Aug 2003 - Sep 2004 Archive:
|Sep 8, 2004
Guest commentary: Agencies must
stand up for panthers - local guest commentary article by J.
Stephen O'Hara Jr., Special to the Naples Daily News.
|Aug 21, 2004
Judge quashes mine permit for Lee panther area
A federal judge invalidated a permit for a Florida Rock Industries
mine in panther territory in southeast Lee County on Friday.
Pamela Smith Hayford -
Ft. Myers News-Press
Additional info from the National Wildlife Federation:
Judge's Order granting
Summary Judgment (pdf)
Judge's Opinion (pdf)
|Aug 19, 2004
Candidates Forum on Growth Management
The August 31 Primary
Election is moving forward despite hurricane Charley. There will be
a Candidates Forum on Growth Management on Monday August 23, from
6-9 PM at the Lee County BCC Chambers. This will be an opportunity
for Corkscrew residents to hear candidate positions on important
issues like Smart Growth, water quality, residential compatibility
This would be a good time for Corkscrew Road folks to attend and
remind the county commission that we are all here.
Click here for more details
|July 6, 2004
Potentially more mining and skyrocketing property values
Corkscrew Neighbors may have noticed some new "For Sale" signs on
property immediately west of the Westwind mine. The parcel is
located on the north side of Corkscrew Road, between Westwind Mine
and "Corkscrew Estates".
We recently obtained the real estate firm's
description and pricing for the 255
acre parcel. The description indicates that the property is
located "within an identified mining area". The higher of the two
astounding price offerings includes "entitlement to excavate and
develop in place". However, Lee County Community Development has
indicated that no mining permit applications have been received for
this property to date.
|June 16, 2004
Corkscrew Friend to run for District 75 State House Seat
Noethlich of Wildcat Run has spent considerable time and effort over
the last year helping the Corkscrew Communities in our fight against
the encroachment of mining into our rural residential areas. He
personally attended the Westwind Mine hearing. He initiated and
organized visits to County Commissioners to make sure each
commissioner heard our point of view about the impacts of mining. He
has spoken at various BoCC and county committee meetings. As well,
he’s represented Estero fairly and with elegant diplomacy on other
Recently Neal made the
decision to run for the District 75 House of Representatives
seat that Carole Green is vacating. You can read Neal's biography
Neal is trying to obtain the 883 petition signatures needed to be
included on the ballot. These signed petitions need to be in
Neal’s hand by Sunday evening, June 20th.
All registered voters who live in House District 75 are eligible to
sign the petition.
Here is a map showing
the District boundaries.
here to download the petition.
After the petition file opens, you can enter your voter
information, and then print and sign it. Please deliver your signed
petition to Mike Bray by Sunday, June 20th
at 3PM. The Brays also have blank petition forms available if you
have any trouble downloading the document.
|May 12, 2004
Development needs to end - Way
of life destroyed when housing takes over. Guest Opinion - Debbie
Preston - Fort Myers News-Press - May 10, 2004
Lee commissioners to decide zoning on Alico Road parcel -
Naples Daily News
Commentary: DRGR study creates danger, possibility - Naples
|Feb. 16, 2004
Lee BoCC to Consider Blasting Regulations - The County will
consider three proposals for regulating development blasting. While
these regulations deal only with blasting associated with
construction, there will be opportunity for public comment. Decision
makers should be reminded that mine blasting also affects residents,
and last for 30 years instead of only months. Links to the three
"The Gulf in Distress" - The
Truth about Red Tide, The Black Water and The Hypoxic Zone - For
those that have been following the Naples Daily News series on "The
Gulf in Peril". The seminar will be held on Friday, February 27th.
Click the link for speaker list and reservations contact.
|Feb. 15, 2004
Wildcat Run Resident recounts dump
truck wrecks - Wildcat Run resident Connie Hemsath relates
accounts of two dump truck accidents on Corkscrew Road (with
|Dec. 17, 2003
Lee County Drafts
Scope of DRGR-Mining Study - The proposed scope of work,
seeks an outside consultant to update and analyze existing reports
on Lee groundwater resources in the DRGR. The study will also
include evaluation of mining, and seeks to establish the location
and quality of limerock, capacity of current limerock permits,
future need of limerock, and effects of mining on water resources
and water budget.
It may be worthy to note that the study speaks directly to the
economic importance of mining, as well as the "problematic" impacts
of mining. However, there is currently no call for review of the
impacts of mining on rural residential land uses beyond water
Of the 13 reference reports mentioned in the study scope, only one
is unrelated to Lee County - a US Army Corps Environment Impact
Statement on the
Miami-Dade Rock Mining Freshwater Lakebelt Plan. Lee Smart Growth
uses this Rock Mining Lakebelt model as a basis for
recommendations about mining.
Lee County identifies
allowable uses for Schwab 640 Property - In response to
Schwab 640's recent
of intent to file a claim against Lee County under the Bert
Harris Act, the County answered with a "Ripeness Decision". This
Decision identifies allowable uses for the property.
|Nov. 20, 2003
East Corkscrew Road residents pursue shutdown
of Westwind Corkscrew Mine - Peggy and Richard Schmidt
and their representatives met recently with Lee County Attorneys and
Planning Department staff to present information and outline plans
to seek revocation of Corkscrew Mining Venture's current zoning
permit. The Industrial Planned Development zoning was issued in
2001. You can read the
Memorandum to Lee Attorneys and Staff from the Schmidt's
attorney, Robert Apgar, as well as the
list of meeting attendees.
