YERINGTON, NV – The Lyon County Board of Commissioners took testimony in regards to Comstock Mining’s application for a Master Plan Amendment and Zone Change Thursday. The chambers and hallways were full of approximately 250 citizens to hear the item, according to a news release.
The application requests a change of Suburban Residential land use designation to Resource land use designation on 32.34 acres and change approximately 54.86 acres to Rural Residential land use designation.
The application had been denied by the Planning Commission last month in a 5-1 vote and the Planning Department has recommended denial.
Comstock Mining testified it is making the request to allow it to move forward with mineral exploration and potential mining of the area. The application does not allow for mining at this time. Comstock Mining would have to apply for a special use permit in order to mine.
Comstock Mining testified its application would reduce the density of a potential 648 homes to 111 homes. It provided information about its efforts to rehabilitate the Comstock Mining District with work being done on historical mine sites such as the Ajax Mine.
Comstock Mining provided a concession of reducing the acreage in the area of the Dayton Mill and west of Highway 341, which reportedly reduces the view shed of proposed mining.
The Silver City Advisory Board Chairman, Erich Obermayer, advised the Board of Commissioners that the Advisory Board recommended that the application be denied. John Marshall, representing the Comstock Residents Association, also recommended that the Board deny the application. The Comstock Residents Associated showed a 10-minute video of Silver City residents voicing their concerns about Comstock Mining.
John Singlaub, representing CRA, provided testimony in regards to the history of the Silver City town site. He provided a history of the planning and zoning of the area since 1971 to the current master plan that was approved in 2010. He provided the Board with the other land uses that could be considered if the application was approved besides mining and addressed environmental concerns as the area is in the Carson River Superfund Site as well as air quality, noise, water quality and reclamation concerns. He explained that Lyon County denied a similar request in 1986.
Commissioner Vida Keller moved to approve the application with the changes offered by Comstock Mining and it was seconded by Chairman Mortensen. Chairman Mortensen then opened the item up to public participation allowing each person three minutes to present.
After 4.5 hours of testimony the Board of Commissioners has approved with a 4-1 vote the Master Plan Amendment with the dissenting vote coming from Commissioner Arellano. The zone change passed 5-0