Thu Apr 23 2009 -- May 28 2009 Tidewater Requests "Interpretation" of Estuary Boundaries
|Tidewater Contractors is still seeking a means of resuming mining and expanding its existing gravel site and asphalt plant at Wedderburn, on the north bank of the Rogue River estuary. In 2008 Tidewater proposed an expansion as a "grandfathered" non-conforming use, which was approved by the Curry County Planning Commission, but overturned by the Board of Commissioners on appeal by Oregon Shores, Curry Sportfishing Association and the Kalmiopsis Audubon Society. |
Now Tidewater has come up with another tactic. It has requested the Planning Commission "interpret" the boundary of the Rogue River Estuary Zone, and find that the Wedderburn site falls outside the zone. Tidewater also requests the Planning Commission to find that their Wedderburn site does not fall in the ER-1 Natural Management zone, in which gravel mining is prohibited unless it is a grandfathered non-conforming use.
Traditionally, the Estuary Zone boundary is considered to be the floodplain of the Rogue River. This boundary has been set using the best available science and maps of the ever-shifting river. Tidewater's Wedderburn site is entirely within the floodplain of the Rogue River. Staff determination of the boundary of the ER-1 Natural Management Unit of the estuary is likewise based on the best available science, specifically, the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife document "Natural resources of the Rogue — Rogue Estuary Inventory Report."
The initial hearing on this request was in April 2009. The hearing has been continued to May 28, 2009. Please contact the Curry County Dept. of Public Services for detailed information.
Oregon Shores and many local residents oppose this Tidewater request, for several reasons. Firstly, the planning staff of any county cannot simply "interpret" the estuary zone boundary; it is set in the Comprehensive Plan, drawn on the best available science and maps. County planning staff does not have discretion to simply change it on a whim. Second, the Wedderburn site is already heavily damaged by inappropriate instream gravel mining, and expanded mining would only worsen the situation, especially in this Natural Management Unit of the estuary. It is appropriate that the zoning and unit designation remain as they are in order to limit the damage done by the mining and processing at the site.
5/14/2009: OS Letter to PC regarding Tidewater Request
5/14/2009: Tidewater Request for Interpretation
Articles on topic 'Curry: Gravel Mining':
Sep 5 2011 Oregon Shores Seeks Again to Protect Rogue from Mining
May 5 2011 Efforts to Block Tidewater’s Gravel Mining Succeed
Feb 10 2011 Curry Planning Commission Turns Down Gravel Mining
Jul 28 2010 Efforts to Protect the Lower Rogue From Gravel Mining Continue
Apr 5 2010 Gravel Mining Continues to Threaten Chetco River, Rogue Estuary
Feb 15 2010 LUBA: Tidewater May Apply for Wedderburn In-stream Mining
Oct 28 2009 South Coast Rivers: Gravel Mining Continues
Jul 23 2009 Results of Hearing on Gravel Mining on Elk
Jul 21 2009 Curry County Hearing July 21 on Gravel Mining in Elk River
Jun 6 2009 Two More Victories on Gravel Mining on the Rogue
May 28 2009 Third Hearing Scheduled on Gravel Mining near Old Mill Site
Apr 23 2009 Tidewater Requests "Interpretation" of Estuary Boundaries
Apr 1 2009 ACOE Solicits Comments on Tidewater Application on Elk River
Sep 24 2008 Two Victories on Gravel Mining on the Rogue
Sep 23 2008 New Guide to Permitting for Instream Gravel Mining
New Guide to Permitting for Instream Gravel Mining
Aug 7 2008 Gravel Mining on the Rogue
Nov 1 2007 Chetco River Gravel Mining
Nov 1 2007 Rogue River Gravel Mining