Lynda Bell on the Wrong Side of Yet Another Issue and Xavier Suarez a Pleasant Surprise. - Geniusofdespair
by Cara Capp, Clean Water Action:
Thursday morning the Miami-Dade County Commission held a zoning hearing to consider a mining application by landowner Santa Fe Haciendas, LLC (Masoud Shojaee,
The meeting lasted well over three hours and included testimony from nearby homeowners, environmental advocates, and a handful of Cemex employees who showed up to sing praises of the company’s extensive safety operations and “good neighbor” policies.
After numerous members of the public and the County’s own planning staff warned of the risks associated with excavation activities less than a quarter of a mile from sensitive Everglades wetlands, Cemex’s attorney offered an amendment to the application that would approve only the easternmost portion of the property for immediate excavation, requiring the applicant to come back for further Commission approval before mining could occur on the western half of the property closest to Everglades National Park. Of course this offer did nothing to alleviate the concerns of dozens of nearby residents who showed up to request that the rock mine not be zoned in the agricultural parcel directly adjacent to their homes.
In the end it was a split vote: 6-6. Because the applicant was requesting an “unusual use” permit, a supe-rmajority of nine votes would have been required for approval. A standard majority of seven votes is needed for a denial. A re-vote will be needed to tip the scale for final decision; let’s hope we can count on absent Commissioner Audrey Edmonson to see through Cemex’s smoke and mirrors and put an end to this abominable application.
For now, the application remains unapproved. And given today’s standards, we’ll call that a victory.
The final vote will be taken on July 21, though not additional public comment will be allowed that day. For the record, the Commissioners who helped deny this application are Heyman, Jordan, Moss, Sosa, Souto, and Suarez.