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A. Except as provided in this chapter, no person shall conduct a surface mining operation unless a conditional use permit, reclamation plan and financial assurance for reclamation have first been approved by the city. Any applicable exemption from this requirement or other provisions of this chapter does not automatically exempt a project or activity from adhering to other regulations, ordinances or policies of the city or state, including but not limited to, the application of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), other permits, the payment of development impact fees, or the imposition of other dedications and exactions as may be permitted under the law. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all lands within the city, public and private.

B. This chapter shall not apply to any of the following activities:

1. Excavations or grading conducted for farming, or for the purpose of restoring land following a flood or natural disaster;

2. On-site excavation and on-site earthmoving activities which are an integral and necessary part of a development that is undertaken to prepare a site for construction of structures, streets, landscaping or other land improvements, including related excavation, grading, compaction or the creation of fills, road cuts and embankments, whether or not surplus materials are exported from the site. These development related improvements must have been approved by the city in accordance with applicable provisions of state law, locally adopted plans and ordinances, and CEQA;

3. Operation of an industrial site used for mineral processing, including associated on-site structures, equipment, machines, tools or other materials, including the on-site stockpiling and on-site recovery of mined materials. This site must be located on lands approved such uses consistent with the city’s general plan and zoning ordinance, none of the minerals being processed are being extracted on-site, and all reclamation work, if any was necessary, has been completed according to the approved reclamation plan for any mineral extraction activities that occurred on-site after January 1, 1976;

4. Surface mining operations where a total of one thousand cubic yards or less of the minerals and/or overburden is removed or involve an area of one acre or less in any one location;

5. Surface mining operations that are required by federal law in order to protect a mining claim, if those operations are conducted solely for that purpose;

6. The solar evaporation of water for the production of salt and related minerals;

7. Emergency excavations or grading conducted by or under direction of the city, Department of Water Resources or the Reclamation Board for the purpose of averting, alleviating, repairing or restoring damage to property due to imminent or recent floods, disasters or other emergencies;

8. Surface mining operations conducted by, under contract with, or under direction of the State Department of Water Resources or the Reclamation Board for the State Water Resources Development System or flood control meeting the requirements for review and approval of the State Department of Conservation in accordance with PRC Section 2714(i);

9. Any other surface mining operations that the State Mining and Geology Board determines to be of an infrequent nature and which involve only minor surface disturbances. (Ord. 3943 § 5, 1999; prior code § 17.75.030)