§ 154.091  MINERAL RESOURCE DISTRICT (MR).
   (A)   Purpose.  The purpose of the MR District is to provide for the development and utilization of identified deposits of any mineral resource materials on land which is not identified for urban or rural residential use on the comprehensive plan; to provide for the exploration for, and the subsequent extraction and development of; identified mineral resource deposits including geothermal resources and oil, gas and other hydrocarbon resources produced in liquid and gaseous form; to establish siting criteria and operating standards for mineral resources that minimize present and future on-site and off-site land use and environmental conflicts; and to provide for the timely and satisfactory reclamation of land used for mineral resource activity.
   (B)   Permitted uses.  In the MR District, the following uses shall be permitted, subject to the requirements of this section:
      (1)   Quarry or mining operations for the extraction of rock, clay, soil, sand and gravel;
      (2)   Rock crushing, washing or screening;
      (3)   Stockpiling of rock or earth products in conjunction with the operation of the mineral resources business on-site;
      (4)   Exploration for mineral resources or geothermal resources;
      (5)   Storage of heavy equipment in conjunction with the operation of the mineral resource business on-site;
      (6)   Livestock uses;
      (7)   Manufacture and storage of brick and tile; and
      (8)   Similar uses similar in character, scale and performance, or with similar noise, odor, traffic, air and water quality impacts on neighboring properties; and
      (9)   Public facilities.
   (C)   Conditional uses.  In the MR District, pursuant to the Type B application procedure set forth in § 154.076, and subject to the conditional use review criteria listed in § 154.057, and any other applicable criteria established by this chapter, the following uses may be allowed conditionally:
      (1)   Manufacture and storage of concrete and aggregate products such as preformed steps, beams, fences, vaults and similar products;
      (2)   Extraction and development of oil, natural gas or geothermal resources, subject to the requirements of § 154.091;
      (3)   Coal and precious metals extraction, processing and stockpiling from the same site where extraction takes place;
      (4)   Any structure necessary and appurtenant to the above uses;
      (5)   Permanent concrete batching or hot-mix batching plants;
      (6)   Portable concrete batching or portable hot-mix batching plants;
      (7)   Parks or playgrounds owned and operated by a nonprofit community organization, subject to §§ 154.035 through 154.040, site design review;
      (8)   Utility facility, with the exception of energy generation facilities, subject to §§ 154.035 through 154.040, site design review; or
      (9)   Similar uses similar in character, scale and performance, or with similar noise, odor, traffic, air and water quality impacts on neighboring properties.
   (D)   Non-conforming uses.  Non-conforming uses found in the PRO District are subject to the non-conforming use provision of § 154.059 as well as any other applicable provisions of this chapter.
   (E)   Prohibited uses.
      (1)   Uses of land and water not specifically mentioned in this section, and not allowed as a similar use, are prohibited in the MR District.
      (2)   In order to preserve MR lands for mineral resource uses, residential subdivisions shall be prohibited; however, land divisions for purposes of conveyance of mineral resource operations shall be permitted.
   (F)   Dimensional requirements.  In the MR District, the following dimensional requirements shall apply:
      (1)   The minimum parcel size for a permitted or conditional use shall be 5 acres; and
      (2)   The minimum setbacks for all yards of a caretaker dwelling in the MR District shall be 30 feet.
   (G)   Operating standards.  All mineral resource operations, either permitted or allowed by conditional use, shall conform to the following standards:
      (1)   Operating setbacks.
         (a)   Extraction shall not be conducted within 100 feet of any zoning district boundary; and shall not be conducted closer than 500 feet from any residential dwelling.
         (b)   1.   Processing activities shall not be conducted within 500 feet of any RR or SR zoning district boundary.  In no case shall processing and other processing-related activities be conducted closer than 500 feet from any residential dwelling.
            2.   In no case shall mining, processing and other processing-related activities be conducted closer than 1,000 feet from any school, clinic, or any health care facility existing at the time of adoption of this chapter.
         (c)   The following minimum standards shall be observed in the siting of all exploration and extraction wells:
 
Outer boundary of parcel
1,000 feet
Surface waterway or well
500 feet
Public road
500 feet
Existing residence
500 feet
 
         (d)   All equipment storage shall be set back a minimum of 500 feet from any existing dwelling or 100 feet from any other boundary of the parcel.
