County focuses on keeping local mines open
Local mine owners must decide if their mines are abandoned, idle or active by July 1 according to Senate Bill 108, which is now in force.
During the planning commission’s March 21 meeting, senior planner Becky Herrin said that the new law is sparking a lot of confusion among mine owners, and she had received a number of calls regarding it.
Herrin is scheduled to receive training in early June on how to implement SB 108, but that leaves little time to meet the July 1 deadline.
While the operators are responsible for declaring the status of their mines and submitting the proper documentation, the county is responsible for inspecting the mines.
There are roughly 20 mines in Plumas County, with the majority of them producing crushed rock.
“They are sprinkled about the county, which is important because of hauling costs,” said Planning Director Randy Wilson. “They are important to our economy; they are key to our economy.”
Herrin and Wilson will work with the mine owners to help them remain in compliance with state requirements.
“My objective is to keep them healthy,” Wilson said, adding that they are very difficult to establish.
“This is a work in progress,” he said.
Car chargers in county’s future?
While Senate Bill 108 is in force, there are a number of bills pending in the state Legislature that would impact Plumas County.
Wilson described 14 proposed pieces of legislation to the planning commission, ranging from requiring electric car hookups for some parking configurations to mandates for moderate- and low-income housing in subdivisions.
Assembly Bill 1092 pertains to charging stations for electric cars. Wilson explained that under this legislation, new construction with more than four off-street parking spaces would require the installation of an electric charging station.
“This would have a big impact on us if it passes,” Wilson said.
Also pertaining to electric cars, Assembly Bill 1158 allows local jurisdictions to designate on-street parking for electric cars only, similar to spaces reserved for handicapped drivers.
Assembly Bill 1229 pertains to zoning regulations including to “the highly debated topic of inclusionary zones,” Wilson said.
He cited the example of a 50-lot subdivision requiring that 20 percent of it be designated moderate- to low-income housing.
Wilson said from his experience it is difficult and expensive to accomplish — especially in a high-end subdivision.
Wilson will follow the bills’ progress and update the planning commission as necessary.