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Preserving and protecting our rural neighborhood Kevin Hill

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Corkscrew Rural Community. Preserving and protecting our rural neighborhood. Kevin Hill. Qualities / characteristics of Corkscrew to be preserved: Issues / Concerns facing Corkscrew to be addressed: Services / Amenities that we’d like to see in Corkscrew:. Peace and quiet - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Preserving and protecting our rural neighborhoodKevin Hill

  • Qualities / characteristics of Corkscrew to be preserved:

    Issues / Concerns facing Corkscrew to be addressed:

    Services / Amenities that wed like to see in Corkscrew:

  • Where do we live?

  • Why do we live out here?

  • Why do we live out here?

  • Why do we live out here?

  • Why do we live out here?

  • Why did we choose to live in a mining area?We didnt! We were here firstThere were no mines on Corkscrew Road. Westwind / Estero Group was a lime / avocado grove.Corkscrew Road was 9 miles of dirt road.The County specifically identified Alico Rd/Green Meadows corridor as mining area on Map 14. We had no reason to suspect that they wouldnt continue to observe this.Mining came after us and harmed us with their impacts, and continues to harm us with their impacts.The mine chose to operate in an established rural residential area. And they misrepresented this fact to secure their permit.

  • Why is there a mine here now?The single operating mine on East Corkscrew Road Westwind - established itself by means of a calculated, systematic intensification of use from small, benign special exception dirt mine, to larger dirt mine, to a deeper rock mine. It is a technique which allows them to escape the scrutiny of the public who will bear the impact. It is a technique which represents a gross misuse of Lee Countys regulatory and zoning process. It is a technique which fails the citizenry that these regulations are supposed to protect.

  • Mines attract mines. We have evidence that shows that Westwind secured their zoning permits based on misrepresentations of fact. We have evidence that they operate their mine without regard to many of the conditions set forth by the County in their 2001 permit. But despite these facts, the very existence of this operating mine provides justification to the County Staff to recommend approval of another mine next door. County staff makes that admission in their staff report in reference to the abutting Westwind mine. Mines attract mines.

  • Cumulative impacts. I believe it is an oversight that neither the applicant nor the county staff is required to consider the cumulative impacts of two adjacent mines. What are the cumulative hydrological impacts of these two mines together? What are the impacts to the community when yet another half-mile of road frontage is changed from cow pasture to pits, dirt piles, draglines and berms? What message do we send to the eco-tourists who travel Corkscrew daily to enjoy the CREW trails and Audubon Sanctuary?

  • What are the impacts to wildlife? What are the long term impacts to listed species, like the pair of Caracara I often see feeding in front of the Estero Group property. Like the sandhill cranes I see feeding in the pastures. Like the two panthers killed on Corkscrew Road in the last 18 months. Like the woodstorks I see feeding in the disturbed wetlands. The applicants expert says that they will fare well. My expert says they wont. You can guess what my common sense tells me.

  • What is a predominantly residential area?The Lee Plan Policy 7.1.9 states that Industrial development will not be permitted if it allows industrial traffic to travel through predominantly residential areas. We do not believe that the intent of Lee Plan Policy 7.1.9 is to discount the welfare, safety, or quality of life for rural residents by allowing industrial development to route industrial traffic through our neighborhood. Lee Plan Policy 5.5.5 states that Lee County will "protect existing and future residential areas from any encroachment of uses that are potentially destructive to the character and integrity of the residential environment."We do not believe that by virtue of our rural lifestyle, the county intends for us to accept the encroachment of uses that are potentially destructive to the character and integrity of our residential environment.

    We will not be discounted.

  • Bad neighbor evidence:It is well established that one of the basic legally protected property rights of any landowner is the right to quiet enjoyment of their property. This is particularly true with regard to a persons home. I used to enjoy the peaceful quiet of my home. I used to like to have a cup of coffee on the back porch and watch the sun come up, and listen to the birds. I cant enjoy that anymore. If I try, what I hear is backup beepers, diesel dragline engines, popping steel cables, clanking drag link chains, squealing excavator tracks. I hear roaring dump truck engines, whining tires, squeaking brakes, and bellowing jake-brakes. Id much rather hear the birds.

  • Permit ConditionsPermit conditions are not observed, are not enforced, and indeed, are not enforceable. This mine operator and others have a legacy of this. Here are some examples:

  • Operating Hours

  • Days of Operation

  • Noise mitigations

  • Environmental protections

  • 8/10/2007 Reinspection Westwind Mine: Fueling vehicle mentioned in Pollution Prevention Plan that was required for the renewal permit reveals leaks to soils. Plan required no leaks and prevention of discharge while fueling.

  • These tanks were previously in the containment system mentioned in part A of this report and documented in the previous report dated 12- -05 .

  • Most of containment system has evidence of petroleum discharges. A damaged barrel of unknown contents sits within containment system on the unsealed floor. System is not protected from the weather.

  • Mechanical repair/maintenance building which was permitted for bona fide agriculture use only is now the main mechanical repair/maintenance facility for Westwind Mines.

