The City of Bonita Springs and Oakbrook Properties, the owner of a lime rock mine on the north edge of the city, have been locked in a land use dispute since the end of 2017.
Oakbrook wants to redevelop the mining property by building 650 residential units and assorted commercial and recreational facilities. The city wants to use the mine for storm water management.
The mine is still active, and its operating license does not expire until 2024. Nevertheless, the mine’s operator, BG Mines, which is an operating subsidiary of Oakbrook, wants to redevelop the mining site. At present, BG Mines must obtain various approvals from the city before it can begin construction. Oakbrook has sued the city for allegedly breaching a 2003 annexation agreement that provided for construction of 2,500 luxury homes. The city claims that the clause in the agreement relating to such construction is no longer binding. BG Mines is also attempting to leave the jurisdiction of Bonita Springs and move into the county, where it would no longer be subject to the city’s land use regulations.
In the proposed settlement, the city would pay $5,000,000 to BG Mines to purchase 248 acres of the mining site for use in storm water management. Oakbrook would receive the necessary permits to construct 650 residential units and associated commercial and recreational facilities east of I-75. The city council must approve the agreement before it can become effective. The matter was originally on the council’s agenda for Oct. 2, but the matter has been moved to a later date.
If the city council approves the agreement, BG Mines plans to commence construction as soon as possible. If the county rejects the agreement, the lawsuit will continue to grind its way through the courts.