Heritage worth something


Dear editor,

This letter concerns the proposed zoning change south of Miles City on Highway 59. There are many reasons why I'm adamantly opposed to a change in zoning from agricultural to commercial, but I'll address one in particular.

The owner of Diamond J Construction contends that his truck shop would increase the property values of all the surrounding land, and he implies that all of us would be fortunate to have him as a neighbor. I don't see it that way. While my husband and I are relative “newbies” (we've only had our farm for 36 years), there are family farms surrounding Mr. Peila's land that have been under single-family ownership for over 100 years. One currently has 4 generations on it. These properties have been more to the owners than a means of making a living - they've been a way of life. Would the land sell for more as commercial sites? Possibly, if there were even companies interested in moving south of town. Is that what these families want to happen to their birth rights - absolutely not!

This is not the only direction “development” can go, but it is the land that families have grown to love. That has “value” too. Even if we can't put a price on it.


Sharon Oftedal

Miles City