A new proposed location for MotokazieLand in Cannon City Township

I got an email last week from Stephanie Henriksen, alerting me that MotokazieLand (see my April blog post, MotokazieLand Recreation Park: sounds like a good development) has a new proposed location in Cannon City Township, south of County 9 (150th Street East) approximately mid-way between Hwy 3 and I35 (Dennis Shaw property at 1267 150th St. East).

I spoke to Lee Theis, president and owner of Motokazie, a motorsports race promotion and track-building company. His application fits the county zoning so this will be a two-step process, ie, Rice County Planning Commission, then the Board. Since it’s not a request for a zoning change like last time, a simple majority of the Board (3 of 5) is required for approval. All the environmental studies are being done now. He expects it to go before the Planning Commission early in 2011. See the news page on his website for more.

MotokakieLand - Cannon City Township map  MotokakieLand - Cannon City Township map 2  MotokakieLand - CUP application

Above are the three PDFs that Lee submitted to Rice County. (Two are rotated incorrectly and I can’t fix that. Download them and then rotate them.) But here’s my live Google map of the proposed recreation park. Zoom in and out as you see fit.

View MotokazieLand proposed location (approx) in a larger map

141 thoughts on “A new proposed location for MotokazieLand in Cannon City Township”

  1. Front page story on Motokazieland EAW in yesterday Faribault Daily, Feb. 24, says comment period ends Mar. 23, with the public hearing set for Thursday, Mar. 3 at Rice County Planning Commission meeting. That is NEXT WEEK.

    The reporter misleads the reader, quoting the responses to the last question (#31) on the EAW saying these are the conclusions arrived at by the county. WRONG. I called the Rice County P&Z office and they do not know how the reporter got this idea. The answers to the 31 questions on the EAW worksheet were submitted by I&S Consulting, hired by Lee Theis to answer these questions and provide supporting materials.

    It makes no sense to point out to readers that the report indicates no need for further study and then tell readers they can comment on the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in the document to determine if further study (EIS) is needed.

    Neither the reporter nor the editor of the paper acknowledge their mistake and the same report will end up tomorrow in Saturday Northfield News. Watch for it.

    1. Steph, I’m confused.

      On page 4 of the Motokazieland EAW it reads:

      The EAW is prepared by the Responsible Governmental Unit or its agents to determine whether an Environmental Impact Statement should be prepared. The Project proposer must supply any reasonably accessible data for — but should not complete — the final worksheet.

      Underneath that it lists the RGU as Rice County and the contact person as Julie Runkel, Environmental Services Director.

      At the bottom it reads:

      Environmental Assessment Worksheet was prepared by the staff of the Environmental Quality Board at the Minnesota Department of Administration, Office of Geographic and Demographic Analysis.

      and it’s signed by Runkel.

      RGU CERTIFICATION. I hereby certify that: The information contained in this document is accurate and complete to the best of my knowledge.

      So where did the Fbo Daily News reporter make his mistake? Where is the info about I&S Consulting, hired by Lee Theis?

  2. Stephanie, do you know where and at what time the planning commission meeting is? I could probably look it up, but since I’m already on this site I figured I’d ask!

  3. Klassen letter (below) was not printed today, nor John Maakestad’s submitted for last week papers. The story on Motokazie EAW was not reprinted in NNews. Seems there is a lock down on information about Motokazieland EAW public hearing set for tomorrow, Thursday, 6 pm at Govt. Services Center in Faribault.

    Letter To the editor:

    A front page story in Faribault paper Feb. 24 on the Motokazieland Recreational Park EAW (Environmental Assessment Worksheet) was not reprinted in the Northfield News today, so many people are unaware of the public hearing set for next Thursday, March 3. Start time is early, 6 pm at the Government Services Building in Faribault. I expect Motokazie supporters to be out in force, Met-Con people among them. If there is enough traffic to justify this project, Met-Con expects a freeway interchange on Cty 9 .

    Commissioners Galen Malecha and Jeff Docken prevented the ordinance change that would have allowed this big racing project in the highway commercial zone in Forest Township on I-35 last year. The new site in Cannon City Township fits the ordinance for agricultural zone or urban reserve as it stands, which unfortunately allows this kind of project. It takes a simple majority to approve the EAW as sufficient and a Conditional Use Permit after that. If conditions are not restrictive enough to protect the public, there is some chance that three out of five might vote against it.

