HAY CREEK TOWNSHIPGOODHUE COUNTY, MINNESOTAOrdinance No. 2012-1
Ordinance No. 2012-1
AN INTERIM ORDINANCE IMPOSING A
MORATORIUM ON CERTAIN USES WITHIN THE TOWN
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors (“Town Board”) of Hay Creek Township (“Town”) anticipates an increasing number of proposals for the establishment or expansion of mining operations and potential transport sites in the Town. Much of the anticipated increase in mining activities involve the mining of silica sands, a form of mining new to the area and the scope of the potential impacts of which are not fully known;
WHEREAS, Goodhue County adopted a moratorium on mining activities as it worked to review its ordinance with respect to the anticipated changes in mining operations. The County’s proceedings regarding this issue revealed a number of concerns regarding silica sand mining operations including potential impacts on bluff lands, surface waters, and ground water, public infrastructure, traffic safety, and air quality. Impacts to air quality and public health related to the dust generated from silica sand mining operations have been of particular concern to residents in the area;
WHEREAS, the Town has adopted a land use plan, but it has not adopted a comprehensive municipal plan as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 462.352, subdivision 5;
WHEREAS, the Town Board wishes to conduct a review of its land use plan and to study and consider whether to adopt a comprehensive municipal plan and zoning regulations on land uses including, but not limited to, mining and the processing, stockpiling, and transporting of mineral materials; and
WHEREAS, in order to protect the planning process, the Town Board desires to impose a moratorium on mining operations and related activities to allow the Town time to complete its study and to draft and adopt a comprehensive municipal plan and/or zoning regulations if it determines the adoption of such documents are in the Town’s best interests.
NOW, THEREFORE, the Board of Supervisors of the Town of Hay Creek ordains:
Section 1: Findings. The Town Board hereby finds and determines as follows:
(a)The recitals set forth above in this Ordinance are incorporated into and made part of this Ordinance and constitute findings of the Town Board;
(b)The Town Board is authorized under Minnesota Statutes, section 462.355, subdivision 4 to adopt an interim ordinance to limit or prohibit identified uses in order to protect the planning process by allowing the Town time to conduct studies so the Town Board is sufficiently informed to act on whether to update its land use plan, adopt a comprehensive municipal plan, and zoning regulations and, if so, how best to draft those documents to achieve the Town’s goals and to best protect its residents;
(c)The Town’s Planning Commission has been studying zoning issues and the Town Board desires to direct the Planning Commission to specifically study the County’s efforts to address mining, to review efforts made by other communities to regulate new and expanding mining efforts, and to make a recommendation to the Town Board on whether the Town should adopt zoning regulations that are at least as strict as those imposed by the County;
(d)The Town has experience with small mining operations, but the recent interest in mining silica sand discovered to exist in the southeast portion of the state, including in Goodhue County, have resulted in uncertainties as to the impacts the mining of sand and the related activities will have on the Town and its residents. The Town Board is similarly concerned about the potential impacts of large-scale mining operations on the Town and its residents. The potential for the creation of new sand mining operations, the conversion of existing mining operations to sand mining, and the potential impacts of large-scale mining operations create a need for the Town to place a temporary moratorium on new mining operations and on the expansion of existing mining operations;
(e)The Town Board determines it is in the best interests of the public to impose a moratorium on mining and related activities, with certain exceptions, in order to protect the planning process to provide sufficient time to allow the above referenced study to be conducted and for the Town Board to consider and act on the Planning Commission’s recommendations. The Town Board may act in the future to expand the scope of this Ordinance, but at this point the Town Board determines that mining and mining related activities specifically need to be temporarily prohibited to allow completion of the study to evaluate the potential impacts and the sufficiency of the regulations adopted by the County.
Section 2: Definitions. For the purposes of this Ordinance, the following terms shall have the meaning given them in this Section:
(a)County. “County” means Goodhue County, Minnesota.
(b)Mining Operation. “Mining operation” means a commercial operation engaged in nonmetallic mining.
(c)Mining Operation, Existing. “Existing mining operation” means a lawfully established mining operation that, prior to the effective date of this Ordinance, has obtained all final approvals required by all regulatory bodies in order to engage in nonmetallic mining without any additional permits or permissions.
(d)Mining Operation, New. “New mining operation” means a proposed mining operation that, as of the effective date of this Ordinance, has not received all final approvals from all regulatory bodies needed to engage in nonmetallic mining.
(e)Nonmetallic Minerals. “Nonmetallic minerals” means a product, commodity, or material of naturally occurring, organic, inorganic, nonmetallic, non-renewable material. Nonmetallic minerals including, but are not limited to, stone, rock, sand (including, but not limited to, silica sand), gravel, asbestos, beryl, diamond, clay, coal, feldspar, peat, and talc.
(f)Nonmetallic Mining. “Nonmetallic mining” means any or all of the following:
(i)Extraction from the earth of mineral aggregates or nonmetallic minerals for off-site use or sale, including drilling and blasting as well as associated activities such as excavation, grading, and dredging of such materials;
(ii)Manufacturing or processing operations that may involve the use of equipment for the crushing, screening, separation, or blending of the mineral aggregates or nonmetallic minerals obtained by extraction from the mining site or with materials transferred from off-site;
(iii)Manufacturing processes aimed at producing nonmetallic products for sale or use by the operator;
(iv)Stockpiling of nonmetallic products for sale or use off-site and stockpiling of waste materials;
(v)Transport of the extracted nonmetallic materials, finished products, or waste materials to or from the extraction site;
(vi)Disposal of waste materials; or
(vii)Reclamation of the extraction site.
