Resource Extraction (RE)

INTENT: The “RE” designation is intended to provide for protection of the environment and resource extraction activities in a manner consistent with the Mono County General Plan and applicable state and federal laws. The designation is also intended to provide for processing plants utilizing on-site materials or materials found in close proximity to the site. The Resource Extraction Designation is intended to be applied only in areas with existing or proposed and permitted resource development activities.


All permitted uses within each category are not listed; the Commission may determine additional uses for each category as long as they are consistent with the intent of this designation (see Section 04.030, Interpretation of Similar Uses).

  • Geological, geochemical, or geophysical mapping, surface sampling by hand of outcrops and soil, and activities that do not involve extensive excavation, devegetation, or other potentially significant environmental effects.
  • Such other uses as the Director may determine to be of an infrequent nature and that involve only minor surface disturbances.
  • Residential uses are limited to caretaker units or on-call employee housing associated with on-site resource development projects; such residential units shall be removed during the final reclamation process. Residential subdivisions or other types of permanent residential development are not allowed.
  • Agricultural uses that are compatible with the resource extraction activity.


  • Excavations or grading conducted for farming or on-site construction for the purpose of restoring land following a flood or natural disaster.
  • Resource development activities involving the prospecting for, or extraction of, minerals for commercial purposes and the removal of overburden in total amounts of less than 1,000 cubic yards in any one parcel of one acre or less.
  • Resource development activities that do not involve either the removal of more than 1,000 cubic yards of minerals, ore, or overburden; or involve more than one acre in any one parcel.
  • Surface mining operations that are required by federal law in order to protect a mining claim, if such operations are conducted solely for this purpose and in compliance with applicable federal regulations that administer the affected mined lands.
  • Such other surface mining operations as are categorically determined by the State Mining and Geology Board to be exempt from the provisions of SMARA (Surface Mining and Reclamation Act); and/or those particular resource development activities with similar impacts that the County may determine to be of infrequent nature and/or involve insignificant amounts of surface disturbance.


  • Surface mining operations as defined in SMARA.
  • Subsurface mining operations.
  • Exploring, drilling, processing, stockpiling and transporting of gas, oil and other hydrocarbons.
  • Exploring, drilling, and development of geothermal resources.
  • Construction and operation of geothermal power plants, hydropower plants, and wind and solar power plants.
  • Resale and wholesale distributing of materials produced on site and accessory uses, including but not limited to constructing and using rock-crushing plants, aggregate washing, screening and drying facilities and equipment, ore-reduction plants, asphalt and concrete batching plants, and storage of materials and machinery in use and utilized by the permitted operation.


Minimum Lot Area: 40 acres or 1/4 of 1/4 section, with the exception of patent and/or historical mining claims and "vested operations" that shall be considered on a case-by-case basis. Minimum lot area may be reduced in conformance to the permit process.

Minimum District Area: 40 acres or 1/4 of 1/4 section

Density: Residential uses are not permitted with the exception of on-call employee housing or a caretaker's unit.


No processing equipment or facilities or resource development shall occur within:

  1. 100 feet from any interior public street or highway unless the Public Works director determines that a lesser distance would be acceptable;
  2. 100 feet from any exterior property line;
  3. 500 feet from any adjacent private dwelling, institution, school, or other building or location used for public assemblage; and
  4. No geothermal development located within the Hot Creek Buffer Zone shall occur within 500 feet on either side of a surface watercourse (as indicated by a solid or broken blue line on US Geological Survey 7.5 or 15-minute series topographic maps).

Residential uses shall be:

  1. 50 feet from any interior public street or highway unless the Public Works director determines that a lesser distance would be acceptable; and
  2. 50 feet from any exterior property line.


Land Development Regulations – 

Ch. 04             Development Standards – General

Ch. 06             Development Standards – Parking

Ch. 07             Development Standards – Signs

Ch. 15             Development Standards – Resource Extraction

Ch. 35             Development Standards – Reclamation Plan Processing

Table 04.010  Building Heights