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Community Development News

Posted on: November 28, 2023

Nevada County Releases Staff Report on Rise Grass Valley’s Vested Rights Petition

Staff Report Released: Staff Report for Rise Grass Valley's Vested Rights Petition Now Available

Nevada County released the staff report today responding to Rise Grass Valley’s Vested Rights Petition to conduct mining operations at the Idaho Maryland Mine.

The County released the staff report ahead of the upcoming Special Meeting of the Board of Supervisors scheduled for December 13. Staff are recommending that the Board make the following finding: 1) that mining operations on the subject property that the Petitioner is seeking a finding of vested rights were abandoned as early as 1956; and 2) neither the Petitioner nor any other party has a vested right to mine on the subject property.  At the meeting, the Board will hear presentations from Planning Department staff and Rise Grass Valley, followed by public comment and Board deliberation. 

“A vested right is a right to continue activity that existed before a zoning restriction became effective,” said County Counsel Katharine Elliott. “Should the Board of Supervisors make a ‘vested rights finding,’ it would mean that Rise Grass Valley has a legal right to mine on the Brunswick Industrial Site.”

The Board is expected to decide whether to find vested rights based on facts concerning the historical use of the Idaho Maryland Mine property currently owned by Rise Grass Valley and the applicable law on vested rights.

Next Steps the Board Might Consider in Early 2024 Following Vested Rights Hearing

If the Board grants the Petition, the next step would be to review a reclamation plan outlining the measures Rise Grass Valley would take to restore the land affected by mining operations. The Board’s review would be considered at a public meeting where relevant legal and environmental considerations would be addressed and time provided for public testimony on potential impacts, opinions in support or opposition, and other topics related to the mine.  

If the Board denies the Petition, the County will schedule a noticed public hearing to resume consideration of Rise Grass Valley’s application for a use permit to reopen the Idaho Maryland Mine. This public hearing will also provide an additional opportunity for public comment.

Interested residents are encouraged to subscribe for updates and view the project’s planning process and timeline on the website at

Public Hearing Details:

  • Wednesday, December 13, 9 a.m. If necessary, the hearing may be continued to Thursday, December 14, beginning at 9 a.m. 
  • Eric Rood Administrative Center, Board of Supervisor Chamber, First Floor, 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City. 
  • View live online on Nevada County’s YouTube Channel

Public Hearing Schedule:

  • Presentations from the applicant and from County staff related to the history of the use at the site and the governing law on vested rights. 
  • Public comment. Members of the public who wish to address the Board of Supervisors should attend the December 13 meeting as there may not be a second day of hearings on December 14. Please see the “How to Participate” section below.
  • Board questions and comments.
  • Board deliberations. The Board can then make a final determination on whether the petition for vested rights should be granted.  

How to Participate in Public Comment:

  • Due to the limited nature of this hearing, those wishing to comment will have three minutes, and any comment must be limited to the historical uses of the site and factual evidence of activities that have occurred on or at the site.  
  • Because it is not relevant to this hearing, no public comment will be allowed regarding support or opposition to the mine, the Idaho Maryland Mine’s Draft Environmental Impact Report, the use permit, the reclamation plan, and/or any other land use entitlement, and/or any other potential impacts of the mine, or any history pertaining to Rise Grass Valley or related businesses. All those comments should be reserved for either of the next hearings, as described under “Next steps” below.
  • To provide public comment, receive a number from County staff outside the Supervisors’ Chamber. Public comment numbers will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8:30 am.
  • Speakers will provide public comment to the Board of Supervisors in the Supervisors’ Chamber in groups of ten. 

Written Comment:

All written public comments should be received by 4 p.m. the day before the hearing (December 12) for it to become part of the public record.

  • Email to
  • Mailed to the Nevada County Clerk of the Board at 950 Maidu Ave, Suite 200, Nevada City, CA 95959. 
  • Submit eComment, available once the Agenda for the meeting is posted (December 8). 
  • Alternatively, as a last resort, you may submit printed and written copies of your comment directly to the Clerk of the Board at the Board of Supervisors’ Public Hearing. 

Parking and Transit:

  • Carpooling is encouraged as parking is limited. In the afternoon, the parking lot will become more impacted as visitors arrive for Nevada City’s Victorian Christmas and park at the Rood Center.


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