Neighbors share scientific analysis of Mine's
impact - On Tuesday Nov. 18th, the Schmidt's invited
residents of the Corkscrew Road Rural Community and other interested
parties to hear presentations about impacts to surrounding
properties caused by Westwind Corkscrew Mine operations. The
presenters, hydroecologist Sydney Bacchus, PhD, and hydrogeologist
Tim Hazlett, PhD, explained how the mine's excavations are
influencing the level and movement of groundwater beneath
The meeting was covered by the local press:
|Nov. 04, 2003
HUGE NEWS! - We received
notification from the Lee County Hearing Examiner's office this
morning that Corkscrew Mine has withdrawn its rezoning
application. There will be no hearing on November 13th. You
|Sep. 11, 2003:
Public Hearing Continues in November
- The Lee County Hearing Examiner has continued the Westwind Corkscrew
Mine Public Hearing. It is scheduled to resume on November 13th &
14th, and the 18th if an additional day is needed. A copy of the
continuation notice is available
(22KB Acrobat PDF file).
Further testimony was heard today from
the mine consultants on areas including impacts on surrounding
wetland systems from the proposed dewatering plan, the economic
significance of locally mined limerock, and noise and light impacts
resulting from the proposed change to 24 hour dragline and
dewatering pump operation. The mine has still not presented
testimony relating to blasting impacts.
Several Corkscrew Road Rural Community residents (especially Cedric
- see article below) gave excellent testimony explaining their
concerns about compatibility issues surrounding the mine. There will
be more opportunity for public comment when the hearing reconvenes
in two months.
Battle over Estero mine expansion continues - After 12 hours
of testimony from high-powered and highly paid consultants, the most
powerful message in a hearing over a Corkscrew Road mine came from
9-year-old Cedric Valentin. Article by
Charlie Whitehead - Naples Daily News.
|Sep. 10, 2003:
Westwind Corkscrew Mine Zoning Amendment
Hearing Under Way - The East Corkscrew Road Rural
Community was well represented at the first day of the Hearing
Examiner meeting this afternoon at the Lee County Community
Development Department. Representatives and attorneys for Bella
Terra, Stoneybrook, and Wildcat Run communities were also in
attendance to oppose the zoning changes. Expert witnesses for the
mine have presented testimony about the underlying limerock
resource, permit and development plans, and dewatering impacts.
Their testimony is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning at 9AM at
CDC - 1500 Monroe Street. A map and directions are available
consider combined restudy of DRGR - Lee County officials
will be looking for a two-for-one special next week when they start
a search for someone to study a controversial groundwater resource
area and the mines already in the area. Article by
Charlie Whitehead - Naples Daily News.
|Sep. 4, 2003:
Lee Community Development Dept. recommends
DENIAL of Corkscrew Westwind Mine’s zoning amendment! In
their 11 page report, Lee staffers concluded that the
requested zoning is incompatible with surrounding residential
property uses, may adversely affect environmentally critical areas,
and may place undue burden on existing transportation facilities.
While Corkscrew Road Rural Community residents are encouraged by the
County's recommendations, they still plan to provide testimony about
adverse impacts of the mining operation at the Public Hearing on
Sept 10th & 11th.
You can download the CDC Staff report
this is a 560 KB Adobe Acrobat PDF file which will take several
minutes to download if you're on a dialup modem connection.)
|Sep. 2, 2003:
What to Expect in the
Hearing Examiner Process - a helpful document based on a
conversation between Chip Block, Senior Planner in Community
Development and Peggy Apgar’Schmidt, a resident of the East
Corkscrew Road Rural Communities.
|August 28, 2003:
Corkscrew Mine IPD Amendment - Lee County DCD posts signs
announcing the upcoming public hearing scheduled for
September 10th at 1:00 PM.
County Department of Community Development provides a very helpful
guide that describes the hearing examiner process, and how the
public participates in the proceedings. It includes the layout of
the hearing room, and rules about how cases such as ours are
handled. Please take a few minutes to read the guide
|August 24, 2003:
Mine looking to expand westward? - Corkscrew Mining
Ventures, Ltd. was issued a permit last Thursday to drill a series
of test borings on an 85 acre parcel of land to the west of the
Westwind Corkscrew Mine.
|August 17, 2003:
IMPORTANT MEETING: There will be a
Corkscrew Community meeting this Tuesday, August 19th at 7PM at the
South Lee County Library on Three Oaks Boulevard.
|August 5, 2003:
Groundwater areas to be
reviewed, commissioners say - water and mineral resources of
Lee County’s DRGR should be studied before a decision is made to
allow mining in those areas, county commissioners said Monday.
Article by By
Don Ruane - Fort Myers
advancing plans to commission study on undevelopable land -
Lee County staff will move forward with plans to commission a study
of critical undeveloped land that has been virtually undevelopable
for more than a decade. Article by
Paul Herrera - Bonita