Over the years, mining has sparked vast and varied perspectives on the benefits and impacts on the environment, economy, and development.
While mining will always have an impact on the environment in some capacity, one thing is clear: The responsible management of natural resources and ecosystems such as soils, plants, animals, water and air, and the services they provide, is central to the efforts of any society seeking to become more sustainable.
For more than 30 years, we at Morris-Depew Associates have always strived to strike a balance between smart growth, land owner rights and conservation.
This approach has allowed us to help land owners realize plans for future mining operations or expansion of mining operations that serve as a resource area for high-quality limestone, a place-based limited resource used not only in Southwest Florida but also around the state for aggregate materials. Aggregate materials are the principal component of concrete and asphalt used in the construction of roads, hospitals, churches, schools, homes and government buildings.
Local and state governments use limerock for projects, as does the private sector. Having this natural resource available locally helps keep costs down while keeping jobs and revenues local.
The Southeast Lee quadrant of Southwest Florida has proven to be an optimal area for mining due to its natural resources available and opportunities for environmental enhancement and conservation.
Building on our years of experience in land planning, we have carefully crafted successful plans that purposely preserve high quality interconnected habitats while also identifying areas for limerock extraction where soil boring indicates the resources are available.
Following the 2010 amendments to the Lee Comprehensive Plan, the firm expanded its focus in this region to assist landowners with the transition from mining operations to balanced residential development.
Focusing on properties that had been previously mined and were currently closed, MDA presented plans to the County to showcase the valuable redevelopment opportunities of these properties to further protect natural resources while increasing the tax base of Lee County. The results of these efforts are two different overlays within the Lee Plan enabling residential density in Southeast Lee under certain and clear conditions that reaffirm appropriate environmental protections and restoration are provided.
Projects during this timeframe include: Corkscrew Shores, WildBlue, Timber Creek and CenterPlace.
Each of these properties are clear examples of the measured and innovative steps taken to support the evolution of a mining project underscored by responsible growth management plans.
To learn more about how MDA can assist with your mining operations or residential development plans, please contact our team.
Bell Road Mine
In its ruling, the county also found that Bell Road Mine’s previously approved rezoning applications were found to be compatible with surrounding property owners, the environment, and in compliance with the Lee Plan.