Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Residents sue over Pasco County's approval of Lago Verde lime rock mine near Shady Hills

SHADY HILLS Disappointed with the County Commission's approval of a mediation settlement that would allow lime rock mining near their homes, a group of homeowners is asking a judge to start from scratch.

Robert J. Howell, Terry Hoppenians and Myles Friedland allege in a lawsuit filed this month that by allowing lime rock to be taken from what was a sand mine, the county is violating its long term growth plan.

According to the lawsuit, the proposed mining operation "is not consistent with the existing densities and intensities of both the site and surrounding neighborhood; is not compatible with approved development and development patterns in the area; and does not provide an adequate transition of land uses from mining to single family residential."

The residents' lawsuit came a month after commissioners approved a settlement with the mining company, Outlaw Ridge Inc., to prevent a lawsuit on that end. Commissioners had initially denied the developer's request to expand its sand mining operation and blast for lime rock at a location 3 miles south of County Line Road on the west side of U.S. 41. The company then sought relief through mediation.

The settlement, approved by the county, another group of homeowners and the company, includes the creation of a $510,000 escrow account to pay for any damages from mining, or if there are none, to cover neighborhood improvements. It gives the developer one 15-year permit with no extensions, and specifies that after mining ends, the site must be a park, open space or residential housing.

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