Keep Mink Creek Rural and Residential
Keep Mink Creek Rural and Residential
Why this petition matters
What was once known as Frazier's Farm in Bannock County was subdivided as rural residential land and sold as such. Sean Macy is asking Bannock County for a conditional use permit to change his residential land into multiple businesses. Macy doesn't reside at this property as he rent's out his home. He wants to put a business in our front yards while he gets to go home to his rural and quiet country setting.
There are 6 homes/properties other than Macy's that would be directly affected by this. Macy's property is in the middle. However, this would affect the entire Mink Creek in mulitple ways that we will explain.
We believe this proposal is in direct conflict with the comprehensive plan and does not meet the requirements of regulations outlined in the county's land use code that will be posted at the end.
We purchased with my parents 10 acres of what was once known as Frazier’s Farms. As someone who was born and raised in Pocatello, that area was always a dream property of mine.. When looking for land with my parents to build (as we will be their caretakers) we saw that my dream property was up for sale. We were ELATED to be able to obtain what we call our slice of paradise - that needs a lot of work! This is where we decided to plant our roots as a young family. This is our forever home and property that will pass from one generation to the next. We share a property line with Sean Macy from Mink Creek Rd all the way down past the hen barn to Mink Creek.
We have a passion to restore the orchards and the land that once gave so much to the community of Pocatello. Many times we have talked about how we can bless the community with this land through avenues such as the farmers markets, food bank, and community events- nothing at the expense of our neighbors privacy, safety, and property. We were sold this land under the knowledge that it was rural residential land and that there would be no industrial commercial use (that belongs in town) of any kind. We have been in the process of planning to build our home over the past two years without any knowledge that this high impact use was being proposed. Since we all share the same driveway and access to Mink Creek, you can imagine our surprise to learn about this commercial proposition in the Journal, instead of the Macy’s giving us the courtesy of speaking with us in person about their plans. I can’t imagine anyone doing that to their neighbors.
1. When speaking to Macy, his plans for the area are not just a small storefront, It’s utilizing the whole area for consistent and steady flow of traffic and customers. He would be a distributor of bee supplies - the area would be used as a distribution center. From our conversations with him there would be an occupancy of 45 people and 6 employees. I might add that the majority of what will be sold is products obtained from their property out in Fort Hall. Property that could be used for his endeavors. He wants to replicate a shop in the Rexburg known as the White Sparrow. This business is busy and many times we have had to wait long periods of time to get one of their delicious pies. It, however, is located in an appropriate location allowing for such traffic. https://www.whitesparrowcountrystore.com/
They are anticipating an approval of 45 occupancy + 6 employees. They will have a deli and ice cream store with 3 tables (inside) and a bar for year round service. That doesn't limit them to outside tables. On top of that they want to have it be a distribution center for bee keeping equipment, cider mill, and workshop (with employees).
His plan is that the store will provide cash flow to his other businesses and renovation projects that will be performed and operated on the property. We are concerned that it seems there are no limitations of what he can do with the land for business use- at his neighbors expense. A distribution center, a warehouse, a retail store, and over 50 people on this property is a far cry from rural. This certainly does not seem to fit into what Bannock County calls their Rural Residential land use or comprehensive plan designation.
2. What was once Fraizer’s farm was subdivided as rural residential land. It was purchased by a handful of people under these conditions. The road leading into our properties is a private road. You would pass two driveways, possibly three, on your way to the business storefront. It is a narrow road without curb to contain the asphalt, and without the proper road base to accommodate the number of vehicles this project is proposing. Macy has caused damages to this road and refused to fix or maintain it. Who will pay for this road to be maintained or rebuilt when our shared driveway is ruined at a super-accelerated rate by an enormous increase in the traffic which it was not built for? This is not in any form a rural setting mentioned in Bannock County's zoning code or comprehensive plan.
3. The road that we refer to as the driveway is not conducive to an increase of traffic. Due to its location it doesn’t have good visibility. Many times people coming to the property have passed the road and slammed on their brakes to try and make the turn. We worry about the potential dangers of this increased traffic not only for our own families safety but the safety of those in the community as well. Mink creek is a road that is driven fast and aggressively. Due to its location it also has low visibility. A road that is frequented by deer and other animals. This is no longer the 1990s; and this is no longer a place for a business store front or industrial commercial use. There are a lot more people now and the property is a lot smaller than it once was. This is our driveway to our property and our future home that will be potentially blocked and heavily trafficked. Something we feel Macy has not taken into consideration. This road is not designed for commercial activity. This road is a private road and Macy has refused to take care of it and damages that occurred from his activities.
4. Safety. Our biggest concern. Aside from the dangers of increased traffic come large amounts of strangers in our front yard and passing through. Very easily our property could and would be accessed by hoards of complete strangers. When purchasing this property we envisioned a place where our kids could run free in the privacy of their own land. They cannot do that if this is approved. Especially during the long summer nights when kids should be playing games would now be full of people getting ice cream and treats up the road, yards from our future home. The Macy’s intend for this to be a year round business.
We did our homework when we purchased this land, and this is not what our own code or comprehensive plan should have guaranteed us. We should be able to believe that certain zoning regulations, land use codes and a lengthy comprehensive plan process will protect us from proposals that are not consistent with any of these things, or the area in which we now hope to live, and that each of you who represent all of our neighbors who live in our County will uphold these plans and ordinances for everyone’s benefit.
5. Privacy. This continual flow of traffic is a total invasion of our privacy. We feel as though we will have been blindsided and betrayed by the commissioners and zoning committees if this is approved. We already feel that way to some extent, finding out what they plan to do from a lengthy article in the Idaho State Journal instead of having enough respect and decency to speak with their neighbors about this commercial operation they plan to dump on each of us beforehand. We have been planning for over a year to build our dream home in a quiet, remote, low traffic, and country location in a beautiful and raw location, and what we would certainly also call a rural residential area.
