July 2, 2014
1022 Howell Ave B3
Brooksville, FL 34601
Planning and Zoning Department
20 North Main Street
Brooksville, FL 34601
Comments on the Application by Cemex to amend Hernando County Comprehensive Land Use Plan
In Hernando County’s CLU, Policy 1,01R(3) Environmental Protections are one of many items upon which amendment approval rests. In my reading of the application for amendment to the CLU, I find no mention of any effort on the part of Cemex to retain any of the glorious natural habitat included in the parcel in question.
[Policy 1.01R(3) a.] Nor do I find any effort beyond identifying the important, endangered or threatened species on the property, many of which have already been disturbed by current Cemex operations to preserve or shelter our wildlife. [c] Both [b] and [d] cite protection of wetlands and water bodies, but Cemex make no mention of wet acreage, so vital to local wildlife, nor how they plan to deal with them short of filling them over. The possibility of draining or filling the wetlands endangers the groundwater aquifer and increased the likelihood of pollution.
Item [e] notes that any historical or archeological cites cannot be endangered. With the exception of the paltry claim to berm the Civil War era Spring Hill Cemetery, no effort is cited with respect to that or other adjacent acreage to search for or preserve any historic finds that may be there. Cemex operations will at least disturb if not destroy anything of historic value without any consideration to the history of black persons in Hernando. Why should they? They have no ties to our community.
The record of Cemex in terms of violations is clear. They have repeatedly endangered area residents with toxic pollutants and have paid scanty fines for doing so. They should not be allowed to continue to disregard Clear Air and Water laws until they are caught. They will almost certainly behave no better on this parcel than they have on the many others they own around this country.
My most pressing concern is that of the means of transporting production from this cite to the Cemex operation north of Ft Dade Ave. I have not found mention of just how they propose to do so. At the April 2014 meeting that Cemex held at the demand of the Board of County
Commissioners, the idea of either a tunnel or bridge over Ft Dade was bandied about by James Morris of Cemex to mitigate the resident concerns about additional traffic on Ft Dade. No plans for either were included in Cemex ‘s application. As you are aware, Ft Dade , from Cobb Road to Citrus Way was designated by the BOCC as a protected Canopy Road. These trees and 50 ft from the center line of Ft Dade MAY NOT be disturbed, endangered or removed. In Code of Ordinance Chapter 23 ,article iv, section 23-163, the BOCC is to inspect this Road and hold a
public hearing should any change be sought. Is Cemex planning to start the devastation and say “oops, we forgot to get permission to destroy the trees” ?
As a resident of Hernando County I am appalled to think that this application, which seems to ignore both the letter and intent of County laws should not be considered. Cemex has long been a poor neighbor and the idea of having them in our lovely county for another twenty years at
little gain but far, far too high a cost is repugnant.
Cemex has disturbed the peace and quiet of its neighbors, the local wildlife, damaged property values, blighted the native habitat of countless species and even mars the scenic beauty Hernando County will rely on for the next twenty years as we go forward to entice Eco-tourists
to visit. I know I am not alone in my dissatisfaction with this application or this industry or indeed, Cemex and its owners.