Menoken Residents Don't Want Industrial Area in their Backyard - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Menoken Residents Don't Want Industrial Area in their Backyard

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At this week's meeting, The Burleigh County Planning Commission voted in favor of rezoning 310 acres of agriculture land to industrial in the Menoken area.
A vote many farmers and residents in the area aren't happy about.
Reporter Sarah Gustin has the story.

Neighbors in the Menoken area aren't happy about big business possibly moving in to this long time farming area.
(Thane Dockter / Area Farmer) "The field is so close to our yard. Who would want industrial property right next to their house? 
Thane Dockter is an organic farmer, he has been living here just east of the rest area for 2 years.
If the zoning is approved, an industrial development could lie just 75 feet from his home.
(Thane Dockter / Area Farmer) "It's very productive farm land, 94% productivity. We bought this piece of farmland knowing that it would be pretty secluded, not ever thinking there would be an industrial sight right next to our house."
(Sarah Gustin / sgustin @ kxnet.com) "Not only does Dockter's yard set right along side the industrial zoned area, but they would also be sharing a road with whatever business moves in."
(Thane Dockter / Area Farmer) "The fire department, the police department, just everybody in general is against these types of things. It's just a one way in one way our access road. "
(Jamie Naumann / Resident) "I want to build a log house out here, my last house, and I just want to enjoy it. To try by these big buildings and all this industrial. It's going to ruin it for me. Why would I want to leave town and move right back next to it. It's not going in the direction I was hoping and if it does go through, I may have to find a new place to live and that's all there is to it. "
Gary Maher serves on the Menoken Township Board.
He says there are already 4 sites in Menoken that have been zoned for development.
He says many of those acres aren't even developed.
(Gary Maher / Menoken Township Board) "We would like to see any additional development right there. We want to preserve our farmers and this township. We got a very clean township, we have very nice farms, we have really nice industrial zoning that is covered behind trees. This would be directly in front of the interstate and would be viewable to anyone that drives by. We don't want to be the industrial dumping grounds of Bismarck."
Maher says there are more than one thousand acres surrounding the city of Bismarck that are already zoned for industrial development.
One of the biggest fears of all of these residents is the unknown.
The developer hasn't said what the land would be used for.

The final decision is still that of Burleigh County Commissioners.
Commissioner Brian Bitner says if approved the commission will take the necessary steps to address these producers concerns.
He says screening and limiting what practices can happen in area are a few of the ways the Commission can make sure those living in the area are not encroached upon.
The Commission could take the issue up at their next meeting which is July 15th. 

 

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