      (2)   Screening.  Adequate screening with indigenous planting shall be preserved or established to block the view at the site from any public road, residential zoning district and from any existing dwelling located within 500 feet of the site prior to establishment of the MR District.  Existing trees and other natural vegetation shall be preserved and maintained at the perimeter of the site to provide screening.  Landscaping, fencing for safety purposes, berms or other similar devices shall be submitted as a site plan for Commission approval.
      (3)   Environmental standards.
         (a)   All excavation, including blasting, processing, maintenance and truck traffic shall be conducted in a manner that minimizes the adverse effect to persons and activities on adjoining property due to noise, dust, odor, vibration or surface water pollution or erosion.
         (b)   Any mining operation shall not exceed state or federal standards for noise emission, air contamination and water quality standards. Additionally, appropriate federal environmental quality permits shall be obtained for each site.
         (c)   Excavation which results in ponding shall be deep enough to prevent stagnation and development of mosquito-breeding areas or shall be backfilled with a material that will not impair groundwater quality.
      (4)   Roadways.
         (a)   In the MR District for all mineral resource sites approved by the Commission, all access to a mineral resource site shall be by a route or routes approved by the Commission and shall be constructed and maintained in a manner as to eliminate, as far as practical, noise or dust which adversely affects persons living in the vicinity, or crops or livestock being raised in the vicinity.
         (b)   Approval of road routes shall be based on the following criteria:
            1.   The applicant present evidence demonstrating roads, bridges and culverts on the routes to and from the proposed facility are able to support the projected loadings;
            2.   Management techniques used to protect against noise, odor, dust, litter, and dangerous or hazardous conditions on the proposed routes are mitigated to the maximum extent available;
            3.   Acceptable load limits placed on local roads are not, or will not be exceeded by the proposed use; and
            4.   Based upon weight bearing capacities of any access roads on any of the proposed routes, the county determines that improvements to the roads designated as routes must be made by the applicant before the proposed use of the route begins.
      (5)   Site operation and safety.
         (a)   All excavation, processing and stockpiling of mineral resources shall take place under conditions which will provide for the reclamation of the site for future uses and will protect the safety of the public.
         (b)   All work in preparation of the site for drilling shall be conducted between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
         (c)   Delivery or removal of equipment or materials shall be limited to the hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., except in a case of emergency.
         (d)   Unattended well sites shall be enclosed with a 6 foot chain link fence with a locked gate.
         (e)   All extraction operations shall be in compliance with state and federal standards on noise, vibrations and emissions.
         (f)   Off-street parking shall be provided at a ratio of 3 spaces per well site.
         (g)   Light rays shall be directed or shielded to confine direct rays to the site.
         (h)   The drilling site and access roads to the site shall be treated to reduce dust and mud.
         (i)   1.   Blasting shall be restricted to the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
            2.   No blasting shall occur on Sundays or federal or state holidays.
            3.   In the event the operator cannot comply with this restriction due to unforeseen circumstances, the operator may exceed the limitations set forth above; provided that in no event shall the owner or operator blast outside the restrictions set forth above more than 4 times in and 1 calendar year.
         (j)   Prior to a blasting operation, the operator shall be responsible for notifying adjacent property owners as to the date and approximate time of the blasting activity.
      (6)   Land reclamation.
         (a)   Any parcel or site used as a mineral resource site for which a reclamation plan is required shall be reclaimed in accordance with the site operation and reclamation plan on file with and approved by the county.
         (b)   The approved reclamation plan shall be implemented in accordance with a schedule contained therein showing the planned order and sequence of the reclamation.
         (c)   The approved reclamation plan shall require all excavations to be backfilled, contoured or terraced or put to a use shown on the reclamation plan which is compatible with the final depth and slopes within the excavation site.
         (d)   The approved reclamation plan shall require topsoil to be saved and stored in a manner as to prevent erosion, and that the topsoil shall be replaced to at least the depth of the original overburden, or to a depth adequate to achieve the approved reclamation use.
         (e)   The approved reclamation plan may, in the county's discretion, provide for reclamation of portions of the site prior to total exhaustion of the resource found on the site.
      (7)   Performance agreement.  Pursuant to the requirements of this section and any conditions imposed hereunder, the applicant shall enter into a performance agreement with the county for any improvements required pursuant to this section of this chapter.
