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Borrow pit approved; residents to appeal

A company should be allowed to excavate land on 140 acres east of Balm-Wimauma Road, a land use appeals board decided last week.

By ANDREW MEACHAM
Published May 12, 2006


By ANDREW MEACHAM

Metropolitan Development Group won approval to dig borrow pits up to 50 feet deep on the site - creating the sixth borrow pit within an 8-mile radius in Wimauma. The company sells the dirt as fill to contractors.

The appeals board voted 3-1 to uphold the decision to grant the permit.

The vote came against opposition from homeowners along Carlton Lake Road, who staked "Just Say No" signs in their front yards. Ralf Brookes, an attorney hired by residents, said he plans to contest the permit in circuit court.

The project means that trucks with three or more axles will be headed up and down Carlton Lake Road, against county regulations that limit dump truck traffic on the road, Brookes said.

As many as 200 trucks a day will rumble past sidewalks and school bus stops, leaving dust clouds behind, he said.

"They want to run a sand mine for 10 years," Brookes said. "Everyone is going to have to live with this."

Brookes wants Metropolitan Development Group to buy enough land to build a private road connecting the site to State Road 674, bypassing residents on Carlton Lake Road.

Company officials met with residents and tried to address some of their concerns, said John Heagney, a spokesman for Metropolitan Development Group.

He said that the permit requires the company to widen access roads, which satisfies their legal obligations.

"In a situation like this, how many times have you heard that people are 100 percent satisfied?" Heagney said. "But if there are concerns, we want to know what they are and how we can help."

[Last modified May 11, 2006, 17:16:37]


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