Saturday, September 22, 2018
News Roundup

Lacking votes, Cemex withdraws proposal to expand mining near Brooksville

BROOKSVILLE — After more than two hours of testimony and with dozens of people still waiting to speak, Cemex Construction Materials Florida on Tuesday withdrew its application to expand lime rock mining west of Brooksville after learning that it would be unable to get the super-majority of votes it needed on the Hernando County Commission to change the county's comprehensive plan.

The mining plan was opposed by hundreds of residents, many of whom came to air their concerns to the commission. More than 1,500 people had signed petitions.

But it all came down to the decision of one commissioner — Jim Adkins.

Comprehensive plan changes require at least four yes votes on the five-member commission, and it was widely known that Commissioner Diane Rowden, the commission's lone Democrat, planned to vote against the change. Just before the leader of the opposition, DeeVon Quirolo, was about to speak, Adkins spoke up and said he would not vote in favor of the change.

The proposal was to change 730 acres designated for residential and commercial uses, with 573 becoming mining land and the rest reconfigured as commercial.

Cemex officials had argued that the mining expansion would only be temporary, for 20 years, and that it would provide needed lime rock for future construction projects, would lengthen the time that high-paying rock mining jobs would be available and that the mining could be done safely and in an environmentally responsible manner.

Residents had a different take.

Mining in that area would not be compatible with surrounding land uses, they argued. Blasting would ruin the quality of life in the area, they said, and the dust would adversely affect their health. A planned conveyer belt over Fort Dade Avenue, on the north side of the property, would compromise the road's protected canopy of trees. And the historic Spring Hill Cemetery would be damaged, as would neighbors' property values, they argued.

Several expert witnesses spoke, and the opponents' attorney, Ralf Brookes, argued that mining would not be compatible with the surrounding area.

Residents also said that the only beneficiaries of the change would be the prominent and politically influential families who own the property and Mexico-based Cemex.

Adkins said he could not vote for the comprehensive plan change because he never saw proof that the lime rock was needed.

"I intend to vote to deny the application,'' he said.

By withdrawing the application, Cemex and the property owner could potentially file another application in the future After the withdrawal, Cemex spokeswoman Sara Engdahl said, "Cemex is disappointed in the outcome of today's hearing, and Cemex will now take time to review our options and explore our next steps.''

Contact Barbara Behrendt at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
Jordan Cronkrite’s big run helps USF stay perfect with win over ECU

Jordan Cronkrite’s big run helps USF stay perfect with win over ECU

TAMPA — Whenever USF handed the ball to running back Jordan Cronkrite on Saturday night, a big play seemed close. The Bulls were just one block, one chip, one cut away."We knew it was coming," quarterback Blake Barnett said.Finally, with 1...
Updated: 3 minutes ago
USF journal: Standout returner Terrence Horne out with torn ACL

USF journal: Standout returner Terrence Horne out with torn ACL

TAMPA — USF opened its American Athletic Conference schedule Saturday with a 20-13 victory against East Carolina, but it had to do so without the nation's top returner.Freshman receiver and return specialist Terrence Horne tore his ACL in pract...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

For all their defensive opportunism Saturday, make no mistake: The Gators probably remain a year or two away from seriously contending again in the SEC East Division. Still, it beats the Vols, who appear a light-year or two away.Jeremy Pruitt confirm...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Matt Baker’s takeaways from USF-East Carolina

Matt Baker’s takeaways from USF-East Carolina

I figured East Carolina would either look amazing or awful to start, considering it spent the past week and a half in Orlando because of Hurricane Florence. Turns out the Pirates channeled their emotions well, scoring on their first possession and fo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
UF journal: A resounding return for LB David Reese

UF journal: A resounding return for LB David Reese

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Gator fans have spent the better part of September wondering if junior LB David Reese ever would get on the field.They spent the better part of Saturday hoping he'd never come off.Reese, whose 2018 debut was postponed by a hi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida extends Tennessee’s recent SEC futility

Florida extends Tennessee’s recent SEC futility

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On an evening in which Tennessee honored its 1998 national championship squad, the current crop of Vols managed to offset the whole nostalgic shindig.By making the 2018 Gators resemble a national championship-caliber club.A o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

TAMPA — As the end of training camp looms, there's no clear-cut answer as to how the Lightning will fill the one, maybe two open forward spots in its lineup.It could go with Adam Erne. Spending much of his time in AHL Syracuse the past three se...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

TAMPA — It didn't take long for Lightning GM Julien BriseBois to decide he wanted to put a waiver claim in Friday.Not when he saw that F Danick Martel was available."He's a player we have had on our radar for a while, going back to actually his...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deondre Francois throws 2 TDs as Seminoles hold off NIU 37-19

Deondre Francois throws 2 TDs as Seminoles hold off NIU 37-19

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State has been seeking improvement on offense after managing just 10 combined points in its two FBS losses. The Seminoles found some reasons to be optimistic for a turnaround on Saturday. Deondre Francois threw for a season-high...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

TORONTO — There was no drama, no emotional rescues after Saturday's game.After feeling, appropriately, crushed after they gave away Thursday's game, blowing a six-run lead in the ninth, then bouncing back Friday, the Rays on Saturday faced a st...
Updated: 3 hours ago