CALDWELL — In a 2-1 vote Monday, the Board of Canyon County Commissioners agreed to conditionally rezone a 146-acre former farm near Nampa to a light industrial area.

Dana and Arline Devlin have owned and farmed the property on Ustick Road and Midland Boulevard just outside of Nampa for 45 years. The couple said they are preparing their property for sale and wish to change the land’s zoning from an agriculturally zoned area to a light industrial area, to open it up to potential industrial developments.

The property is near the Treasure Valley Marketplace and St. Luke’s.

The property is not fully within Nampa city limits, but lies within Nampa’s area of impact in the city’s comprehensive plan. In the comprehensive plan, the area is zoned for “heavy industrial.” The Devlins’ attorney, Hethe Clark, said with the rezone request, the couple is “preparing the Property for future sale by bringing it into compliance with the applicable comprehensive plan.”

Zoning the area for light industrial would potentially bring industry to the area, which is the goal of Nampa’s comprehensive plan.

Clark said Nampa plans to annex the property in roughly two to five years.

The commissioners heard public comment on the rezoning proposal on Jan. 6 and met again to make a decision Monday.

Commissioners Pam White and Tom Dale agreed to approve the rezone, with some restrictions on what can be developed in the future on that land.

The Devlins’ proposal includes prohibiting a mineral extraction facility from being built on the location and requires conditional use for any kind of concrete or asphalt batch plant. Dale added the requirement of a conditional use permit for any kind of salvage yard or fertilizer plant to be built.

Commissioner Leslie Van Beek had concerns about the rezoning’s impact on the residential properties within Caldwell city limits on the other side of Midland Boulevard. Arbor Subdivision and Dudley Estates subdivision in Caldwell are across the street from the Devlins’ property. There are also schools farther up the street from the two subdivisions.

Van Beek’s concerns were the potential air quality impacts that an industrial plant could bring, the increased traffic in the area and decrease in the quality of life for the residents of the nearby neighborhood.

“I do not think this represents the interests of Nampa and Caldwell residents,” Van Beek said.

In the Jan. 6 public comment meeting, Caldwell Planning and Zoning Director Jerome Mapp testified against the rezone, saying that it could negatively impact the residential developments. He worries that if a certain industrial plant goes into that area, residents could suffer.

In Monday’s discussion, White said that there have been at least two opportunities for disgruntled residents to testify about their concerns with the rezone, but no residents have voiced concerns at any county meetings. Twelve neighbors of the Devlins attended a neighborhood meeting on the rezone and were supportive, Clark said.

In emails between the Devlins and Beth Ineck, economic development director for Nampa, Ineck said the department is “very supportive of your application to Canyon County for rezone.”

In the Jan. 6 meeting, Mapp asked that the Devlins speak more with both Nampa and Caldwell about the proposal for the rezone.

Van Beek asked for the same thing, before voting no on the rezone Monday.

With the two other commissioners voting yes, the Devlins can now open their property up for various industrial uses, such as a light manufacturing plant, a lumber yard, an impound yard and a vehicle service facility.

Rachel Spacek is the Latino Affairs and Canyon County reporter for the{span} Idaho Press. {/span}You can reach her at rspacek@idahopress.com. Follow her on twitter @RachelSpacek.

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