Housing plan creates controversy - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Housing plan creates controversy

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WAPATO,  Wash -- A plan to attract and house fruit pickers this season has some Yakima Valley farmers upset.  

The Zirkle Fruit company recently received approval from Yakima County to build modular housing in one of their orchards. The buildings will house about 80 men. All of which will come from outside the U.S. on guest workers visas.

The land is not zone for residential houses, and neighbors say it shouldn't be allowed.

"Its not suppose to be multi-housing out here," Gayle Krueger, a local farmer. "They are dumping a lot in one place.

Neighbors worry about drugs and alcohol at the housing complex, and they are upset that a large corporation is being allowed to divide agricultural land for non-agricultural uses.

Small land owners would like to do the same but zoning laws prevent them.