Goochland County
Virginia

Resolution
1127

CU-2014-00005 Application filed by William Kilgore requesting a Conditional Use Permit for mining operations at the old Moss Mine at 4385 Shannon Hill Road on a portion of Assessor’s Parcel No. 3-1-0-5-0 (GPIN 6803-22-1463). The property is zoned A-1 (Agricultural, General) and is 45.843 acres. The Conditional Use Permit is required by Article 2, Sections 3.24 of the Goochland County Zoning Ordinance. The Comprehensive Plan designates this area as Rural Enhancement.

Information

Department:Planning & ZoningSponsors:
Category:BOS Conditional Use Permit

Agenda Item

Board Action Requested

The Board is requested to consider the attached CUP application filed by William Kilgore.

 

Summary of Information

District 1

CU-2014-00005 Application filed by William Kilgore requesting a Conditional Use Permit for mining operations at the old Moss Mine at 4385 Shannon Hill Road on a portion of Assessor’s Parcel No. 3-1-0-5-0 (GPIN 6803-22-1463).  The property is zoned A-1 (Agricultural, General) and is 45.843 acres. 

 

The subject property is zoned A-1 (Agricultural, General).  A CUP is required by Article 2, Section 3.24 of the County’s Zoning Ordinance for “sand and gravel pits, quarries, mining operations (excavating and equipment used for the production of materials shall be confined to an area at least one thousand (1,000) feet from the nearest occupied dwelling at the time the use was permitted by the state)."  The site is designated Rural Enhancement Area in the Comprehensive Plan.

 

The historic Moss Mine was mined for gold and silver on and off between 1835 and 1939.  The applicant is proposing to begin mining for “free milling” gold.  “Free milling” gold is visible gold that can be separated from its host rock through crushing and gravity separation technology.  No blasting or chemicals will be used.  This will be a self-contained open pit mine at a depth between 75 and 150 feet.  The applicant will also remove contaminated soil that may be left from previous mining efforts.  When the mining operation is completed, the site will be restored to a wetland type environment.

 

The applicant hosted a community meeting on March 15, 2014.  Planning Commissioners, Mr. Myers and Mr. Brewer and 6 citizens attended the meeting.  There was discussion regarding the historic Mill House, the type of mining to be done, the use of chemicals or blasting, and questions on how long the mining operation will last. On April 25, 2014, the applicant hosted a second meeting on site for staff to walk the property.  Planning Commissioners, Mr. Andrews and Mr. Myers also attended.

 

At the June 5, 2014 Planning Commission meeting, the Commission recommended approval of the CUP by a 4-0 vote. Mr. Murray was absent.  The Planning Commission added a condition to require a $100,000 performance bond for the reclamation plans.  Representatives of Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) also made minor modifications to the conditions to clarify state requirements.

 

 

 

Res / Ord Body

 

Resolution  Approving  a  Conditional  Use  Permit  for  William  Kilgore  for mining  operations  at  4385  Shannon  Hill  Road  on  Assessor’s  Parcel  No.  3-1-0-5-0 (GPIN 6803-22-1463)

 

WHEREAS, William Kilgore filed an application requesting a Conditional Use Permit (“CUP”) for Assessor’s Parcel No. 3-1-0-5-0 (GPIN 6803-22-1463) located at 4385 Shannon Hill Road in Election District One to operate a mining operation; and

 

WHEREAS, the subject property is currently zoned A-1 (Agricultural, General); and

 

WHEREAS, the proposed activities are permitted in the A-1 Zoning District with approval of a CUP as set forth in Article 2 Section 3.24 of the County Zoning Ordinance (Appendix A of the Goochland County Code); and

 

WHEREAS, the Comprehensive Plan designates this area as Rural Enhancement; and

 

WHEREAS, the Goochland County Planning Commission duly advertised and held a public hearing on Thursday, June 5, 2014, pursuant to Section 15.2-2204 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, on said request and recommended the approval of the requested CUP subject to certain terms and conditions; and

 

WHEREAS, the Goochland County Board of Supervisors duly advertised and held a public hearing on said application on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, pursuant to Section 15.2-2204 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended; and

 

WHEREAS, pursuant to Article 27, Section 3 of the County Zoning Ordinance, the Board of Supervisors makes the following findings related to the CUP:

 

1.              The Board is empowered pursuant to Article 27, Section 3 of the County Zoning Ordinance to grant this conditional use permit by special exception and the granting of the special exception will not adversely affect the public interest.

 

2.              The granting of the conditional use permit by special exception is required by public necessity, convenience, general welfare or good zoning practice.

 

3.              In acting on this conditional use by special exception, the Board of Supervisors has considered each of the guidelines provided in Article 27, Conditional Uses, Section 4(a) through (n) of the Goochland County Zoning Ordinance.