    I encourage people to carpool to Faribault Thursday night to hear the staff present the project. People who can’t make the hearing can submit public comment through March 23. Read the Motokazie EAW on the Rice County website before you go. I find the projected number of visitors at various types of events, impacts on roads, and noise impacts woefully underestimated. This Motokazie project would be the largest in the region, if not in the nation.

    Faribault Daily falsely reports that county staff has already determined further study is unnecessary and attributes statements made in the EAW as being those of the County. Wrong. Those statements–the answers to the 31 questions on the standard EAW form–were written by Lee Theis’ consulting firm, not the County, designed to paint a rosy picture. Shame on Faribault Daily for lack of standards in reporting.

    Julie Klassen

  4. The projected need for an interchange on Cty9 and I-35 should be a show-stopper for a principled County Commissioner, even though it will not be County money that builds it (well, mostly not County money). They should not want to bet on Feds being willing to put in such an exchange based on the fact that the inconvenient traffic is loading County roads.

  5. The website report is not as offensive as the hard copy one in the paper with superimposed map and boxed statement saying the county reports no need for further study. False, false, false.

    And the summary statements on major impacts such as noise, wetlands, traffic, etc. Those are all written by I&S Consulting firm for Lee Theis, painting a rosey picture. Those are NOT statements by county staff!!!

    After statements in the Lindberg report were true, there would be no reason for people to go to the hearing tomorrow night. It sounds like a forgone conclusion that impacts are minimal.

    Coming from another state, it is possible Editor Jaci Smith does not understand environmental review in Minnesota. In her editorials, she can state her support for Motokazieland raceways. But she is not justified in using falsified material to support her position.

    1. Stephanie, how would a person know that the summary statements in the EAW “are all written by I&S Consulting firm for Lee Theis”?

      I cited in comment 51.1 all the wording in the EAW that seems to contradict your assertion.

      Yes, I&S submitted a traffic study (Exhibit O) and another consulting firm submitted a sound study (Exhibit p) but that doesn’t mean that those firms wrote the summary statement.

      It still seems to me that the reporter for the Fbo Daily News got it right when he wrote:

      Below are the most prominent pieces of analysis and the county’s recommendations, all found in the EAW, online on the county’s website:

      1. I’d claim one prominent piece of information in the EAW is the amount of water that they will be drawing from our aquifer. Maybe I’m more sensitive to water issues as I moved here from New Mexico where water usage is a big concern. The reporter concludes the article by saying, “Dust will be controlled with watering trucks and systems, drawing from the stormwater facilities on-site.” That gives the impression that well water won’t be used, just runoff collected from rain storms. The information provided by Motokazie in the EAW states well water usage is around 10,500 gallons per day. The EAW also states they intend to be operating 218-300 days per year. That adds up to around 3,000,000 gallons per year. In my mind that’s a pretty significant piece of information that should be added to the list.

  6. I am on the MPCA mailing list to receive all EAWs in certain categories. I comment on those that show potential for great harm to neighbors particularly farmers in rural areas. And I go to St. Paul for some of the hearings when they are held by the MPCA Citizens Board.

    In our case, the RGU (governing unit) is the County. The hearing is in Faribault instead of St. Paul. I am getting my comment ready, so I don’t have time to answer in more detail.

    If you were also fooled into believing that county staff wrote the answers to the 31 questions, I can see why the editor and reporter were also. I assume you also will not see the need to attend.

  7. Griff,

    Do call Julie Runkel and ask her your questions. I will be very surprised if she says she provided the answers to the questions on the worksheet, particularly the last one that gives short summaries.

    1. Steph, I’ve left a voicemail for Julie Runkel, Environmental Services Director and author of the Motokazieland EAW. I’ve also sent her this email:

      Hi Julie,

      I left you a voicemail at 10:45 am today re: which portions of the Motokazieland EAW were authored by you and which portions were authored by the developer and/or consultants hired by the developer.

      My blog post: A new proposed location for MotokazieLand in Cannon City Township.

