State Mining and Geology Board (SMGB) - Designation of Mineral Resources

The State Mining and Geology Board SMGB represents the State's interest in the development, utilization, and conservation of mineral resources.  Locally, Las Pilitas Resources, LLC has employed an aggressive campaign based on spreading misinformation about the role of the SMGB and the mineral land classification-designation process.  A recent example is a flyer circulated by Las Pilitas Resources, LLC which states; "the proposed site was recently designated by the state as an area of significance for mineral extraction and the site has been “zoned” for mining for more than 30 years."   This statement is inaccurate and intended to mislead.  The facts are as follows:  

  1. The process of Designation of Mineral Lands within the San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara Production-Consumption Region, California is currently in process.  Designation of Mineral Lands within the SLO-SB P-C Region is scheduled to become effective in July, 2015.      
  2. Designation of Mineral Lands is a statewide process that identifies the presence of resources throughout the state and is currently taking place statewide.   It does NOT identify specific sites or comment on the suitability of any specific proposal for mineral extraction.  Instead, according to the Department of Conservation's California Geological Survey, "large areas are designated to avoid dictating to local communities where future aggregate mines should be located, mineral designated areas generally contain resources (un-permitted deposits) that are far in excess of the region’s 50-year demand.  This attempts to provide maximum flexibility to local governments in making land use decisions, while still conserving an adequate amount of construction aggregate for the future.” 
  3. It is unclear what “zoned for mineral extraction” for more than 30 yrs. might be referencing given that no such land use category exists.  
  4. The proposed site is located within the Las Pilitas Area Plan in the Land Use Category Rural Lands, thus the parcel is zoned Rural Lands (RL).
  5. According to Table 2-2 of the County of San Luis Obispo's Land Use Ordinance, quarries and mines are an “allowable use” on parcels zoned AG, RL, and RR. 
  6. Required permitting for quarries and mines includes a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and Reclamation Plan. 
  7. A Conditional Use Permit is a discretionary permit that can be approved or denied based on the suitability of the site to the proposed use. 
  8. All necessary Findings of fact must be made by the local planning agency in order to approve a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). The "findings" address a variety of issues pertaining to the suitability of a specific project proposal requiring a discretionary permitting process.
  9. Wise decision-making relies on the accumulation of accurate information.  

Attachment A - Public Comments Re: Designation of Mineral Land within San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara Production-Consumption Region

Attachment B - SMGB Responses to Public Comments Re: Designation of Mineral Land within San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara Production-Consumption Region

SMGB Classification-Designation Guidelines

Margarita Proud Oct. 31, 2013 Submittal to SMGB 
Margarita Proud Nov. 13, 2013 Submittal to SMGB

Revised California Geological Survey Plate Maps for San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara Production-Consumption Region:
Plate 1
Plate 2
Plate 3 

When their project was denied by the County Board of Supervisors on May 12, 2015, Las Pilitas Resources, LLC appealed that decision to the State Mining and Geology Board. Link below is to entire document including the SMGB's analysis of the Appeal:

State Mining and Geology Board Determination of Jurisdiction in Regards to a Designation Appeal by Las Pilitas Resources, LLC

In 2015 the California State Mining and Geology Board (SMGB) adopted Special Report 215, classifying significant mineral resources in San Luis Obispo County. Pursuant to the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA), the County is now required to update its General Plan and mineral resource management policies. On March 20, 2018, the Board of Supervisors directed County planning staff to proceed with these updates. County Planning Staff expects to produce a Public Review Draft for public distribution near the end of April.

 Link to County process currently underway to update General Plan.