 

Now, Therefore, be it Resolved, that the Goochland County Board of Supervisors does hereby grant the Conditional Use Permit (“CUP”) requested for Assessor’s Parcel No. 3-1-0-5-0 (GPIN 6803-22-1463) located at 4385 Shannon Hill Road in Election District One to operate a mining operation, subject to the following terms and conditions:

1.              State and Federal Regulations.  The applicant shall comply with all state and federal regulations regarding mining operations.

2.              Permits.  The applicant shall submit a copy of all approved state and federal permits to the Planning Office.

3.              State Requirements.  All state permit requirements shall be met including, but not limited to, the following:

a.              Offsite Materials / Trash.  Disposal of off-site generated waste materials will not be allowed within the permitted area.  No trash and/or debris will be allowed to accumulate on-site;

b.              Marking of Permit Boundaries.  The permit boundary of the mine shall be clearly marked with identifiable markings when mine-related disturbing activities are within one hundred feet (100’) of the permit boundary;

c.              Roads.   The Virginia Department of Transportation (“VDOT”) shall approve the access road entrance. The access road will be properly maintained to ensure that mud and debris are not tracked on to public roads. The access road will be at least fifteen feet (15’) in width and paved with gravel, asphalt, or a combination of sand and gravel for a distance of two hundred feet (200’) from the junction with the public road. All access roads and service roads will be properly maintained to control dust. Maintenance of the road system shall consist of inspecting, repairing, and cleaning roadways, ditches, and culverts as necessary;

d.              Drainage ways.  No impacts to natural drainage ways or wetlands shall be allowed unless approved by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (“DMME”), and/or Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and/or any other appropriate state or federal agency as deemed appropriate.  All intermittent or perennial streams shall be protected from spoil by natural or constructed barriers.  Buffer zones will be maintained in addition to proper sediment control;

e.              Screening.  Site screening shall be achieved by one or a combination of the following methods:

i.              One hundred feet (100’) of undisturbed forest within the permit boundary;

ii.              Use of natural topography;

iii.              Constructed berms; and

iv.              Tree plantings;

f.              Mining Method, Topsoil Storage, and Drainage Control.  Prior to any land disturbing activities, temporary sediment control will be properly installed where necessary around the perimeter of the area to be disturbed. Topsoil and overburden will be removed and stockpiled or used to create diversion berms around the perimeter of the site.  Berms shall not be constructed within twenty-five feet (25’) of adjacent property boundaries without written permission from the adjoining property owner. As areas are completed, the berms will be utilized to obtain final grade and promote vegetative cover. Mining will be conducted in such a way as to direct all surface runoff into the pit. To the extent possible, all stormwater drainage within the disturbed area will be diverted into the pit;

g.              Closure of Roads or Openings.  Upon abandonment of the mine, the operator shall effectively close or fence all roads, openings, and pits where hazardous conditions exist; and

h.              Groundwater Protection Plan.  The applicant shall prepare a Groundwater Protection Plan.

4.              Groundwater Protection.  In addition to state requirements, the applicant shall include in their groundwater management plan additional information to address the potential for acid mine drainage (due to sulfurous deposits) and possible mercury, cyanide, or other similar contaminants from previous mining operations.  If such issues exist, a mitigation plan will be required.

5.              Topsoil and Overburden Storage Area.  Storage areas shall be limited to fifty feet (50’) in height.

6.               Setback from Residence.  Prior to any mining activities, the one thousand foot (1000’) buffer area from the closest residence shall be surveyed and clearly delineated in a manner approved by the Zoning Administrator and said buffer must be maintained throughout the mining operation.

7.              Parcel Boundary.  The eastern boundary (adjacent to Parcel 3-1-0-4-0, GPIN 6803-22-8938) and southern boundary (adjacent to Parcel 3-1-0-6-0, GPIN 6802-28-6286) shall be clearly delineated in a manner approved by the Zoning Administrator and maintained throughout the mining operation.

8.               Fencing.  Prior to pit excavation commencing, the open pit area shall be surrounded by a four foot (4’) woven wire fence with a double strand of barb wire on top.

9.               No Toxic Chemicals or Hazardous Substances.  No chemicals or hazardous materials, other than fuel and equipment service products, shall be stored or allowed on-site. 

10.              No Blasting.  There shall be no blasting on site.

11.              Hours of Operation.  Hours of operation shall be limited to Monday through Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  There shall be no operation on Sunday.

12.               Bond Requirement.              Prior to the approval of a Plan of Development, a performance bond, or other form of security approved by the County Attorney’s office, in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) shall be submitted to the Planning Office to ensure site reclamation.

