclamation plan. The conduct of those hearings and legal and environmental considerations would be addressed at that time and would be subject to a noticed public hearing.
If the Board denies the petition, the County will schedule a noticed public hearing in early 2024 to continue the process on the original project application to reopen the Idaho Maryland Mine.
A copy of Rise Grass Valley’s petition for recognition of vested rights is available for public review at the Community Development Agency, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City or online at www.nevadacountyca.gov/IMMRise.