  • Dead trees Hill property19882003

  • Traffic safety

  • Truck traffic

  • Community aestheticsOur mine wont impact the aesthetics of your rural lifestylephotos of green spaces vsphotos of mining moonscapephotos of trucks lined up at mega-mine

  • Traffic study dataWestwinds 2001 IPD Permit.App stated 284 trucks per dayMine reported 700 trucks per dayIn 2003, resident Mike Bray (retired police officer) counted 1236 trucks per day.Estero Group says we'll only add 414 trucks per day.The math suggests 1800+ additional trucks per day!!!!

    Chart1

    2841236Westwind 2001

    414Estero Group 20071801.7746478873

    Claimed

    Actual

    Estimated

    Daily truck trips

    Stated vs. Actual Truck Traffic

    Sheet1

    ClaimedActualEstimated

    Westwind 20012841236

    Estero Group 20074141802

    To resize chart data range, drag lower right corner of range.

    0.2297734628

  • Depth condition enforcementHow are conditions related to depth of excavation enforced? Who does it? How often?Bathymetric surveys conducted by engineering firm hired by the mine. They certify its accuracy and place their seal on the report. Who verifies this report? Whats at risk if its wrong?

  • General condition enforcementHow to reconcile two adjacent mining operations??same owners same operatordifferent rulesWhen we feel a blast which Westwind is permitted to do, how do we know it isn't Estero Group's?When Estero Group fills its truck quota, what prevents them from sending out Westwind's gate?

    Madam Hearing Examiner , My name is Kevin Hill. I live together with my wife Janice, and my two children on 10 acres at 20731 Corkscrew Road. I am opposed, and I appreciate the opportunity to assert equal standing before the law with Estero Group LLC in this case.What Im about to tell you and show you is considered lay testimony, because I dont have any initials at the end of my name. So I cant proffer myself as an expert in the legal sense. But I do consider myself knowledgeable and experienced in areas germane to this proceeding, including rural residency, rural community character, and compatibility issues related to mining activities. My testimony is fact-based, and constitutes competent substantial evidence.I have local knowledge of this area. Im a 3rd generation native of Lee County. I have 22 years experience as a resident of Corkscrew. I managed a commercial beef cattle operation on more than 2000 acres on Corkscrew Road; much of which is now CREW lands. I have resided at my present location for 19 years. Ive lived within 1 mile of an operating dirt mine for 8 years. I operate a community website and email list corkscrewroad.org as a community service to help keep neighbors informed about important events and issues. I represent the Corkscrew Rural Community on the Estero Council of Community Leaders.

    *I have direct knowledge of the importance of community character and aesthetics to the residents of Corkscrew. Over the past 2 years Ive led an effort, together with core neighborhood leaders, to organize our rural community and to develop a County-approved community plan to try to preserve our neighborhoods rural character. Weve met with County planning staff, and hosted workshops for residents to gather their ideas to create a vision and plan for the Corkscrew community. We garnered overwhelming support for this endeavor, and neighbors had reason to be optimistic about the future of Corkscrew. (See Fig 1.) Despite that great start, our efforts have thus far been stymied by the specter of mining development within the proposed community boundaries, and by the resultant overwhelming opposition that such development brings. We acknowledge that a community vision based in opposition is doomed at the outset. We have to resolve this monumental issue before we can move forward with a vision and plan for the future of Corkscrew.

    **(Fig 2) Map of residencesWhat do we consider our neighborhood? By its very definition, low-density rural residential land use comprises an area that is larger than would be considered typical of an urban residential area. By virtue of large lot sizes and residential clusters separated by AG uses & conservation lands, our community is spatially large in size.But we recognize that we are one rural residential community one neighborhood. We extend from Burgundy Farms Road east to the County Line. We consider one another neighbors. We wave to one another on the road. Our children play together. They go to school together. They get on the same school buses. The grownups play together. We help one another, and we look out for one another. We are a neighborhood.

    *Why do we live out here? (Fig 3) video of deer at Schmidts photos of wildlife photos of green spaces / agriculture photos of rural homes woods

    We recognize the historical significance of the natural landscapes, and natural landmarks that newcomers would not recognize. Jug Lake, Flint Pen Strand, Panther Island, Estero Grade, Corkscrew settlement, the old one-room schoolhouse, the moonshine stills, the Whiddens, Walkers, Taylors, Starnes.

    *There were no mines on Corkscrew Road. Westwind / Estero Group was a lime / avocado grove.Corkscrew Road was 9 miles of dirt road.The County specifically identified Alico Rd/Green Meadows corridor as mining area on Map 14. We had no reason to suspect that they wouldnt continue to observe this.Mining came after us and harmed us with their impacts, and continues to harm us with their impacts.The mine chose to operate in an established rural residential area. And they misrepresented this fact to secure their permit.

    *The Estero Group mine IS the proverbial second domino, and there is a long line behind. Mines attract mines.

    *they'll protect the environment photos of oil cans / dripping trucks photos of plume at Youngquist report of delayed monitoring reports photos of wetland monitoring reports evidence of subsidence / dead trees

    *Lee P2 program reinspection.*Our mine wont impact the aesthetics of your rural lifestylephotos of green spaces vsphotos of mining moonscapephotos of trucks lined up at mega-mine

    *The number 414 is an average - we don't experience "average" trucks per day. We experience real trucks.

    *