      You can see Stephanie Henriksen’s recent comments, eg here:

      And the summary statements on major impacts such as noise, wetlands, traffic, etc. Those are all written by I&S Consulting firm for Lee Theis, painting a rosey picture. Those are NOT statements by county staff!!!


      If you were also fooled into believing that county staff wrote the answers to the 31 questions, I can see why the editor and reporter were also.


      and here:

      Do call Julie Runkel and ask her your questions. I will be very surprised if she says she provided the answers to the questions on the worksheet, particularly the last one that gives short summaries.

      I know you’re probably extremely busy today in preparation for tonight’s public hearing but to me this is a critical piece of information for citizens.

  8. Griff,

    I am eating crow! Yes, she did write the summaries under the last question, based on data she was provided by Theis and the consulting firm to the previous questions. The job of the public and state agencies is to review the data for inaccuracies or incomplete answers that might show need for more study. That is what the public hearing tonight is about tonight.

    Runkel has concluded from the data provided to her, which she has signed off on as “accurate and complete to the best of my knowledge,” that no further study is needed and it can go on to CUP process.

    The conclusion of staff is rarely overturned but I have seen it happen. I have seen additional information provided by citizens that was persuasive enough that staff reversed their position and recommended an EIS. Happened on a project in Rice County, as a matter of fact.

  9. Today’s Fbo Daily News: Motokazie EAW report scrutinized by Rice County residents

    The feedback will be compiled with the written comments, sorted and organized by the county and addressed by professionals or county staff. Once the Planning Commission is informed on all the issues, it will make a recommendation to the county board.

    That recommendation could be to either move forward with the process — which would mean arranging a public hearing to discuss the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) — or recommending a more in-depth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to address any serious problems or concerns that might emerge in the process.

  10. Griff,

    Compared to the big hearing last May on the first site, it was a light turnout last night. Those who came to speak were disappointed when Commission members voted to change the usual time limit of 3 minutes to 2. Gave us the idea they were not really there to listen.

    Of the 13 people who came forward to speak, only 3 were in favor of Motokazieland. There were other agenda items, but those concerned about Motokazie went out to talk in the hall. There was some spirited conversation–staff came out to “shush” us.

    The Faribault reporter does his usual one-sided report today, quoting only Kym Anderson of Faribault Chamber of Commerce in support of the project.

  11. Letter to the editor in today’s Nfld News by John Maakestad, Nestrand:

    Motokazie Park will adversely affect county

    But allowing the mechanization of a piece of land 10,000 years old is allowing for a regrettable blight. It would be exciting to listen to a County Board argue for the intrinsic value of natural lands instead of having always to grab at all possible tax revenues.

  12. Great Maakestad letter. Bruce Morlan will like it too.

    People imagine all commercial projects bring a lot of tax money. Not this one. Property tax on the first site was $40,000 or so (county share $11,000). The three small buildings (A,B,C on site plan) are taxed on square footage. By contrast, a big Aldi warehouse is over $100,000/yr. You can call Assessor to get an idea.

    Anne Sawyer, where are you? I thought you were interested in this topic.

    1. Steph, I am very interested in this project. I could not make the meeting last Thursday because I work in Chanhassen and was stuck here until after 6pm. My schedule is insane, so I apologize for not being able to follow up in the way I would like to.

  13. Griff,
    What I find amazing about this is that it will be much tougher to sell my property if this goes through and nobody denies it. I have taken a $55,000 taxable value hit in the last three years so where does that leave me. Nobody seems to care……

    1. Chris, I understand why you oppose this and want compensation and/or help selling your property. I don’t blame you. It’s why I wrote back in May 2010 re: the I-35 location:

      I’d rather not see them [motocross tracks] located in agricultural zones. Alongside a rural stretch of freeway is a much better location.

      It’s not likely that anyone’s land values would have decreased had the track been allowed to build adjacent to I-35 because the interstate generates considerable noise already, 24×7.

      It would be helpful to hear what Rice County commissioners Jeff Docken and Galen Malecha (who voted against that location) think about their votes now in retrospect. Have you spoken with them?

  14. Chris,

    A percentage of the ticket charge at the gate should go to near neighbors to cover their losses. What percentage would be fair?

    I hope all those concerned about this project get to the Cannon City Township election today, 4-8 pm, to support candidates who will help see that Motokazieland Recreational Park operates in compliance with conditions on its permit.

