Lake Commissioners vote against controversial CEMEX sand mine
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 7:52 PM
CEMEX wanted to build the mine in the Four Corners area, south of Clermont and northwest of Walt Disney World.
Out of 169 letters the county received, only two were in support of the mine. A zoning board also recommended the plan be denied.
But despite the opposition, county staff recommended commissioners approve the mine.
They packed commission chambers Tuesday, most of them holding signs opposing the proposed sand mine.
The crowd included city managers and mayors from Clermont and Groveland. Both city leaders saw the project as a risk to the Wellness Way Sector Plan, an area two-thirds the size of Manhattan plotted for more than 10,000 homes, health sector business and jobs.
“Clermont and the county have spent years putting together this sector plan. If you put in this sand mine, that’s all down the sewer,” Clermont Mayor Gail Ash said.
“It will squelch any economic development down there in the future,” said neighbor Matt Modica. “It doesn’t fit.”
Most neighbors, who came by the busload, were farmers worried about dust or homeowners concerned about noise from the mine, which would operate around the clock for the next 30 years have trucks hauling 160 loads of product per day.
CEMEX said their goal was too unobtrusive and invisible and the only thing people would notice is a $5 million economic impact.
“The fact of the matter is this application is great for the county,” said CEMEX spokeswoman Sara Endghal. “It’s a finite resource located right here in the county that can go to build important infrastructure projects here in the region.”
Lake County landowners have refused to sell any land to CEMEX to build a road to U.S. 27.
The company was also hit with an unexpected roadblock Tuesday from Orange County Commissioners, who voted to prohibit heavy vehicles from traveling on Schofield Road.