(g)Town. “Town” means Hay Creek Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota.
(h)Town Board. “Town Board” means the Board of Supervisors of Hay Creek Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota.
Section 3: Study Authorized. The Town Board hereby authorizes and directs the Planning Commission to conduct a study and to make recommendations to the Town Board regarding, at a minimum, each of the following:
(a)Any existing and newly adopted County mining regulations and whether they are sufficient to adequately protect the Town;
(b)Whether the Town should develop and adopt a comprehensive municipal plan;
(c)Whether the Town should update its land use plan; and
(d)Whether the Town should adopt zoning regulations.
In conducting its study and developing its recommendations the Planning Commission should consider, together with such other information as it determines is relevant, each of the following:
(a)The impacts of mining and transport sites on public infrastructure and the health, safety, and public welfare of the Town’s residents and property owners;
(b)The results of the studies conducted on mining by the County;
(c)Information and regulations from other communities confronted with changes in mining operations and silica sand mining;
(d)If the Planning Commission determines the mining regulations adopted by the County are not sufficient to protect the Town, identify the specific deficiencies or areas of concern regarding the County regulations;
(e)If the Planning Commission recommends the adoption of zoning regulations, the recommendation should include comments on the following:
(1)The recommended scope of the Town’s zoning regulations;
(2)If there are any uses currently regulated by the County that the Town should not attempt to regulate locally; and
(3)Are there any uses currently allowed by the County ordinance that should be prohibited from occurring in the Town;
(f)If the Planning Commission recommends adopting a comprehensive municipal plan, the recommendation should include a description of the elements to be developed and made part of the plan; and
(g)If the Planning Commission recommends amending the Town’s land use plan, the recommendation should include the specific areas or issues that need to be updated within the plan.
Section 4: Moratorium. A moratorium is hereby imposed on the establishment of new mining operations and on the expansion of existing mining operations. During the period of this moratorium, it shall be a violation of this Ordinance for any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity to establish a new mining operation or expand an existing mining operation in the Town. An expansion of an existing mining operation prohibited by this Ordinance includes, but is not limited to, any of the following: 1) a change in a mining operation requiring a new or amended conditional use permit, or similar permit, from the County under the County’s zoning ordinance; 2) the expansion of the mining operation onto property that has not been previously excavated as part of the operation and that is not part of the mining area identified in the permit previously issued to the operation; 3) anything that increases the intensity of the mining operation including, but not limited to, the expansion of the days or hours of operation or the introduction of mining equipment or mining processes not previously used in the operation (such as the introduction of screening, crushing, or washing equipment, or the use of blasting); or 4) the establishment of new processing, stockpile, or transport areas or stations.
Section 5: Exemptions. The moratorium imposed by this Ordinance does not apply to the following:
(a)Existing mining operations lawfully established and operating in compliance with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, and permits, but such operations shall not be allowed to expand in violation of this Ordinance;
(b)Excavations for the building of roads, buildings, dikes, and other flood control or erosion control purposes;
(c)Excavations, including impounding of waters, exclusively for agricultural purposes;
(d)Temporary excavations involving mining operations associated with road construction, commonly known as temporary borrow pits, that satisfy all of the following criteria: 1) used exclusively for public infrastructure construction projects; 2) the project is under the administration of a public entity; 3) the contract with the public entity requires erosion control, sediment containment, and site restoration provisions that are at least as strict as those in the MPCA’s General Storm Water Permit; and 4) the temporary borrow pit is closed and restored within 24 months of the first date of work on the project;
(e)Excavations for structures associated with building projects for which building permits have been issued;
(f)Excavation in a right-of-way or utility corridor by state, county, city, or township authorities or their contractors in connection with construction or maintenance of public improvements;
(g)Excavations not exceeding a total of four hundred (400) cubic yards annually on the same property; and
(h)Excavation for public utility purposes.
Section 6: Applicability and Duration. This Ordinance shall apply to all land within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Town. The Town Board shall decide any questions regarding the application of this Ordinance. All inquiries regarding the application of this Ordinance shall be submitted to the Town in writing and the Town Board’s decision regarding the matter shall be final. This Ordinance shall be in effect for a period of 12 months from the date of its adoption, unless the Town Board terminates it earlier by adopting a resolution expressly repealing it.
Section 7: Penalty. Any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity violating any provision of this Ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a sentence of up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Each day a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation of this Ordinance.
Section 8: Enforcement. The Town may enforce this Ordinance through criminal prosecution or by undertaking such civil actions or proceedings, including injunctive relief, as it determines appropriate to prevent, restrain, correct, or abate any violation or threatened violation of this Ordinance. The initiation of one type of enforcement action shall not preclude the Town from instituting any other action or proceeding available to it under law to enforce this Ordinance.
Section 9. Severability. Every section, provision and part of this Ordinance is declared severable from every other section, provision and part thereof. If any section, provision or part of this Ordinance is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall not invalidate any other section, provision or part of this Ordinance.
Section 10: Effective Date. This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its adoption.
Adopted this 16 day of August, 2012.
BY THE TOWN BOARD
Attest: Lynette Nadeau