Cemex Wins Florida Expansion Case

Cemex Construction Materials Florida has won the legal case that blocked its expansion into new mining territory west of Brooksville, Fla., according to the Tampa Bay Times. It comes after eight years of testimony by dozens of experts, a half dozen public meetings and hundreds of signed petitions opposing the expansion.

Administrative law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk ruled that the opposition had not proved “beyond fair debate” that the Hernando County Commission decision last year to rezone the 730 acres south of Fort Dade Avenue was contrary to the county’s comprehensive plan for growth. Of the total, 572 acres are slated for lime rock mining.

Van Wyk also ruled that the county did not fail to protect the adjacent residential community, as the plan required. And the commission decision did not allow mining in viable gopher tortoise habitat, she ruled, because the 54 burrows found there did not indicate a viable population. She also found the neighbors’ argument that the mining expansion could negatively impact the Bayfront Health hospital across the street “was not persuasive.’’

Residents Demand Quarry Blasting Safeguards

Residents in Rockwood, Ontario, Canada, are voicing their concern about the reopening of a local quarry, according to CTV News Kitchener. A group of residents say they are worried that blasting at the Hidden Quarry could cause rocks to become airborne resulting in potential damage or injury. Some neighbors of the quarry say they have seen it happen first hand at a nearby golf course.

The residents are calling on the province to create a 500-meter perimeter from the blast sites. The company that owns the mine says the risk of anyone being injured is next to impossible, due to the fact the blasting will take place underwater.

“If anyone has ever tried to throw a baseball while holding your breath at the bottom of a swimming pool, you’ll know what I’m talking about, it’s almost impossible for a projectile to get any sort of velocity,” said Greg Sweetnam with James Dick Construction.  

Does Asphalt Plant Impact Property Values?

Testimony in the permitting hearing for a proposed asphalt plant just outside the Marshall, N.C., town limits continued recently, according to the Citizen-Times. The Madison County Board of Adjustments listened inside the county’s courthouse as attorneys for Madison Asphalt LLC and Sustainable Madison presented arguments for and against the planned facility.

The potential impact of an asphalt plant on the values of properties near the site dominated discussion as supporters of the plant closed their case and opponents opened theirs. Two appraisers each provided the board with studies that came to conflicting conclusions on how similar facilities in the region have shaped nearby home prices. Pro-asphalt testimony argued the plant would have no impact on property values; opponents offered evidence that neighboring home prices would drop significantly.

Conservation Group Protests Land-Use Permit

A conservation organization, along with a group of about two dozen property owners, filed a letter warning they intend to sue a government commission that oversees land-use regulations in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state unless action is taken against a controversial aggregates operation in Clark County. The Friends of the Columbia Gorge called it “perhaps the largest ongoing land-use violation ever” in that area.

Nathan Baker, senior staff attorney for Friends of the Columbia Gorge, and Gary Kahn, an attorney for about a dozen property owners living near the pit, sent a letter to Krystyna Wolniakowski, executive director of the Columbia River Gorge Commission. The letter concerns the Zimmerly Quarry, located on Southeast 356th St. near Washougal, Wash., and its land-use permit, according to KATU News.

Since the Nutter Corp. began operations last year, residents have complained to the county and the commission about noise and excessive truck traffic. Nutter is one of the leading heavy civil construction companies in Oregon. “We’ve spent more than 20 years learning the conditions, local agencies, sites, and resources in the Pacific Northwest and North Dakota, and we put that knowledge to work for our clients,” the company stated on its website.

In a ruling last year, a Clark County public hearings examiner upheld the legality of the aggregates operation.

Related posts