    1. A percentage will not cover my losses. I plan on leaving as soon as I can. What I want is Theis to step up to the plate and help those of us who want to leave by finding buyers that would be willing to live next to his track. I have tried twice now to contact him but have been ignored. I know he got the emails due to the reaction of sombody I used to call a freind that supports Theis.

  15. Fbo Daily News: Cannon City Township residents re-elect Mechura, Bauer

    General discussion gave residents an opportunity to bring up items that weren’t covered on the meeting’s agenda. Some of the topics included the Motokazie project and road rock and dust control.

    Cathy Schulz brought up the noise, environmental, safety and compliance concerns for the Motokazie project. The Cannon City Township board will work with the Board of Commissioners to recommend conditions on Motokazie to lessen the impact on residents.

  16. Griff,

    Fbo Daily’s probe of township affairs continues, focusing on Cannon City. Good to see a new reporter was assigned. Really conveys the atmosphere of a township annual meeting. Usually a resident is nominated to be moderator and supervisors sit in the audience. There is no mention of that.

    Accdg to KDHL noon news, the write-in candidate for the one-year seat, Preston Bauer, won 46-42 over Cathy Schulz. The Schulz farm is behind the Motokazie site. The other candidate for the one-year seat on the ballot, Greg Swanson, got 25 votes.

    Incumbent Clayton Mechura won 76-37 over challenger Kenny Bongers. I don’t know if KYMN radio is running election results or not.

  17. Fbo Daily attack on townships

    Time to rethink township politics
    Posted: Friday, March 11, 2011 1:13 am
    Has township politics run its course?

    We passed another township election day this week. Few people noticed, even those living in townships. Not many of these township elections feature contested races and the turnout is usually dismal.

    Here’s an example: One Rice County township reported the election of the incumbent treasurer with 24 votes and the incumbent township supervisor with 27 votes. Neither race was contested and the voting population hovers around 700. That means a rough estimate of about 3 percent of voters turned out on Tuesday in that township.

    Of the 15 townships with elections in Rice County, Cannon City was the only one with a contested race. In neighboring Dakota County, which posts its townships’ results (Rice County does not), not a single one of the 13 townships with elections had a contested race.

    What’s the point? It appears that most residents are apathetic at best about their representation, and few of them sign on to lead. When a township forms, it chooses to do so for governance that in some way is distinguishable from county, state and federal oversight — perhaps it wants more maintenance on its roads or an independent fire or police department or tighter zoning restrictions.

    But as shown by the lack of interest in either running or voting for leadership, we wonder if it wouldn’t save taxpayer money for some of these townships, particularly the smaller ones, to consider dissolving. On the second Tuesday of March each year, some communities seem to make the point that township governance is overkill.

    The issue: Tuesday was Election Day in townships across the state.

    Our view: Since they mostly pass unnoticed in a lot of townships, perhaps it’s time to consider dissolving a few townships to save taxpayer money.

    1. I saw this editorial at the Faribault Daily News and it drove home to me how hostile they are to rural voters. My response was posted at their site, but I’ll put it here (ever so slightly updated) as well.

      As a statistician I must point out that nothing brings out the voters like dissatisfaction. The fact that the turnout is so low in the townships could as easily be attributed to happy voters as to indifferent voters.

      The township where I am supervisor (Bridgewater) is a vibrant politically active community struggling to maintain its rural character in the face of County, State and Federal interventions meant to serve the large voting blocks they control.

      Some years back our township reviewed this situation and found that our rural sensibilities, which are mostly conservationist and fiscally conservative (with a strong Liberal “leave us alone” component), were not being well served by convoluted, centralized regulations and programs designed more to protect and pay off people with power than to protect and reward people who work the land. We undertook our own planning and zoning to protect ourselves, and every year we practice true local representative democracy that urban citizens can only teach (as an example of a quaint anarchistic practice) in their schools.

