Good morning, my name is Erich Obermayr and I am the Chair of the Silver City Citizen Advisory Board. I am here to present the Advisory Board’s recommendation to the Planning Commission that it reject the application by Comstock Mining, Inc. for a master plan amendment and zoning change on their property within and adjacent to Silver City.
This recommendation for denial also represents the desires of the overwhelming majority of Silver City residents. I am not here speaking for them, because they are perfectly capable of doing that themselves. But I would like to attempt to explain to the Planning Commission some of the thoughts we, as committed members of the Silver City community, share with respect to this application.
This is about mining, and it’s about mining in Silver City. An operating mine on the property in question would fundamentally alter the very nature of Silver City. It would inject an industrial presence into a small, quiet, residential community. The effects would be catastrophic, not just for the people living across the road from the operation, but for the whole town. The blasting, excavation, ore hauling, and all the associated noise, traffic, and activity that go into making a mine work would not only be disruptive, they would in fact dominate the pace and quality of day to day life. Our control over our own property—whether this means someday finding a buyer or just sitting in the yard on a quiet evening—would be lost. Its value would depend on how much disruption a potential buyer would be willing to put up with. Time in the yard would be dictated by the work schedule of the mine.
This application represents nothing less than an effort to reinvent Silver City. It is a mining company’s attempt to impose their reality, their idea of what is best, on our town and our community. It is neither wanted or needed. The current master plan and zoning have worked for Silver City—and protected it—for more than forty years. This protection is based on the simple premise that there are places—including this small piece of Lyon County, in a town, in a residential neighborhood—where mining is not appropriate.
We have, over the years, invested in all those things that go into making a community. We have raised children, built houses—sometimes from scratch, sometimes turning abandoned shells into homes—made careers and businesses, and we have fought battles together. Because of that, today Silver City is a very special place in which to live.
It is our sincere hope that the Planning Commission recognizes the role the Lyon County Master Plan and zoning have played in the success and development of our community. We hope you see fit to continue this into the future, by denying the application that is before you.
Thank you very much.