WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 21, 2013, 10:00 PM

Perham residents petition due to concerns of new Tuffy’s parking lot

Perham, MN (WDAY TV) - 14 Perham homeowners have signed a petition saying "not in my backyard.”

Perham, MN (WDAY TV) - 14 Perham homeowners have signed a petition saying "not in my backyard.”

Their concern is in response to the new Tuffy's Pet Food industrial parking lot set to be built in their neighborhood.

It's just one of the many major industries in Perham: Tuffy's Pet Foods.

Wayne Caughey- CFO of KLN Enterprises: "Well, what we're looking to do is just get some additional space for truck and trailer parking and stuff for this business."

City Manager Kelcey Klemm says Tuffy's contacted them a while back looking to purchase land for their project at the intersection of 3rd Street NE and 450th Avenue.

Klemm says all of the required guidelines were followed, including asking for public input.

Kelcey Klemm- Perham City Manager: "We didn't receive any letters or phone calls for or against the re-zoning request."

…Until some homeowners suddenly turned in a petition...

Jim Legatt- Homeowner: "Currently, there are 14 people that have signed it."

The city manager says one of the questions at hand is how to define a backyard. This is just one of the stakes marking the new parking lot.

Jim Legatt, a homeowner heading up the petition, says the parking lot will sit in his backyard.

Take a look at this map. You can see Legatt's home and in the orange square, the three to four acres soon to be a parking lot.

Klemm: "Using Google maps, it looks anywhere between six to 700 feet from any property."

Legatt says his home has been on the market for quite some time and he fears this new industrial lot won't help matters.

Legatt: "Right now, as homeowners, we're worried about the impact it's going to have on real estate values and with our families living out here and what it's going to do without children who play in the back field here."

Tuffy's spokesperson says he never knew neighbors were in opposition.

Caughey: “It's something that we want to be as compatible with area residents as possible."

The project is still expected to go through. Klemm says the last step is signing the deeds.