      For the Faribault Daily News to editorialize to do away with townships is a clear signal that they want to support the continued erosion of our freedoms in the name of serving their definition of a greater good. Well, we might as easily claim that, in our opinion, the urban sensibility is mostly one of greed and exploitation. Luckily for Bridgewater, we have a working relationship (rocky at times, but there as a foundation for discussions) with the cities we border, and the three of us (Northfield, Dundas, Bridgewater — as government units engaged in planning and zoning) are working together to bring on board as many of our neighboring townships as possible. We can point out townships that without planning and zoning appear on some City maps as little more than “undeveloped lands” or “terra icognita“. Though the city maps do not explicitly say so, these free-agency townships might as well be illustrated with fanciful dragons and mythical beasts just like the ones that graced those ancient maps that used to define the “known world” as civilized and the rest of the world as open for the taking.

      Just north of the City of Faribault there may seem to be contention and turmoil, but it is our contention and turmoil, and we are smarter and empowered by the conversations that we have. And, every year we pay a little extra money to hold our voting meetings, practice real democracy (we get to VOTE on our levy, it is not just as set by our elected officials), and continue to hold the reins of power and accountability very close indeed.

      1. Bruce,
        Who is protecting me? I live in Bridgewater and have for 30 years. Like I said before this track is going to lower my property value. I have spoken to a couple of realtors and a developer that all asked to remain out of the picture because its not their fight. They all agreed that it will hurt me unless I get very lucky. The general thought was that I needed to just shut up and deal with it until im allowed to sell it as commercial land or the land values go back up. I live in the country for a reason, I grew up on a farm and love the peace and quiet. And as long as its on the other side of the line it seems that bridgewater is going to stay out of the fight and let its residents on the border to suffer. Where is the reward and rural sensibilities in that?

      2. Chris, Bridgewater Planning and Zoning tries to protect the citizens of Bridgewater Township, but we cannot control behavior in the neighboring townships. I have in the past recommended to both Forest and Cannon City Townships that they should take on planning and zoning, a recommendation that may in part have led to the somewhat condescending editorial suggesting that township governments should be done away with.

        We in the townships are under heavy pressure to just roll over and play dead while non-rural powers define our future for us. I expect to continue to stand against such powers, but can offer little help other than words against events outside our political boundaries. I do plan to try to discuss this further at the next township Planning and Zoning meeting (this Thursday). I could use a sound position paper that was written by a citizen (acting as staff) addressing this situation in light of some of the 10 classic mistakes I listed in another forum. (Windturbines).

        From the Rice County website and call for information, it looks like you would have to be very explicit to specific points in the EAW. Characterizing sound levels as annoying (think of chainsaw-like sounds) is not well addressed in county zoning, and we now see that as a possible hole in their P&Z, but those are also #9 and #10 on the list of the top ten mistakes we make. Mistake #5 (loss of value of your property) is just another gold nugget lying on the surface, easy pickings to the sorts of lawyers who play in these issues, and if you really want to claim “a taking”, well, as the young woman in True Grit said to the Colonel after he offered to take an issue up with his attorney, her response was “And I will take it up with mine – Lawyer Daggett. And he will make money and I will make money and your lawyer will make money… and you, Mr. Licensed Auctioneer, you will foot the bill.”. Takings are hard to prove and harder to collect on, according to the expert who provided the top ten list.

        All of this is not meant to discourage you, but it is meant as a reminder to all. If the townships wait until they are confronted with some egregious insult to their nature then they will most assuredly vanish like the dinosaurs the Faribault Daily News seems to think they are. So …

        Git yer planning and zoning going boys, they’re robbing the [soil] bank!

  18. Chris,

    We made a motion at the Bridgewater annual meeting, giving direction to the board for the coming year. We asked that supervisors work with Commissioner Jeff Docken on conditions on the Motokazieland permit to mitigate impacts on residents. One of your neighbors seconded the motion.

    Although Bridgewater does not have jurisdiction over this project because it is not within our borders, supervisors could, as a board or individually, do an EAW comment before Mar. 23 deadline also. Do not hesitate to call all three supervisors to talk about this.

  19. Steph, I see you have a letter in today’s Nfld News:

    Lee Theis must be some kind of golden boy

    Unfortunately, when the environmental review process is done and permitting begins in April, Rice County is not likely to put conditions like this on his permit here. In the eyes of Rice County Commissioner Jake Gillen, Faribault Chamber of Commerce and Faribault Daily News, Theis is some kind of Golden Boy. To them, the six full-time jobs and minuscule property tax (no major buildings to tax) look very good indeed. To them, he will be the great business operator he claims to be. We shall see.

