Medora residents: not in my backyardMEDORA — Billings County residents spoke out against a proposal to build a motel and housing near Highway 85 during a Thursday meeting at the county courthouse.
MEDORA — Billings County residents spoke out against a proposal to build a motel and housing near Highway 85 during a Thursday meeting at the county courthouse.
“Everywhere you look people are growing and we’re stuck in the middle having all of the noise and the safety issues which are just huge,” said Diane Harker. “It’s not only the noise, it’s the fact that that’s my backyard.”
The Billings County Planning and Zoning Board did not act on the request to change about 111 acres near Belfield to commercial to allow for the project.
Jeff Egen, a representative of Sargent Property Group which would manage the property, said the plan is to put in 11 five acre residential lots and a motel and restaurant complex six miles north of Interstate 94.pres
After the meeting, Sherry Solberg, who owns the property, said she was shocked at the reaction to the proposal.
“I just want families to be together and have affordable housing,” she said. “I don’t want it to turn into a zoo, I just want for people to have a nice home.”
Diane and Terry Harker reside near the proposed development.
“I just object to having a bunch more people out there,” Terry Harker said. “I’ve lived out there for 30 years and if I wanted to live in town I’d move back to town.”
Billings County Sheriff Dave Jurgens agreed.
“I know people want a place to live, but pretty soon we’re going to have our own little city out there,” he said. “I don’t have as a problem with the residences as I do with the commercial part of it.”
Attorney Mary Nordsven, who spoke on behalf of Solberg during the meeting, said the project could enhance nearby property values.
“I think if you look into the entire picture of what’s happening both with the adjacent neighbor, Stark County, and moving into Billings County it makes sense,” she said.
Lance Thomas was at the meeting to get permitting to build a home nearby, but is having second thoughts.
“I had plans on spending the rest of my life there and if this goes … I’ll seriously consider not doing a darn thing,” he said. “I want my privacy.”
Stacey Swanson, Billings County tax director, said in the past, the board had ruled there should be no other industrial developments on the west side of Highway 85.
“My biggest concern is the safety of the traffic at that intersection and all the surrounding properties are zoned residential,” Swanson said.
Planning and Zoning Board members also cited concerns for traffic safety along the highway.
“I know that road and to say it’s not going to be a hazard is just false,” Planning and Zoning President John Tzcap said. “I just don’t think that’s the place for a motel at all.”
Board members told Egen to reapply, because his existing application does not allow for residential.
Because of the objections, Solberg said she will likely try to make the whole acreage a residential development.
“I didn’t want to make any hard feelings,” she said. “I’m just trying to make a life for me and my son.”