M Ranch is committed to being a good neighbor and working with nearby residents and property owners to address concerns they may have.
Various buffers will be created and maintained throughout the property to create visual screening and reduce noise:
- The entire mine operation will be surrounded by a sodded berm, and the Carlton Road frontage will further buffer the site with a sodded berm and additional 4 to 6-foot landscape/tree/shrub buffer to obscure the site and enhance dust control. There will be an additional 200-foot setback with 51 acres of land separating the mining operation from the surrounding agriculture community.
- The mine operation will use a private, improved agricultural Haul Road between Carlton Road and Glades Cutoff Road to avoid the use of public roads. The Haul Road will be buffered along the south side with a sodded berm and a 4 to 6-foot-tall hedge where it abuts existing residences, in compliance with St Lucie County Code
Control of dust is a high priority for M Ranch and several measures will be undertaken to ensure minimization of dust:
- The main Haul Road will be constructed of asphalt millings and buffered along the south side with a sodded berm and 4- to 6-foot-tall landscape hedge where it abuts any residential property, and will also be irrigated/watered as needed.
- The entire mine operation will be surrounded by a sodded berm, and the Carlton Road frontage will further buffer the site with a sodded berm and another 4 to 6-foot-tall landscape/tree/shrub buffer to obscure the site and enhance dust control. This buffer area is then surrounded by another 200-foot setback with 51 acres of land separating the mining operation from the surrounding agriculture community.
- The stockpiling area will be located on the farthest southwesterly corner of the site, over 2,000 feet from Carlton Road and away from adjacent residential properties to reduce dust, noise, and visual impacts.
- A Wet Mining process will be used to extract the shell rock, which will significantly reduce dust.
Effect on Traffic Flow
With all the planned and approved development in St. Lucie County and the Tradition, Southern Grove and Wilson Grove areas, there is a significant need for the fill material that would be mined at M Ranch.
- The materials from M Ranch mine are expected to be transported short distances (less than 10 miles) to local construction sites along Glades Cut-Off Road and Range Line Road.
- Glades Cut-Off Road will be the main entrance for the mine operation. Trucks will move the product across M Ranch on a private Haul Road and exit onto Glades Cut-Off Road, closest to the construction sites using the materials. This design was intentional to keep traffic out of the agricultural community along Carlton Road.
- Safety precautions include a manned scale house, automated gates and stop arms at the crossing of Carlton Road.
- A traffic analysis shows that the roadway capacity on Glades Cut-Off and Range Line roads will continue to operate at an acceptable level of service.
- A majority of truck traffic generated from the proposed M Ranch mine will be replacing existing truck traffic on St. Lucie county roadways currently transporting fill from mines outside the area.
- Once mining operations cease (after approximately 7-10 years), truck traffic will subside as the site transitions into a Water Reclamation area.