6. Environmental Hazards. When we first obtained the property the first thing we did was use our local USDA and other government aids in helping us preserve the land. We have done intense research on soil health, water security, noxious weed control, erosion prevention and more. Safety of the aquifer and drinking water is an incredibly delicate situation with Mink Creek. Also worth mentioning is Campbell Creek. The business endeavors of Macy would create year round pollution. Water rights are shared and equal between the neighbors. We are concerned about his use of those rights as he is upstream. We are very concerned about the impacts this could have on our water safety as well as the water quality for everyone else downstream. We know the Portneuf Aquifer is very fragile and our properties are all very close to these water sources, and we are all uphill from the creeks as well.
7. Light pollution. We are concerned about the use of lights to operate a commercial operation year around like the one proposed. Right now we enjoy the lack of street lights, house lights, and especially commercial lighting, which is why we chose to live the rest of our lives up this pristine canyon. There is no reason to allow excessive lighting consistent with a commercial, industrial, warehouse operation in this area of Idaho. We love to watch the stars with our daughter and appreciate the lack of light that belongs in town, not in this mountain setting.
8. Wildlife. On top of all of this we have our concerns for wildlife and ecology matters that are abundant in the area. This would all change if approved. Our properties are frequented by deer, pheasants, coyote, and other wildlife. This is another thing we love about this area and why we chose to buy this land and live here one day. I am not sure why anyone would buy land in a place as incredible, as pristine, and as fragile as this with plans to commercialize and destroy what makes it so great. Maybe decades ago when the land was much larger there was room for all of these similar things to co-exist, but that time passed as soon as they decided to split it up and sell it.
9. Noise. When people move out into the country they do it to get away from the city. Have you ever been out in the mink creek area and looked up at the sky? Have you closed your eyes and heard nothing but the creek and some crickets? It’s complete solace. Can you imagine how that would change if all you hear are cars coming in and out, doors opening and closing, people talking, families hanging out in front of the store front, and whatever else is required during the rest of the hours of the day to conduct the other sides of his proposed industrial use?
10. Property Value. We believe that this would dramatically alter the value of our property as it was sold to us as “rural residential land” in a community with other residential land, up a canyon away from the City - without any industrial and/or commercial uses of any kind around. I believe this is why you have zoning codes, comprehensive plans, and all other planning efforts. Had this business been in place before our purchase we would have not purchased it. We wanted 10 acres with water rights to enjoy in peace.
11. Precedent. More than anything we are worried for the precedent this could create. At what point will you say no - this is residential land and will stay as such. At what point will you say “no, this is not consistent with our intent, with our long range plans or our ordinances to keep our County a great place to live, and a place where our residents can count on us to uphold those things that are important.” Once you say “yes”, you will be opening the floodgates with very little hope in saying “no” in the future in any location in Bannock County with this same zoning designation or comprehensive plan identification. What will become of Mink Creek? What will become of this beautiful canyon?
12. Common Courtesy. We were not notified by Macy of any of these proposals. To my knowledge only one out of the six neighbors knew of any plans. We understand his desires to clean up the property and restore it. The same vision exists for many of the neighbors who settled there. That is WHY we purchased it. Macy bought land that was zoned rural residential in a rural residential area with neighbors sharing the same driveway, the same access to Mink Creek Road, the same views, the same tranquility, the same purpose - to distance ourselves from anything remotely similar to commercial, industrial, even dense residential land uses and activities. If he bought it with the intentions of running multiple businesses, and expanding his business in Fort Hall - which is not the same - then that is the risk he took.
When I think of agricultural activity in a location like this, I think of the small road sign written in chalk or similar advertising fruit or vegetables, eggs or other items grown or raised on that property- not another location. That is capitalism at its finest and local entrepreneurship. However, there needs to be limitations.
This should not be a location to expand other existing commercial manufacturing operations. I am not okay with a deli and ice cream shop. I am not okay with a warehouse and distribution center and the truck traffic required to operate it. I am not okay with future plans to allow hoards of people next to my property, family, and animals, blocking my driveway, trespassing onto my property, and risking our safety and sense of security.
Macy owns land out in Fort Hall. As far as I am concerned he could do everything he wants to do out there. If he wanted to have these operations he should have purchased all of the lots to create his own road and enough space to mitigate some of the impacts he is proposing. Had he approached the neighbors about his big plans maybe we could have come to a compromise, but we feel as though it was done behind our backs on purpose.
13. Community. The community loves Frazier’s Farms and the memories made there. We understand this. It is exactly why we purchased our land. Some members of our community are excited about it being “restored” however, this is not at their expense. This is not their front yard. This is not their neighbor. This is not their space, safety, and privacy being violated. Macy’s property is encircled by other properties. I would love for Macy to continue to offer products to bless the community created from his land in Fort Hall and the residential Mink Creek land shared by other residential homes and homesteads. He has been successful at markets and has the community's support there.
14. Resident. Macy and his wife don’t even live at the property. The home on their property is used as a rental. They reside at their property in Fort Hall. We do not believe that this business venture is for the common good of the area, neighborhood, public, or land. They only see it as a business opportunity - although it wasn't zoned for that. They can go home to their country setting while they put a business in our front yard. That is unacceptable.
15. Wedding Venue. In 2018 Macy stated he was looking for land to purchase to make a wedding venue. As a wedding photographer, I know how disruptive weddings can be. Our weekends should be quiet and peaceful, not weddings in our front yard.