Lee judge rejects damage claim in mining lawsuit

A judge in Lee County has rejected a claim for damages by a landowner that sued the county over its rejection of plans to mine rock in eastern Lee County.

Resource Conservation Holdings, which owns more than 1,300 acres along Corkscrew Road, had petitioned the county to rezone its land to allow mining on 400 acres.

A hearing examiner recommended approval of the rezoning, but county commissioners in 2010 turned down the petition on the grounds that it would be harmful to the environment and nearby homeowners. The land is in an area that has since been been put off limits to all mining.

The landowner's lawsuit did not fight the rejection of the rezoning but sought compensation from the county on the grounds that the decision amounted to a "taking" of the land. The company had invested $47 million in the land, according to the lawsuit.

In Monday's order, Circuit Court Judge Sherra Winesett found that the decision was not a "taking," in part because the company did not have a "reasonable investment-backed expectation" to be able to mine the land and because the company can use the land in other ways.

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Comments » 1

lionfishhunter writes:

Great news for our water supply and the enviroment, not to mention the taxpayers pocket. These owners can use this property in other ways to make a profit.

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