   (H)   Application for zone change to MR District.  In addition to the Type C application procedure set forth in § 154.077, and subject to the amendment review criteria listed in § 154.062, application for an MR zone shall contain:
      (1)   The documentation, as applicable, required for any application for a site design review as set forth in §§ 154.035et seq.;
      (2)   Plans showing the location, area, dimensions, acreage and legal description of the parcel to be developed or used, together with north point, scale, date of application, and all intended uses, including estimates of the total volume of the resource to be mined and initial contours for the proposed site;
      (3)   Provisions for landscaping and screen-planting of all parts of the site;
      (4)   Provisions for preventing the collection and stagnation of water at all stages of the operation;
      (5)   Plans, profiles and cross-sections of all access roads;
      (6)   Plans for the reclamation of the site;
      (7)   All plans prepared and submitted shall be prepared at a scale no smaller than 1  inch to 200 feet, with 5 foot contours, and the information shall be furnished for a distance beyond the site sufficient to determine the impact of the operation on adjacent and surrounding lands; and
      (8)   Plans for road improvements.
   (I)   MR Zone change criteria.  Approval of a zone change to the MR District shall be based upon satisfactory compliance with the requirements set forth in this section  and the amendment review criteria listed in § 154.061; and the following additional criteria.
      (1)   That a sufficient quality and quantity of mineral resource exists at the proposed site to fulfill a market need.
      (2)   That approval of the zone change will not cause immediate or long-term land use conflicts that cannot be satisfactorily mitigated.  If conflicts are identified, findings shall be made concerning the economic, social, environmental and energy consequences of allowing the MR use; and a determination shall be made that the benefits to the public outweigh the detriments suffered as a result of the conflict.
      (3)   A report that an archeological resources inventory survey has been completed within the proposed site and Historic Preservation Division clearance demonstrated. The survey shall consist of:
         (a)   Research and analysis of the state register of cultural properties maintained by the State of New Mexico Historic Preservation Division;
         (b)   Research and analysis of the Archeological Records Management System (ARMS) site files; and
         (c)   One hundred percent pedestrian (BLM class 3 ground) survey.
   (J)   Oil, natural gas, geothermal exploration and extraction, mining and rock crushing and hauling activities.  The purpose of this division shall be to provide for the exploration and extraction mineral resources, and to establish criteria to assure that the activities have a minimal impact on land use activities permitted under this chapter.
      (1)   Application procedure; exploration permit.
         (a)   An application for the exploration of oil, natural gases and/ or geothermal resources shall be prepared on an approved form available from the Department of P&Z.  The applicant shall provide all information required under this division and any additional information deemed necessary by the Department.
         (b)   An application for the exploration of oil, natural gas and/ or geothermal resources shall be made by the mineral property owner or the lessee of the property, if the applicant also bears the signature of the mineral property owner.
         (c)   The following information shall be included with the application for an exploration permit:
            1.   A surface plat of the property to be explored;
            2.   The approximate location of exploration points on the surface plat;
            3.   A description of the type of equipment to be used during the exploration process; and
            4.   Anticipated time frame for exploration.
         (d)   For zoning districts in which exploration is allowed as a permitted use, the application shall be reviewed pursuant to the Type A application procedure set forth in § 154.075.
         (e)   For zoning districts in which exploration is allowed as a conditional use, the application shall be reviewed pursuant to the Type B application procedure set forth in § 154.076 and the conditional use review criteria listed in § 154.057.
         (f)   The application for an exploration permit shall be reviewed for compliance with the following criteria for approval:
            1.   The parcel lies within appropriate zoning districts;
            2.   The applicant has submitted all information required under this division;
            3.   All United Stated and the State of New Mexico environmental permits have been issued for the operation (not required for seismic exploration);
            4.   The applicant has posted a performance bond, if required by the Department; and
            5.   The applicant has demonstrated that the proposed location and method of exploration will have a minimal impact on adjacent land use activities.
         (g)   If the applicant proposed to drill an exploration well, it shall be sited according to the set back standards outlined in divisions (F) and (G) above.
         (h)   If the Department determines that the applicant has satisfied the criteria noted above, the Department shall issue a 120 day exploration permit. The Department may establish conditions of approval deemed necessary to carry out the intent of this chapter.
         (i)   At the discretion of the Department, the applicant may be required to file a performance bond to provide for the repair of any county roads which may be damaged or diminished in quality due to exploration activities.  The amount of the performance bond shall be determined by the Commission.
