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Santa Cruz County Quarries
Bonny Doon Quarry Hansen (Kaiser) Quarry

In compliance with the State Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975 (SMARA), Santa Cruz County has prepared a Mining Ordinance and has included Mineral Resource Management Policies within our General Plan. In compliance with SMARA these policies recognize mineral information classified by the state, assist in the management of land use that affect areas of statewide and regional significance and emphasize the conservation and development of identified mineral deposits. Lands within Mineral Resource Areas are identified on the General Plan/Local Coastal Plan Resources and Constraints Maps. The Mining Ordinance is located under Title 16 in Chapter 16.54 of the Santa Cruz County Code. Under SMARA Santa Cruz County is the designated lead agency to regulate mining operations in the County.

The mining operations in Santa Cruz County operate pursuant to approvals consistent with the mining regulations. Each has an approved mining plan and reclamation plan, as well as a specific set of conditions of approval that address potential hazards, and other adverse effects that may occur as a result of a particular mining operation. County staff inspects the mines during active mining and throughout the reclamation phase on a quarterly basis. The operators are required to prepare and submit comprehensive annual reports to the County. For each quarry, approximately every five years, the Planning Commission performs a Permit Review for compliance with approval conditions. In addition, the Commission considers applications for permit amendments.

Currently the reclamation plans for each of the mines in Santa Cruz County designate the end use as some form of open space. The one exception is Cabrillo Sand and Gravel, which has an active landscape supply business on the site. If uses other than open space are proposed, an amendment to the Reclamation Plan would be required, as well as other applicable permits and approvals. In addition, any future development proposal would be subject to Environmental Review according to provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act and County of Santa Cruz Environmental Review Guidelines.

In accordance with the mining regulations, financial assurances made payable to the County and the California Department of Conservation have been submitted by each quarry operator to ensure that adequate reclamation is performed in accordance with the approved Reclamation Plan. The financial assurances are reviewed each year by the County and adjusted, as needed, to account for current conditions. Only when the County is satisfied that the Quarry has completed reclamation pursuant to the approved Reclamation Plan, will the Financial Assurance be released. If the mining operation is abandoned (idle for over one year) and the operator has failed to commence reclamation in accordance with the approved Reclamation Plan in a timely manner, the Planning Director would commence enforcement proceedings, which could lead to forfeiture of the Financial Assurance and reclamation of the site by the County.

Olive Springs Quarry is operated by Olive Springs Quarry Inc. mines gneissic granodiorite (granitic rock) for construction aggregate. The mine contains a rock crushing and aggregate processing plant, and an asphaltic concrete (AC) plant. The permitted mining area encompasses approximately 48 acres. The mine is permitted to operate until at least 2044. The designated end use is open space. Reclamation of the mine will consist of establishment of a native species vegetative cover on the disturbed lands similar to naturally occurring habitats in the surrounding area. The mine is located west of Nisene Marks State Park and the Soquel Demonstration Forest.

Hanson Quarry (aka Kaiser Quarry) operated by Hanson Aggregates mined sand from the Santa Margarita Sandstone for construction sand. The mined area encompasses approximately 200 acres. The mine ceased operation in 2003. All former mineral processing facilities have been removed and disturbed areas are being reclaimed to open space with a native species vegetative cover on the disturbed lands similar to naturally occurring habitats in the surrounding area. The mine is located within the sensitive Sandhills habitat west of the City of Scotts Valley.

Felton Quarry operated by Granite Construction Company mines granitic rock for construction aggregate. The mine contains a rock crushing and aggregate processing plant, and an asphaltic concrete (AC) plant. The permitted mining area encompasses approximately 86 acres. The mine is permitted to operate until at least 2029. The designated end use is open space. Reclamation of the mine will consist of establishment of a native species vegetative cover on the disturbed lands similar to naturally occurring habitats in the surrounding area. Concurrent reclamation is in progress as mining ceases in some areas. The mine is located west of the town of Felton.

Olympia Quarry (aka Lonestar Quarry) operated by CEMEX mined sand from the Santa Margarita Sandstone for construction sand. The mined area encompasses approximately 70 acres. The mine ceased operation in 2002. All former mineral processing facilities have been removed and disturbed areas are being reclaimed to open space with a native species vegetative cover on the disturbed lands similar to naturally occurring habitats in the surrounding area. The mine is located within the sensitive Sandhills habitat west of the City of Scotts Valley.

Bonny Doon Limestone and Shale Quarry operated by CEMEX mined marble and shale for the production of cement at the Davenport Cement Plant. The combined area of the Limestone and Shale Quarries disturbed by mining encompasses approximately 234 acres. The mine ceased operation in 2009. The mine contains hard rock mining and crushing equipment, maintenance shop, office, rock storage silos, and a belt conveyor that travels approximately 3 miles to the Cement Plant. These facilities have not been removed. The designated end use is open space. Reclamation of the mine will consist of removal of buildings and equipment and establishment of a native species vegetative cover on the disturbed lands similar to naturally occurring habitats in the surrounding area. Reclamation is in progress in some areas. The mine is located in Bonny Doon.

Wilder Quarry operated by Granite Rock Company mines sand from the Santa Margarita Sandstone for construction and landscape sand. The mine contains a sand processing plant. The disturbed area of the mine encompasses approximately 66 acres and mining is nearing the limits of the permitted mining area. The designated end use is open space. Reclamation of the mine will consist of establishment of a native species vegetative cover on the disturbed lands similar to naturally occurring habitats in the surrounding area. Concurrent reclamation is in progress as mining ceases in some areas. The mine is located near Wilder Ranch State park.

Quail Hollow Quarry operated by Granite Rock Company mines sand from the Santa Margarita Sandstone for construction and industrial uses. The mine contains a sand processing plant and bulk sand dryer. The permitted area of the mine encompasses approximately 105 acres and mining is permitted to continue until the permitted reserves are exhausted. The designated end use is open space. Reclamation of the mine will consist of establishment of a native species vegetative cover on the disturbed lands similar to naturally occurring habitats in the surrounding area. Concurrent reclamation is in progress as mining ceases in some areas. The mine is located within the sensitive Sandhills habitat near Quail Hollow County Park.

Cabrillo Sand and Gravel operated by Cabrillo Sand and Gravel mined sand and gravel from the Aromas Formation for construction and landscape uses. The mined area encompasses approximately 4 acres. By 2005 all onsite excavation of sand had ceased. The property the Aptos Landscape Supply business, has operated on the site since the mid 1960’s, and has become the primary activity on the parcel as mining activity has ceased. The mined areas are being reclaimed to open space with a native species vegetative cover on the disturbed lands similar to naturally occurring habitats in the surrounding area. The mine is located on Freedom Boulevard in Aptos.

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