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Butte Creek

The Vesting Questions Answered

The 3rd Appellate Court found that the right to a vesting determination was a matter of Statutory Law (in CA) because of:
Public Resources Code
(Surface Mining & Reclamation Act of 1/1/1976 [SMARA])

Div.2, Chapter 9, Section 2776
No person who has obtained a vested right to conduct surface
mining operations prior to January 1, 1976, shall be required to
secure a permit pursuant to this chapter as long as the vested right
continues and as long as no substantial changes are made in the
operation except in accordance with this chapter.
A person shall be deemed to have vested rights if, prior to January 1, 1976, he or she has, in good faith and in reliance upon a permit or other authorization, if the permit or other authorization was required, diligently commenced surface mining operations and incurred substantial liabilities for work and materials necessary therefore. Expenses incurred in obtaining the enactment of an ordinance in relation to a particular operation or the issuance of a permit shall not be deemed liabilities for work or materials.

The highlighting wording would indicate that vesting is automatically presumed for mining operations meeting the three predicate qualifications and that Lead Agency deligees were obligated by this statute to assess ALL mines in their jurisdiction. - Siskiyou County didn't and insisted on imposition of "Permit Conditions" that vested mines are exempt from.

Informative article by Mark Harrison Esq. to CalCIMA on vesting:
http://www.shastalaw.net/environmental/vested.html


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