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Residents concerned over proposed mining

June 20, 2018
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Due to the turnout, a community town hall meeting regarding the proposed rezoning of the Troyer Brothers property on SR82 for mining was broken up into two days, June 12 and June 14.

The second town hall, attended by concerned residents and business owners alike, was held inside the Veterans Park Recreation Center in Lehigh Acres.

If the Land Mass Use Amendment is ultimately approved, it will allow the addition of another limerock mine site in Lehigh.

Article Photos

Concerned residents and businesses attend the second part of a two-day community town hall meeting regarding the proposed rezoning of the Troyer Brothers property on SR82 for mining.


According to Greg Stewart of Stewart and Associates, who was presenting on behalf of No Mine On 82, an organized group in opposition of the new mining operation, while reserving land for mining is necessary for the economy, over-allocation is dangerous to the area's natural resources.

"There is currently not a need for another limerock mine in Lee County. Besides posing a threat to the environment, it creates additional noise pollution, silica dust pollution and increases traffic on an already dangerous road," Stewart stated.

This is just one of two limerock mining operations off of SR82 presently looking to get approval. The Old Corkscrew Ranch's proposed mining operation went before the Lee County zoning board back in April.

According to Stewart, Lee County released a report stating that no new limerock mines are needed for the next 20 years.

"The county staff has already released their report approving the mine. Unfortunately their decision was based on an old supply-and-demand study, The Waldorf 2016 report, which was done two years ago," said Stewart.

According to Kelly McNab, environmental planning specialist at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, they have real concerns about the environmental impacts this mine would have on the area.

"Ecologically, limerock mines are not compatible with conservation efforts. The digging that comes from creating these large mine pits results in an ecologic impact to hydrologic flow ways and wildlife. Agricultural is much more compatible," McNab said.

McNab also said it's important to uphold a plan that Lee County and Florida created back in 1990; the Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource (DR/GR) area.

"The Army Corps of Engineers identified the Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource (DR/GR) area as containing important wetland and species habitat, as it is adjacent to several conservation and mitigation lands and stores a crucial supply of groundwater," said McNab.

According to McNab, this portion of Lee County has also been identified as important habitat for the endangered Florida panther.

"This habitat is critical for supporting the only known breeding population of Florida panthers in the world. There has been significant public and private investment in adjacent and nearby conservation lands, which would be needlessly put at risk by allowing mines in these locations."

On June 26, Lee County Hearing Examiners Office will consider an amendment that would support the rezoning of the 1,790-acre Troyer Brothers Property for limerock mining.

Groups opposing the mine urge businesses and residents in Lee County to attend the 9 a.m. hearing at the Lee County Hearing Examiners Office, 1500 Monroe St., 2nd floor in Fort Myers, and to visit

The public may participate in the hearing during public comment or may contact the hearing examiner at

Following the hearing, the examiner will make a recommendation to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners, which will hold a second hearing and makes the final decision on whether to approve or decline the request.

Residents who do not speak during the initial hearing on June 26, lose the right to speak in front of the county for future hearings.

For more information, visit or call the Environmental Planning Specialist at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida at (239)262-0304.



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