         (j)   Upon expiration of the exploration permit, all equipment and materials associated with the exploration operation shall be removed from the site and the site shall be reclaimed in accordance with an approved reclamation plan.  If the exploration is successful, the applicant may apply for an extraction permit.
      (2)   Application procedure; mining, oil, natural gases, and geothermal resources extraction permit.
         (a)   An application for the extraction of oil, natural gas and/or geothermal resources shall be processed as a conditional use permit pursuant to the Type B application procedure set forth in § 154.076 and shall be subject to the criteria in § 154.057 in addition to the criteria and requirements of this section.
         (b)   An application for the extraction of oil, natural gas and/or geothermal resources shall be made by the mineral property owner or the lessee of the property, if the application also bears the signature of the mineral property owner.
         (c)   The following information shall be included with the conditional use permit application:
            1.   An 8-1/2- by 14-inch reproducible site plan which identifies the property under the applicant's control.  The site plan shall include:
               a.   The location of areas proposed for extraction, materials storage and transmission;
               b.   The location of all existing and proposed structures within 500 feet of the extraction site;
               c.   The location of all existing and proposed roads to the property and extraction site; and
               d.   The location of all wells and springs within 500 feet of the proposed extraction site.
            2.   Evidence of application to all applicable state and United States regulatory agencies for a permit to site and operate an oil, natural gas and/or geothermal extraction facility.
            3.   A generalized project development timetable.
            4.   A generalized geologic and engineering presentation with sufficient data to indicate the presence of a viable resource.
      (3)   Application procedure; mining and rock crushing.
         (a)   An application for the mining of minerals and the crushing of rocks or other solid minerals shall be processed as a conditional use permit pursuant to the Type B application procedure set forth in § 154.076 and shall be subject to the criteria in § 154.057 in addition to the criteria and requirements of this section.
         (b)   An application for the mining of minerals and the crushing of rocks or other solid minerals shall be made by the mineral property owner or the lessee of the property, if the application also bears the signature of the mineral property owner.
         (c)   The following information shall be included with the conditional use permit application:
            1.   An 8-1/2- by 14-inch reproducible site plan which identifies the property under the applicant's control.
            2.   The site plan shall include:
               a.   The location of areas proposed for extraction, materials storage and transmission;
               b.   The location of all existing and proposed structures within 500 feet of the extraction site;
               c.   The location of all existing and proposed roads to the property and extraction site; and
               d.   The location of all wells and springs within 500 feet of the proposed extraction site.
            3.   Evidence of application to the appropriate state and federal agencies for a permit to site and operate a mining facility.
            4.   A generalized project development timetable.
            5.   A generalized geologic and engineering presentation with sufficient data to indicate the presence of a viable resource.
      (4)   Review criteria.  The approval of a conditional use permit allowing the extraction of oil, natural gas and/or geothermal resources, and the mining of solid mineral resources shall be based upon compliance with the conditional use review criteria listed in § 154.057 and the following criteria:
         (a)   Evidence is presented to demonstrate the presence of oil, natural gas and/or geothermal resources or evidence of solid mineral resources of sufficient quantity and quality to justify the extraction;
         (b)   The applicant has filed for an extraction permit with all state and United States regulatory agencies, including all test and waste discharge operations;
         (c)   The site development plan is designed to retain the maximum amount of productive resource land;
         (d)   The site development plan is designed to prevent disruption of irrigation and natural drainage patterns;
         (e)   Access roads and other public facilities are adequate to support the extraction activity;
         (f)   The extraction activity will be compatible with adjacent land uses;
         (g)   All maps, plans and designs required under this chapter are prepared by a registered professional engineer certified by the State of New Mexico, and a registered surveyor with recognized expertise of those areas of the plan which he or she prepared; and
         (h)   The applicant present evidence demonstrating roads, bridges and culverts on the routes to and from the proposed facility are able to support the projected loadings and:
            1.   Management techniques used to protect against noise, odor, dust, litter and dangerous or hazardous conditions on the proposed routes are mitigated to the maximum extent available; and
            2.   Acceptable load limits placed on local roads are not, or will not be exceeded by the proposed use, and calculated in accordance with generally accepted engineering standards.
(Ord. 2004-05, passed 9-15-2004; Am. Ord. 06, passed 9-15-2004; Am. Ord. 09, passed 9-15-2004; Am. Ord. 2006-06, passed 6-16-2006)  Penalty, see § 154.999