§ 159.297  ROCK, SAND AND GRAVEL EXTRACTION.
   (a)   Intent.
      (1)   This section addresses the application, review and regulation of extraction and on-site processing of rock, sand and gravel. An applicant must meet certain requirements as specified in division (c) below when filing for a conditional use permit in addition to the general requirements contained in other sections of the zoning regulations.
      (2)   The developmental and operational criteria contained in division (f) below are intended to assist in the formulation of conditions to be imposed on individual extraction operations. The criteria have been designed to eliminate potential health risks and minimize the adverse impact on other land uses due to extraction operations.
      (3)   The county and city will have the discretion of requiring more or less stringent conditions based upon the location of a proposed operation. It is also recognized that the operations will not be appropriate throughout all areas of the joint zoning jurisdiction.
   (b)   Submission of application. The application for rock, sand or gravel extraction shall be filed with the office of planning and zoning on the prescribed conditional use form at least 30 days in advance of a regularly scheduled joint meeting of the planning commissions.
   (c)   Application. The conditional use application shall be accompanied by the following:
      (1)   Maps showing the area within which the extraction operations will be conducted, including areas to be disturbed, setbacks from property lines and the location of all structures, equipment and access and haul roads;
      (2)   A description of the surface land use and vegetation, including all pertinent physical characteristics;
      (3)   A hydrologic study which shall include all available information from the State Geological Survey and other information pertinent to the application. If the applicant believes a study is not warranted, documentation shall accompany the application in support of this position;
      (4)   A reclamation plan which takes into consideration the criteria listed in division (f) below, reclamation; and
      (5)   The applicant shall meet with the township supervisors of the affected township to discuss repair and maintenance responsibilities on township roads to be used as haul routes. A summary of the meeting(s) shall be presented with the application.
   (d)   Fee. If a conditional use permit is granted, the operator shall pay to the county an annual fee of $10 per acre of land which is being disturbed by the extraction activities and has not been reclaimed. The fee shall be used to defray the direct and indirect costs associated with general administration and enforcement of this section. The fee shall be payable by January 20 of each year and deposited in the general fund of the county. The disturbed land area existing on January 1 of each year shall be used in calculating the fee.
   (e)   Notification requirements. In addition to the notification requirements of §§ 159.390 through 159.399, the planning director shall notify by United States mail all property owners of record within one mile of the proposed conditional use area or the owners of the 30 properties nearest to the affected property, whichever affects the least number of owners, of the time, date, place and purpose of the public hearing. The notice shall be mailed not less than 15 days prior to the public hearing.
   (f)   Developmental and operational criteria. The following criteria shall be considered in developing conditions for applications involving rock, sand and gravel extractions. More stringent requirements may be imposed by the county and city or the applicant may present arguments to relax the requirements based on specific characteristics of the site.
      (1)   Buffer area. A minimum distance of 1,000 feet should be maintained between an existing residence and a rock, sand or gravel operation, except in those instances when the operator secures a waiver from the affected landowner.
      (2)   Hours of operation.
         A.   Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Operations should not be conducted on legal holidays. Activities such as office or maintenance operations which produce no noise off-site should not be restricted by the hours of operation.
         B.   Blasting should be scheduled on weekdays at 12:00 noon. There should be no blasting on legal holidays. Area residents should be notified of the date and time of each blast.
      (3)   Visual considerations.
         A.   Earth berms and vegetation should be employed to minimize visual impacts and reduce the effects of noise.
         B.   The need for and placement of berms should be determined by the orientation and position of the excavation site with respect to residences and roadways. Berms should be located in such a way as to restrict the public’s view of the property. Consideration should be given to placing the berms as close to the public point of view as practical. Generally, berms should be six feet in height and seeded immediately after construction to avoid soil erosion. Berms should be maintained and kept reasonably free of weeds.
