Dear Lyon County Planning Commissioners,
I would like to request that you do not approve the zoning change requested by Comstock Mining Inc.
This change is not consistent with the residential nature of our town and would allow the property to be used in the future for such things as large scale energy production, gravel pits and other industrial uses. This is clearly not compatible with our residential community. This type of zoning is categorized in the current master plan characteristics as “…located in very remote or rural parts of the County (outside of community boundaries) … From Chapter 3 3.20 Lyon County Master Plan Adopted 2010. I don’t think Silver City is one of our ‘very remote’ or ‘rural’ locations.
I would also like you to consider Silver City’s location inside of the Comstock Historic District. As a landowner in the district I’m very aware that this area has some of the strongest land use restrictions placed on private property by the Federal and State governments in the United States, resulting in my having to use an authorized color of paint for my house or use specific approved siding or window materials for new construction, repairs or remodeling. We are forced to comply with the regulations of and get permits from the Comstock Historic District to do any building or remodeling such as fixing a roof, installing a shed or putting up a fence. All of this is to protect the Comstock Historic District visually. This change to resource zoning for the purpose of strip mining as Comstock Mining has proposed to our town is not in any way consistent with the intentions of the Historic District. Again I beg you to not allow this zoning change as it will create an environment where I will have to get permission to paint my house on my own property while my industrial neighbor will be allowed to strip mine on his property.
Of course my property values have already been damaged by the ‘possibility’ of an industrial strip mine within and adjacent to Silver City. The fear of this development has virtually stopped all real estate sales in town. The only purchases I’m aware of have been made by Comstock Mining or its principals during this threat. In my opinion Comstock Mining has taken advantage of the depressed property values they created and purchased non mining properties throughout the Comstock. They don’t make a secret of also being a real estate investment group. I purchased a building lot in Silver City many years ago and have been saving money for years to fulfill our dream of building a home. Unfortunately until the threat of a strip mine is gone, I don’t foresee myself or anyone else building new residential houses in the threatened Silver City area.
If you stand next to the road next to the operating mine in Gold Canyon you can get an idea of what it would be like to live with the mine next to your home. The noise and the dust would make it miserable and would force those with means to move away from the industrial mining operations. This decision to rezone to resource and the opening of a strip mine would certainly result in many long time residents being forced to leave for their health and piece of mind. No one wants their neighborhood to turn into an industrial area.
Here is an example of the dust created by Comstock Mining in Gold Hill.
My family moved to Silver City in 1972 and purchased a building lot from the county in a tax lien sale.
My father built the house I live in now and I now own a lot that I would like to build on. I felt secure in buying my family home in 1985 and investing in a building lot in Silver City in the 1990’s because of the County Decision to deny Nevex permission to mine this same property in the 1980’s. Part of the reason I think Nevex was denied permission to mine in Silver City was based on the result of Houston Oil and Minerals industrial mining in Gold Hill during the 1970’s and 80’s which left a huge scare in the historic district and resulted in the National designation of the Historic District as ‘threatened’. Lyon County at that time wisely refused to allow industrial scale surface mining in Silver City and in the interim has evolved a master plan that supports Silver City as a residential area and not as a Resource area. Based on this history our extended family and I heavily invested in real estate in Silver City and have been pleased with the growth of the community and our investments until this recent mining threat.
Miners often tell me I should have known better that to move to a historic mining area and not expect a mine to open next door. While it’s true Silver City grew out of the Comstock mining boom of the 1800’s I don’t think that this is reason enough to allow current industrial mining practices within or adjacent to the clearly residential town. Many areas have historic uses that are no longer allowed due to residential property development. This is one of the reason that land use planning and master plans exist so that compatible uses are grouped together.
When Comstock Mining came to Silver City in 2011 with big plans to help the community by mining within and adjacent to the town. Mr Corrado Degasperis seemed shocked that the town did not welcome this revitalization with open arms. One reason why we responded negatively to Comstock Mining’s proposal was because we actually read the materials they were using to sell stock in the company. These materials certainly caused concern because they stated that: (click here to read the full document)
This zoning change is will affect Silver City negatively. Please do not approve it. Lets let Silver City grow houses instead. PS I am a native Nevadan and support mining in our state. I personally would love to gamble on a mine but I would not do it in anyone’s neighborhood. There is plenty of public land in Nevada to prospect on without encroaching on residential neighborhoods with strip mines or pit mines.