Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch receives conditional use permit

Local News

Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch [Photo: Sal Castro]

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The City of McAllen approved a Conditional Use permit for Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch during the city commission regular meeting late Monday afternoon.  

The owners of Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch told ValleyCentral last week that a pending decision by the city commission was keeping them from planning their usual holiday events, such as Maddie’s Christmas and field trips. 

The decision they were waiting for was whether or not the city would issue them a Conditional Use permit as a prerequisite to their temporary Special Events permit in order to operate the seasonal business.  

In previous years Rick Vega, owner of Maddie’s, says the city would give them a temporary Special Events permit. This year, because of the growth in popularity of the business, the additional permit was required following complaints brought up by surrounding neighbors.  

Maddie’s is located on Bentsen Road adjacent to a residential area. Orchards and farmland are still present in the area as well.  

Neighbors brought up concerns about traffic, light, dust, lack of privacy, and noise coming from the business. 

Commissioners heard from three neighbors who emphasized that while they understood that Maddie’s was a family-friendly business, the location for the business was inappropriate.  

“I don’t think it’s a bad business, it’s the area that it’s in,” said one neighbor who was there speaking for himself and his elderly parents.  

Another person spoke on behalf of “several neighboring parties within 200 feet” of the business and said she was concerned that her children did not have any privacy in their own backyard.

“Everyone who agrees with having them stay open doesn’t reside next to them,” she said. “They all get to go home and enjoy the peacefulness of their own backyard, my girls don’t have that privilege.”

Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch attorney, Jaime Morales, spoke on behalf of the business and told commissioners that Vega has been proactive about addressing issues as the business grew.

Issues like parking were solved by leasing additional land in an adjacent orchard and the dust was being repeatedly sprayed with water to keep it from flying away.

“He understands that this use is not something that’s going to be continued in perpetuity. This is something that can be changing based on the changing area, as things continue to evolve, but right now to say that it is all residential is not correct,” said Morales.

Commissioners went over whether the parking lot should be paved, dust concerns, livestock concerns, installing electricity at the business, business hours, and fencing as an accommodation to neighbor’s privacy concerns.

“We want to help whenever possible, but we also want people to be comfortable where they live,” said Mayor Villalobos adding that Maddie’s was likely at the “tail end” of their operations due to the changing neighborhood.

The commission unanimously decided to grant Maddie’s the needed Conditional Use permit for nine months with the conditions that Vega work on a fence surrounding the perimeter of the farm, mitigate the dust with a chemical that hardens and prevents it from flying away, mitigate noise and light, maintain any litter or debris, and reduce the hours to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Vega says that he is processing the pros and cons of the decision, but feels the decision was “overall a win.”

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