Bluhon Group | Mediating Quarry & Neighborhood Coexistence.

Mediating Quarry & Neighborhood Coexistence.

County of Marin, Board of Supervisors


The San Rafael Rock Quarry applied for a use permit from the County to increase the scale and intensity of operations. The County required the quarry to develop a management plan acceptable to the county and community and consistent with California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act regulations. County Supervisor John Kress retained Bluhon Group to conduct a confidential mediation to achieve a community/quarry agreement.


Mr. Bluhon convened eleven joint sessions and several caucus sessions over four months. Parties negotiated specific terms using a “single-text” approach where they developed draft language and jointly reviewed and revised the text until there was mutual agreement.


The parties agreed on ten issues to address and to develop mitigation measures around hours and intensity of operation; air quality and noise impacts; lighting; blasting; dust impacts; use of best available technology; vegetation management; and inspections, enforcement, and violation penalties. The mediation was the first quarry-neighborhood negotiation in the history of the quarry. It formed the basis of a negotiated settlement achieved in September 2010, adopted by the Marin County Board of Supervisors.