Marion County Aggregate (Mining) Sites
This page is intended to provide basic information on Marion County's significant aggregate resource sites. Regulations vary greatly depending on location, scope of operation, inventory listed, etc.,. It is best to check with the Planning Division for more specific information.
Map of Marion County Mineral and Aggregate Sites
"Mining Operation Site Categories" - terms referenced in the inventory lists described below from Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI)
Marion County's Mineral and Aggregate Inventory - sites listed in the Marion County Comprehensive Plan, Addendum A.
Additional Significant Mineral and Aggregate Sites - sites not on the current Marion County Comprehensive Plan Inventory; pre-existing or operating under Conditional Use Permits.
Why protect mineral and aggregate resources?
Gravel deposits are quite numerous throughout Oregon. In fact, the combined values of sand, gravel, and stone rank as No. 1 in Oregon’s mineral industry. Sand and gravel are essential materials for construction of highways, bridges, buildings, and airports. Large quantities of sand and gravel are also used for fill. Since gravel is a vital resource needed for development, protection by governmental agencies is needed to assure its availability for present and future use.
What is “aggregate”?
Aggregate is a mixture of minerals or rock fragments that resembles rock. People often refer to this as gravel.
Does Marion County have much aggregate?
Yes! Large deposits of sand and gravel occur in the mile-wide floodplain of the Willamette River. The bar and channel gravels are constantly being replenished. This material represents the gravel deposited during formation of the Valley before the river migrated to its present location. As the river meandered back and forth across the Valley, it deposited gravel and sand. These gravels merge with gravels similarly deposited by the larger tributaries flowing from the Cascade Mountains.
Alluvial or glacial outwash in the Santiam River drainage between Mehama and Turner have provided a few hundred square miles of sand and gravel. The gravel resource forms a fairly narrow channel through Salem and Turner. However, toward Stayton, where the channel of distribution widens, there is 50 feet or more of gravel.
What are the land use regulations for approving mineral and aggregate sites?
Oregon Revised Statute 215.298 requires that sites must be included on an inventory list adopted as part of a county's comprehensive plan. This is done through a comprehensive plan amendment application. To be included on the inventory list, a site must be in compliance with Statewide Planning Goal 5 (Natural Resources, Scenic and Historic Areas and Open Spaces). This Goal includes criteria on quality, quantity, and location of the resource. Comprehensive Plan amendments must also meet county criteria outlined in the Marion County Code.
In Marion County, most of the rural resource zones list mining and processing of aggregate as a conditional use. However, under current Oregon Administrative Rules if it is determined that there are no significant conflicts, a conditional use permit may not be required. This determination is done through the Post Acknowledgement Plan Amendment (PAPA).