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Dec. 17 public hearing will address proposed change to Lee County’s limerock policy

New proposal would delete current requirement for limerock supply study and remove restrictions on mining in environmentally sensitive groundwater “DR/GR” lands   

Concerned citizens are encouraged to attend and provide public comment on a new proposal from Lee County that would eliminate policies that currently restrict the location and timing of new limerock mines. The Lee County Local Planning Agency will meet on Monday, Dec. 17 at 8:30 a.m. in the Administration East Building, 2201 Second St., Room 118 in Fort Myers. The public is invited to speak for up to three minutes, per person.

The locations and supply of limerock mines in Lee County have been the focus of two cases currently before the Lee County Hearing Examiner: the proposed rezoning of 1,790-acre Troyer Brothers property on SR82 near Homestead Road in Lee County for limerock mining; and the Old Corkscrew Plantation.

“This proposal means that Lee County would no longer restrict limerock mining based on supply and demand, nor would it restrict the location of the limerock mines, including the environmentally sensitive DR/GR area,” said Greg Stuart, president of Stuart and Associates, a land use planning, design and development consulting practice in Fort Myers and Seattle.

Stuart had recently presented an updated lime rock supply study that challenges Lee County’s current mine study, the Waldrop Report. As per the new mine supply study conducted by Stuart, using accurate inventory and data, there is enough limerock supply for the seven-county region through the year 2051, equal to 526.61 million cubic yards (Waldrop at 297.9 million cubic yards).

“The 2010 Lee Plan, with Map 14 and its requirement to base new mine decisions on supply and demand data, was the result of a development moratorium that cost more than $1.3 million in public expenditures, and resulted in thousands of hours of citizen input,” added Stuart. “Now eight years later, when their study gets challenged, they are proposing a change that plays out in the favor of special interests, rather than the public – the citizens and businesses who will be negatively impacted by its threats to our water, our land and quality of life.”

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