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Proposed Surface Mining Project

RB Engineering, on behalf of property owner Terra5, has requested a surface mining Conditional Use Permit to remove approximately 400,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel from a 17-acre site located at 2503 Marine View Drive. The site has been mined intermittently since the 1950s.


Check back to this page for updates as they become available.

  

For additional information, contact City of Tacoma Project Manager, Shirley Schultz at (253) 591-5121.


Where is the site?

  • 2503 Marine View Drive, nine parcels, 17.1 acres
  • Zoned C-2 General Commercial and R-2 One-Family Dwelling District
  • Surface Mining is a conditional use in all districts, compliant with the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A.170), which requires the designation of mineral resource lands

Has the site been mined before?

The site was in the same ownership from prior to 1950 until about 2003, when the ownership changed to the current owners. The site was mined intermittently from the 1950s to the last active mining at the site, approximately in 1998. The site has a current, active permit with Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for sand and gravel mining. The site has never completed the reclamation process.

 

Get more information on the DNR surface mining program.

 

The city issued a surface mining permit in 2008; it expired in 2013 without the mining occurring. With that permit, conditions limited truck traffic so it did not leave the site during commute peak hours. There were also noise reduction/compliance conditions. It is expected that the conditions would remain the same.

Why is this under consideration inside the city?

State law (RCW 36.07A.060 Growth Management Act) and administrative regulations (WAC 365-190) require designation and protection/preservation of mineral resource lands. They are treated like both critical areas and essential public facilities. Mineral resource lands are inventoried and mapped by the state Department of Natural Resources and also at the county level.

 

View the Pierce County rock aggregate resource inventory map.

 

The City lists mineral resource lands along with other critical areas. While they are mentioned in the Comprehensive Plan, they are not mapped at the local level. The City zoning code (TMC 13.06) addresses mineral resource lands by (1) protecting these lands from adjacent uses in TMC 13.06.603 by stating that any residential use planned within 400 feet of a surface mine must acknowledge its existence, legality, and future use; and (2) by  making surface mining a conditional use in all zones.

What is the permitting process for a sand and gravel mine?

The Conditional Use Permit (CUP) sets forth the public process and the criteria by which a request for a surface mining permit is reviewed. General criteria (TMC 13.06.640) include community need, compliance with the Comprehensive Plan goals and policies, and protection of public health and safety.

 

There are specific requirements for a surface mine, as well as (TMC13.06.540). These include, but are not limited to:

  • Possibility of redevelopment of the site
  • Finished slope stability – both on and off-site
  • Protection of adjacent streets and public lands
  • Securing a bond or other security to guarantee completion of reclamation plan/site restoration

The Department of Natural Resources Reclamation program requires the site to be restored to a usable state for future development.

 

The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) environmental review occurs in conjunction with the CUP. Under SEPA, the city asks additional questions about the proposed project’s impacts on the surrounding environment, both natural and human. This includes (but is not limited to) such areas of review as noise, water and air quality, animal habitat, vegetation, and slope stability.

 

For more information on SEPA in Washington, refer to the Department of Ecology’s SEPA website.

 

The City has issued a preliminary mitigated determination of nonsignificance (MDNS) with the public notice for the Conditional Use Permit.  A final SEPA Determination will be issued concurrently with the decision on the CUP. An MDNS means that through SEPA or through the CUP, the City can place conditions on the project which will adequately avoid or mitigate any of the potential negative impacts of the proposal. In this case, likely mitigation includes restrictions on hours of operation to address noise concerns, and restrictions on truck movements to and from the site.  

Who makes the decision?

Conditional Use Permits are an administrative decision.

What are the public comment opportunities?

Notice was mailed to all property owners (Assessor Record) within 1,000 feet of the boundaries of the site, the neighborhood council, qualified neighborhood groups, and other interested agencies and parties. The site is posted with notice signs.
 
A public information meeting was held on Thursday, January 12, 2017 in City Council Chambers, per the public meeting requirements of TMC13.05.020. In this case, the Director of Planning and Development Services determined that the project was of a broad public interest and a public meeting should be held. About 25 people spoke at the meeting; their comments will be combined with written comments. Comments were accepted until March 3. 
 
All written comments, as well as the verbal comments received at the January 12 meeting, will be provided to the applicant for a response. All information will also be provided to the Director of Planning and Development Services in making the final decision on the proposal.
 
The final decision will be followed by a 14-day appeal and reconsideration period. Currently, the City is projected to make a decision on this project by the middle of August 2017.

Noise Study and Additional Applicant Information

These PDFs were submitted by the applicant on February 15, 2017, and revised June 14, 2017. They have been reviewed by staff, and they include:

What was the decision on the Conditional Use Permit?

The Conditional Use Permit was approved, with conditions, on August 18, 2017. The appeal/reconsideration period ended on September 1, 2017. Three appeals were received, as well as four requests for reconsideration by the Director of Planning and Community Development.
 
Review the original decision.

What was the decision on the reconsideration?

The reconsideration decision was issued on October 2, 2017, with an appeal period ending on October 9. The Director modified some of the conditions of the decision, and denied some of the requests for reconsideration.

Review the revised decision.

What next?

Additional appeals of the revised decision are due to the City’s Hearing Examiner by 5 PM on October 9, 2017. All appeals – those of the original decision and of the revised decision, will then proceed to a public hearing. The hearing schedule will be published here when it is available.