After hours of testimony and reams of studies, public comments and analysis, the final decision on whether to expand Cemex mining operations onto land planned for housing came down to one county commissioner's vote.
When Jim Adkins said during a public hearing in April that he could not support the expansion because he didn't see the need for the mined lime rock, the company withdrew its application.
Residents cheered because they did not think they could defeat the proposed change in the comprehensive plan, which would have converted 573 acres just west of Brooksville — owned by a handful of the county's most influential business people — from residential to mining for a 20-year operation.
A change in the comprehensive plan requires a super-majority vote, or four of five. The sole Democrat on the commission, Diane Rowden, had made her opposition to the expansion no secret, but once Adkins said he wouldn't support it, the discussion was over.
DeeVon Quirolo voiced happiness with the decision. But Cemex can apply again, and, with Adkins saying he won't run again and Rowden up for re-election this year, Quirolo urged voters to carefully consider their voting choices in November.
Barbara Behrendt, Times staff