Final Opportunity to Object
After a two-year process with thousands of staff and public hours and at a cost of $1,600,000, in 2010 Lee County adopted new rules to regulate Lime Rock Mining in SE Lee County’s Density Reduction/Water Resource (DR/GR) area. These new rules serve to balance the inherently conflicting DR/GR water conservation and environmental resource goals with heavy industrial lime rock mines.
Without any meaningful public workshops and under the guise of “streamlining,” Lee County staff is now proposing to eliminate two key DR/GR lime rock mining rules and replace them with nothing. The amendments will allow lime rock mining anywhere and at any time, regardless of real need. The staff initiated deregulatory proposal is to:
- Eliminate the Alico Road site location rule, which calls for new mines to be located along the “Traditional Alico Road Corridor.” This policy was based on the concept of using up existing Alico Road resources first, followed by restoration, and then opening new mines based on clear necessity.
- Eliminate the mine resource supply and demand study rule, which requires a regionally oriented quantitative supply and demand analysis based on the rule that no new DR/GR lime rock mines are to be opened until the demand for new resources outstrips available supply as determined by a supply and demand study.
On April 17 the County Board voted to send these changes to the State for review and comment. Over 300 Lee County residents attended this meeting with over 80 of them testified in opposition to the County’s mining expansion proposal. Nonetheless the Board voted 3 to 1, with Commissioner Frank Mann in opposition, to forward the proposal to Tallahassee.
We need to show the Board that we will not be discouraged by their unwillingness to listen to the will of the people. Our opportunity to do that is at the Commission meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19 when the Board is scheduled to vote on the final elimination of these two key rules and doing so without any meaningful public workshops prior to that meeting.
This will make new mine permitting much easier and thereby destroying any pretense of a balanced approach to DR/GR land use decision making. Upstream water quality and land resource conservation efforts will be weakened, creating more water pollution pressures on our downstream estuaries, with negative impacts on our tourism and hospitality industry and reduced quality of life impacts.
Links with More Information
Attending the BOCC meeting is the single most important impact you can have on this issue.
The ECCL believes the amendments should not be approved by the Lee County Board of Commissioners on June 19.
Attending the meeting is significantly more impactful, but if you absolutely cannot attend, please customize this message and send it to the Commissioners.