County commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to rezone more than 500 acres west of Cobb Road and north of Cortez Boulevard for expansion of the Cemex Construction Materials Florida lime rock mine. The road that bisects the mining area known as the Lykes Cutoff will be vacated and Cemex will provide land for a new road connecting California Street north of Cortez to Fort Dade Avenue.
Owners of the mining properties sought a 20-year lease with plans to develop the property after that into a residential community. The land fronting Cortez Boulevard will be used for commercial development, under the plan.
The Cemex expansion met with years of organized opposition from area residents. Neighbors Against Mining raised concerns about the incompatibility of mining with the adjacent residential neighborhood; water quality damage; destruction of the tree canopy along Fort Dade Avenue; blasting damage to homes; water drainage issues; wildlife and environmental destruction; disruption at the nearby Bayfront Health Brooksville hospital; and harm to the historic Spring Hill Cemetery.