COMSTOCK RESIDENTS IN SILVER CITY DRAW A LINE IN THE SAND – Town Advisory Board Rejects Comstock Mining Zoning Applications
Silver City, NV Sept. 5, 2013 —In an atmosphere of raucous Town Hall democracy, the Silver City Town Advisory Board this week heard from both sides of the contentious issue of proposed zoning changes in their residential area. The board then voted unanimously to recommend that the Lyon County Planning Commission reject applications from Comstock Mining Inc (CMI) for a county Master Plan amendment and Reversion to Acreage. CMI seeks to change over 40 years of consistent suburban residential usage to allow for industrial uses, including open pit mining in Lyon County neighborhoods.
The Comstock residents of Silver City turned out in mass for the meeting and many opinions were heard. Comstock Residents Association spokesperson Gayle Sherman presented the board with a petition that had been eagerly signed by upwards of 75% of the town’s registered voters over the Labor Day weekend, in opposition to the company’s applications
The petition stated that “…Silver City residents have worked hard for decades to foster and protect quality of life in ways that allow for sustainable growth, protect the integrity of historic resources, increase property values, encourage community spirit and provide for a stable economic base…” The petition went on to note that residents have “…contributed to, and fully agree with the present Lyon County Master Plan… which promote(s) a balance of residential and commercial land uses appropriate for the preservation of the character of Silver City.”
Mining is a very hot topic in the formerly quiet community since CMI began tearing down and digging out the Virginia Range just up the road in Storey County. Silver City residents have been living in the shadow of the open pit mine operation for two years and have direct experience of the depressed property values and diminished quality of life that have been the result.
Board member Pam Ambercrombie, in a prepared statement, called CMI’s action “untimely” and blasted the company for its process, designed in a way that she said, “obstructs the public good” and called on CMI to withdraw its applications. Board Chairperson, Erich Obermayer, in his prepared statement to the community, called the company’s applications “disingenuous at best”, finding them “neither straightforward nor persuasive” because they deliberately glossed over the end game of the open pit mine in a residential area.
Although given the opportunity, CMI CEO Corrado DeGasparis stated that he was unwilling to request a continuance, because the company had “already spent time and money in preparation of the application”, thereby forcing the vote.
The first issue of concern, the Reversion to Acreage, goes before the Lyon County Planning Commission for consideration on Tuesday, September 10th with a recommendation to deny from the county’s residents most directly affected by the decision.
The Comstock Residents Association is a community focused public interest group representing the residents of Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City and Dayton, with a common interest in preserving the integrity and sustainability of the Virginia City National Historic Landmark and the quality of life in the Comstock communities it embraces.