13.               Expiration.  The CUP shall be granted for five (5) years until July 31, 2019.  The applicant may apply for a new CUP at that time.

14.               Transfer of Ownership.  The property owner shall notify the Planning Office of any transfer of ownership of the property and ensure any new owner is notified of this CUP and any CUP conditions.

 

 

Meeting History

Jul 1, 2014 3:00 PM  Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Senior Planner Jo Anne Hunter gave an overview of the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application for a mining operation and mine clean-up for a portion of Assessor’s Parcel No. 3-1-0-5-0 (GPIN 6803-22-1463). The site is known as the Moss Mine and is located at 4358 Shannon Hill Road.

Ms. Hunter stated the historic Moss Mine was mined for gold and silver on and off between 1835 and 1939. The applicant is proposing to begin mining for “free milling” gold. “Free milling” gold is visible gold that can be separated from its host rock through crushing and gravity separation technology. No blasting or chemicals will be used. This would be a self-contained open pit mine at a depth between 75 and 150 feet. The applicant will also remove and clean contaminated soil that may be left from previous mining efforts. When the mining operation is complete, the site will be restored to a wetland type environment.

A very extensive permit process is required by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). Their permit process generally takes 9 - 12 months to complete. Applicants are required to provide a number of engineered studies and a complete mine operations plan that include: method of mining, what equipment will be used, how they plan to extract the materials, disposal and handling of by products, engineered studies on the impact on groundwater, Erosion and Sediment Control plan, drainage plans, access road construction and maintenance, and a reclamation plan. The required reclamation plan needs to include the post mining land use, plan for back filling and regrading, and revegatation. DMME also requires a bond of $1000 per acre for the reclamation plan. The Planning Commission added a condition to require a $100,000 performance bond to cover the complete cost of reclamation.

The County Code requires mining operations to have a setback of at least one thousand (1,000) feet from the nearest occupied dwelling at the time the use was permitted by the state. There is an occupied residence to the west. This 1000’ buffer area will need to be surveyed and clearly delineated on site so the buffer area is maintained.

The DMME permit will require a 5-foot setback from property lines for activities related to mining and a 25-foot setback for excavation and fill activities. Setbacks can be waived if the applicant obtains a letter from the adjacent property owner granting permission. Screening in the form of a natural buffer or berm is also required to protect adjacent property owners.

Chairman Alvarez asked if there were any questions, Ms. Lascolette asked about the state requirements items 3 a - h, that the county was able to change...additions and strikethroughs things we did to the state requirements? Ms. Hunter stated Damien Fehrer, Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) went through this with them to clarify that they were consistent with the state. Chairman Alvarez asked if there were any other questions then asked if the applicant wished to speak.

William Kilgore, applicant, stated he currently resides in Bristol, Tennessee but when project gets underway he will be taking temporary residence here and may even build on this property with the plans for its overall reclamation. Mr. Kilgore stated this really needs to be referred to as a mine clean-up project because that is the overall goal, to take all that was inappropriately handled back in the 1800's, remove those footprints, the only way to do that is to go all the way down to where they were and remove any contaminants there, refill shaft(s), hopes remining will offset costs and hopes will make it a profitable operation. Mr. Kilgore noted there are other companies doing this in other states, that he may apply for some federal assistance if available, may look at doing this across the gold belt of Virginia, when completed it will be an absolutely beautiful wetlands area, productive for wildlife and people, completely safe, no contaminants. Mr. Kilgore stated what they will be doing has been well explained by staff.

Chairman Alvarez asked if there were any questions then opened the hearing to public comment. Seeing no one wishing to speak, the public comment period was closed.

Mr. Alvarez asked Mr. Kilgore his thoughts on the bond. Mr. Kilgore stated when the bond was first mentioned, he had deep concerns, was not really well-knowledged on performance bonds, has looked at issue, has found performance bonds can be obtained on a rather low percentage from 1-15% of total bond. We had discussed at the former meeting that the bond be in place when they did permit from the County, follow state permitting, as long as we can keep in that order he has no problem with it.

Mr. Peterson asked Mr. Kilgore if he was the current owner. Mr. Kilgore stated no, but that he does have a holding option on the property that will be exercised before the project begins and stated the owner is here at the meeting.

Ms. Lascolette stated the Planning Commission approved unanimously, she spoke to neighbors around there, they do not have a problem with this.

On motion of Ms. Lascolette, seconded by Mr. Peterson, which carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Conditional Use Application as presented. Roll call vote.

RESULT:ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Susan Lascolette, District 1 Supervisor
SECONDER:Ken Peterson, District 5 Supervisor
AYES:Susan Lascolette, Manuel Alvarez, Robert Minnick, Ken Peterson

Discussion