Tampa Bay Times: Mining proposal west of Brooksville stirs up opposition

January 2, 2015

http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/mining-proposal-west-of-brooksville-stirs-up-opposition/2212138

Thursday, January 1, 2015 12:43pm

A proposal to mine lime rock for 20 years on more than 500 acres just west of Brooksville stirred opposition among hundreds of residents but won initial support from the County Commission in 2014.

The property is owned by some of the county’s most influential business leaders and is currently zoned for residential and agricultural use in the county’s comprehensive plan. The commission’s vote in December sends the proposal to a review by a variety of state agencies.

Once comments are received, the commission will conduct another hearing to consider the change in the comprehensive plan, likely in the spring, officials have said. At that point, four of the five commissioners would have to vote approval.

Residents opposed to the plan — including nearby neighbors, environmental groups and doctors — vow to continue to fight. They argue that the mining will destroy important habitat, lower the value of their homes, damage their quality of life, spew dangerous dust into the air and threaten their drinking water. Cemex officials and representatives say that mining is a historical industry in Hernando County, and they disagree with the opponents’ arguments. Approval of the project, they said, will keeping mining jobs in Hernando County for years into the future.

Barbara Behrendt, Times staff

Mining proposal west of Brooksville stirs up opposition 01/01/15 [Last modified: Thursday, January 1, 2015 12:41pm]

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