Mineral Extraction Plan Update

An amendment to the Mineral Extraction Plan, a sub-element of the Comprehensive Master Plan

The Douglas County Mineral Extraction Plan (MEP), a sub-element of the Douglas County Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP), was adopted in 1990 and has not been updated since that time. Planning Services staff, with the concurrence of the Planning Commission, has initiated an amendment to streamline the document in accordance with the CMP’s Section 11-3, Amendments and Updates.

State statutes require that larger jurisdictions adopt both a CMP and a MEP. The County’s MEP was developed in accordance with the requirements of the Preservation of Mineral Deposits Act (“Preservation Act”), adopted by the State legislature in 1972 (C.R.S. 34-1-301). Please note, pursuant to statute, the MEP does not include or address the extraction of oil and gas.

The MEP was created to plan for development and preservation of “commercial mineral deposits”, which are defined in §34-1-302 C.R.S. as “a natural mineral deposit of limestone used for construction purposes, coal, sand, gravel, and quarry aggregate, for which extraction by an extractor is or will be commercially feasible and regarding which it can be demonstrated by geologic, mineralogic or other scientific data that such deposit has significant economic or strategic value to the area, state, or nation.”

Why does it need to be streamlined?

Shortly after its adoption, and consistent with the MEP’s stated intent, its goals and policies were integrated within County regulations and review processes, including the Use by Special Review (USR) and Matters of State Interest regulations. The goals and policies have been supported through adoption and refinement of requirements for road improvements, grading and erosion control, and the Douglas County Zoning Resolution (DCZR) Section 18A Water Supply Requirements, as examples. Improved clarity and efficiency will be achieved through elimination of redundant materials and excessive background material. This will improve the review process for the public, applicants, regulatory agencies, and review bodies.

Review Process

Planning Services has developed a revised draft of the MEP. This draft will be sent out for community review and comment through the referral process in mid-January 2018. A community meeting will be held during the referral process to:

  • Provide an overview of the existing mineral extraction regulations
  • Answer questions concerning the MEP and update process
  • Provide an opportunity for comments

A separate technical committee meeting for local and state regulatory referral agencies and extractive industry representatives will be scheduled at a date and time to be determined.

Referral and Comment Period

As referenced under the Review Process, the draft MEP will be sent through a 35-day land-use referral process in mid-January 2018.

Additional documents related to this application, such as public and referral agency comments, will be available for review through Douglas County Project Records Online (PRO).

Mineral Extraction Plan and Other Related Documents