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FILLMORE : City Continues to Fight Mining Plan

For the second time in two months, the Fillmore City Council has attempted to use zoning laws to block a sand-and-gravel mining operation proposed for 500 acres on Boulder Creek west of the city.

The council voted Tuesday to send a letter to the state Mining and Geology Board, opposing a proposed zoning change that could aid Southern Pacific Milling Co.'s bid to mine Boulder Creek for 30 years.

Company representatives are scheduled to speak to state officials on Friday and are expected to request that Boulder Creek be declared a significant mining resource zone. The state now includes the creek in a zone without known potential for mining, City Manager Roy Payne said.

While the proposed change might not override Ventura County’s zoning for the area, the change from “unknown potential” to “significant resource” could make it more difficult for county supervisors to deny the project, Fillmore Community Development Director Mary Ann Krause said.

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Last month, the council asked Ventura County supervisors to remove mining from a list of uses permitted in agricultural zones protected by greenbelt agreements. Boulder Creek lies within a greenbelt between Fillmore and Santa Paula. The area is zoned agricultural and is surrounded by orange orchards that Southern Pacific Milling proposes to remove, then replant when mining is completed.

Neighboring farmers have said that mining is incompatible with agriculture because dust generated by such operations would damage crops and hamper the work of beneficial insects protecting about 9,000 acres of citrus from pests.


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