         C.   The operator should work with the county conservation district and county planning director to develop a planting program. Consideration should be given to planting one or more of the following: evergreen, Russian olive, ash, caragana, crab apple, lilac and buffalo berry. The plants should be properly cared for to ensure the highest survival rate and all dead plants replaced during the current planting season. As a minimum, the program should include trees of varying maturity. The planting program should be reduced to writing and kept on file in the county planning department.
         D.   At a minimum, berms should be constructed prior to blasting or the extraction of rock, sand or gravel.
      (4)   Blasting.  Ground vibration and over pressure (air blast) should be monitored for each blast and not exceed guidelines established by the U.S. Bureau of Mines.
      (5)   Noise.
         A.   The noise level produced from rock, sand and gravel operations should not exceed an average of 55 decibels recorded over a ten-minute period measured at the nearest existing residence to the extraction operation.
         B.   Off-site activities which contribute to background noise levels should be taken into consideration when monitoring an operation. Blasting should not be recorded as part of the noise level.
      (6)   Air quality.
         A.   Air quality monitoring should be conducted at the operator’s expense when conditions warrant.
         B.   Ambient air quality: total suspended particulate matter–150 micrograms per cubic meter of air as a 24-hour average not to be exceeded more than once per year, and 60 micrograms per cubic meter of air as an arithmetic mean; PM10 (ten micrometers or less in size) consistent with the regulations of the state.
         C.   Employ techniques that minimize the release of particulate matter created by material stockpiles, vehicular movement and process operations.
         D.   Dust control agents should be applied to township gravel roads designated as haul routes and all driving surfaces within the extraction area.
      (7)   Hydrology, dewatering and drainage.
         A.   Existing wells should be monitored at the operator’s expense to document changes in hydrologic conditions around extraction sites.
         B.   Dewatering of the extraction site should not result in downstream flooding.
         C.   Berms should not interrupt the natural drainage of the area, unless the diversion is part of an approved drainage control system.
      (8)   Haul roads.
         A.   In order to minimize the negative impact of truck traffic on area residents, extraction operations should be located on or near existing hard surfaced roads. Consideration should be given to the number of residents located along gravel surfaced roads intended for use as haul roads.
         B.   Identify repair and maintenance responsibilities through a haul road agreement.
         C.   Consider the potential impact on county highways to be used as haul routes.
      (9)   Operator surety.
         A.   A surety performance bond may be required in an amount to be determined by the planning commissions to assure that sufficient funds will be available to protect the county and city in the event the operator abandons a site without completing the conditions imposed by the conditional use permit, including reclamation, fulfillment of the agreement with the township concerning repair of designated haul roads and, if necessary, decontamination of affected ground and surface waters.
         B.   In lieu of the required surety, the operator may deposit cash with the county in the amount equal to the required surety.
      (10)   Reclamation.
         A.   The type and extent of reclamation should be based on the type of material extracted on the intended post-mining land use, but in all cases the reclamation procedures should result in the rehabilitation of affected land through contouring and soil stabilization, revegetation and other appropriate means so as to create the least amount of unsightliness and most appropriate future use of the reclaimed area. Bodies of water may be incorporated into an acceptable reclamation plan.
         B.   Provide maps, including cross sections, showing the existing natural topography and anticipated topographic conditions upon completion of reclamation.
         C.   Grading should achieve a contour that is most beneficial to the proposed future land use. All berms should be removed where sand and gravel operations were conducted. In most cases involving quarry operations, the berms should remain in place unless their removal would serve a more useful purpose.
         D.   Topsoil should remain on-site and be used during reclamation.
         E.   A seeding and revegetation plan should be developed for the affected area in consultation with the county conservation district.
         F.   All required reclamation activities should be completed and a compliance inspection performed by the county planning director prior to the release of the surety.
      (11)   Additional considerations.
         A.   The maximum height of a bench in a quarry should be 30 feet.
         B.   The property should be secured during nonworking hours by means of gates and fencing. The property should continue to be secured until all required reclamation activities have been completed.
(1992 Code, App. C, § 15.14)  (Ord. 20-02, passed 3-18-2002; Ord. 100-03, passed 10-20-2003)