Nevada County Supervisors will consider Rise's petition for vested rights in a public hearing at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, December 13 in the Board chambers, Rood Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City; with a second day added on Thursday, December 14, if necessary to accommodate public testimony and deliberation. Wednesday December 13th is the most critical day to attend.
Please attend if you can! Even though the County's staff report is recommending a NO vote on Rise's petition for vested rights, this fight isn't over yet. We need to fill the room and remind Supervisors of the overwhelming community opposition to the Mine. If they vote no on vested rights, they still need to schedule a final vote on the original use permit and weather Rise Gold's inevitable legal challenges. They need to know that this community is NOT backing down!
The Board has made it clear they will be restricting public comment to testimony related to the petition only. If history isn’t your thing, it’s OK to take a pass on public comment this time and save it for the next hearing.
Read on to learn about:
Public Hearing Details:
Wednesday, December 13, 9 a.m. If necessary, the hearing may be continued to Thursday, December 14, beginning at 9 a.m.
Eric Rood Administrative Center, Board of Supervisor Chamber, First Floor, 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City.
View live online on Nevada County’s YouTube Channel.
Parking and Transit:
Carpooling is encouraged as parking is limited. In the afternoon, the parking lot will become more impacted as visitors arrive for Nevada City’s Victorian Christmas and park at the Rood Center.
Java John’s Nevada County Café will be open from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. to provide food and drinks for purchase.
Public Hearing Schedule:
Presentations from the applicant and from County staff related to the history of the use at the site and the governing law on vested rights.
Public comment. Members of the public who wish to address the Board of Supervisors should attend the December 13 meeting as there may not be a second day of hearings on December 14. Please see the “How to Participate” section below.
Board questions and comments.
Board deliberations. The Board can then make a final determination on whether the petition for vested rights should be granted.
How to Participate in Public Comment:
Due to the limited nature of this hearing, those wishing to comment will have three minutes, and any comment must be limited to the historical uses of the site and factual evidence of activities that have occurred on or at the site.
Because it is not relevant to this hearing, no public comment will be allowed regarding support or opposition to the mine, the Idaho Maryland Mine’s Draft Environmental Impact Report, the use permit, the reclamation plan, and/or any other land use entitlement, and/or any other potential impacts of the mine, or any history pertaining to Rise Grass Valley or related businesses. All those comments should be reserved for either of the next hearings, as described under “Next steps” below.
To provide public comment, receive a number from County staff outside the Supervisors’ Chamber. Public comment numbers will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8:30 am. (They will also be available continuously until the public comment has concluded.)
Speakers will provide public comment to the Board of Supervisors in the Supervisors’ Chamber in groups of ten.
All written public comments should be received by 4 p.m. the day before the hearing (December 12) for it to become part of the public record.
Email to email@example.com.
Mailed to the Nevada County Clerk of the Board at 950 Maidu Ave, Suite 200, Nevada City, CA 95959.
Submit eComment, available once the Agenda for the meeting is posted (December 8).
Alternatively, as a last resort, you may submit printed and written copies of your comment directly to the Clerk of the Board at the Board of Supervisors’ Public Hearing.
Background on Vested Rights Petition and How We Got Here
At this year’s May 11 public hearing for the Idaho-Maryland Mine, the Nevada County Planning Commission voted unanimously against the Mine’s Use Permit and Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Now faced with the real possibility of a NO vote by the Board of Supervisors at the final hearings, Rise Gold is trying an unusual tactic aimed at side-stepping the normal use permit process by claiming they have a "vested right" to reopen the mine.
Under both state case law and County code, a property owner may acquire a vested right to continue a use that existed at the time zoning regulations changed. Since the Idaho-Maryland Mine was open in 1954 when the County implementing new requirements, it may have had a vested right to continue mining at that time. But the right to continue is not permanent, and the burden of proof is on the applicant to establish the vested rights.
If the Board denies the Petition, the County will resume processing Rise’s application to open the Idaho-Maryland Mine and schedule a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors early in 2024 for the final vote on the Environmental Impact Report and Use Permit.
Resources for Learning More about Vested Rights
CEA Foundation / MineWatch Comments and Resources
Press Release: CEA Foundation Weighs in on Rise Gold’s Vested Rights Petition | MineWatchNC.org
Historical Review: CEA Foundation Review and Analysis of the Rise Grass Valley Vested Rights Petition (PDF)
Legal analysis: Response to Idaho-Maryland Mine Vested Rights Petition (PDF)