Neighbors Gathering Signatures for Petition, Writing Letters against Proposed Feedlot - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Neighbors Gathering Signatures for Petition, Writing Letters against Proposed Feedlot

Lower Wenas Valley, WA -  Neighbors are concerned a 500 cattle feedlot will affect the clean air in the Lower Wenas and threaten the Wenas Creek.  They have organized a campaign that includes letters and a petition to the county.  

"This area is moving more to the ranchette, residential scenario," says Norm Price, a retired farmer, "And we have somebody putting a feedlot in, that's like a step backwards."

Price and other neighbors are angry about the proposed feedlot that Doug Mayo is trying to get approved by the county.

"Dust, dirt, flies and, of course, the biggest issue is its threat to the Wenas Creek," says Price.  He's concerned that if the creek floods, the feedlot will contaminate the water.

He and his neighbors are writing letters and signing a petition, which they will send to the county.  They're not just angry about the feedlot, but that they found out this late.

"If anything comes up in these comments, we will reconsider," says Jim LaPinski, a project planner with Yakima County.  He says the county followed the proper notification requirements, informing neighbors within 300 feet and putting a notice in the newspaper. 

Doug Mayo, who owns the property, believes he's within his rights, "Absolutely, it's zoned agriculture. It was sheep country before and it was cattle country."

But Mayo will face a fight from his neighbors who say they are prepared do to whatever it takes.  "If it means hiring an attorney, I guess it means hiring an attorney," says Price.

Neighbors say they found out about the proposed feedlot late, but they still have three days to submit their petition and letters to the Yakima County Planning Division.  They gathered signatures for the petition on Tuesday night at the Wenas Fire Department.

Even if they feedlot is approved, they can still appeal to the hearing examiner and challenge the environmental review, or the permit.

The county also says they will monitor the feedlot for a year after it is approved to make sure there are no adverse environmental affects that they did not anticipate.