    I would ask MetCon, isn’t there a more straightforward way of getting your freeway interchange at Cty. Road 9? Does it have to be at such cost to rural residents of four townships?

  20. Surprise, surprise.
    There will be 4 Motokazie items on Rice Cty Planning Commission agenda for Thursday, April 7, 6 pm at Govt Services Bldg in Faribault:

    13. Motokazieland Recreational Park – Environmental Assessment Worksheet (E.A.W.) record of decision and finding of fact.

    14. Lee Theis, of Motokazie Inc. on behalf of landowner Dennis Shaw, has applied for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to establish and operate an Organized Motorsports Area.
    The property is described as: P/O the NW1?4 and P/O the NW1?4 of the NE1?4 of Section 6, Cannon City Township, Rice County, Minnesota. The property address is: 1267 150th St. E., Faribault, MN 55021. The property is zoned A, Agricultural.

    15. Lee Theis, of Motokazie Inc. on behalf of landowner Dennis Shaw, has applied for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to establish and operate a Private Campground. The property is described as: P/O the NW1?4 and P/O the NW1?4 of the NE1?4 of Section 6, Cannon City Township, Rice County, Minnesota. The property address is: 1267 150th St. E., Faribault, MN 55021. The property is zoned A, Agricultural.

    16. Lee Theis, of Motokazie Inc. on behalf of landowner Dennis Shaw, has applied for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a grading and filling project. The property is described as: P/O the NW1?4 and P/O the NW1?4 of the NE1?4 of Section 6, Cannon City Township, Rice County, Minnesota. The property address is: 1267 150th St. E., Faribault, MN 55021. The property is zoned A, Agricultural.

  21. Comedy of errors is what I’d call it at the RC Planning Commission last night. Faribault Daily says today that 30 of the 40 people signed in spoke, but I counted 35. Twenty spoke in opposition. Many of Theis’ supporters were from out of county.

    Staff was not prepared to handle the EAW item, so that was sent on to the Tuesday, April 12 County Board meeting for a vote. The public hearings on the three CUPs was continued to April 21, again due to no prepared staff reports. Two pipelines testified against the project and that needs to be resolved, Theis hopes, before the last part of the hearing which was continued to April 21. The people who spoke last night also can come to speak if they have new info April 21.

  22. Friday Fbo Daily News: Motokazie CUPs tabled until April 21

    The three Motokazie CUP requests were tabled by the planning commission until a special planning commission meeting slated for April 21. The public comment period will once again be opened up to the public, but limited only to new comment not already heard at Thursday night’s public comment period.

    The planning commission did not receive a full staff report Thursday night. Commissioner Jeff Docken, who serves on the planning commission, said he is confident the report will be ready by April 21 and the commission will be able to make a recommendation to the county board, which holds the ultimate say on the development.

    1. At last night’s (13 April 2011) Bridgewater Township Board of Supervisors meeting we heard that the pipeline people were pretty strong in their opposition and that you could have heard a pin drop when the implication of the pipeline issue became apparent. We also heard that someone had alerted both the Union Pacific and the Canadian Pacific railways that they should comment on how their legal counsel felt about having young children, spectators and the like crawling around their right-of-way given the current footprint (which shows play-space on both sides of the one track, and bordering the other). Sounds like someone did not pay attention to these details when this site was chosen.

      Now, however, all townships that do not do their own planning should be looking intently at the properties they have that might be at risk of being developed. For example, is Bauer’s pit available and suited for this (in spite of awkward access via a gravel road, not nearly as attractive as a site near I-35, methinks). Had the legislature continued to push the bill that would have neutered townships’ ability to pass interim ordinances (HF 389)in the face of surprise developments, they would have left townships hogtied in the middle of a plowed field, easy pickings for speculators and anti-farming developers. This bill still lurks though, and townships would be well advised to rethink their reticence on doing their own planning and zoning. I’m just saying.

    2. Bruce, why would pipeline companies have no problem with mega-ton tractors and harvesters plowing and rumbling over their underground pipelines year after year but now have a big concern about 200-pound motorcycles zipping around?

      1. Chain link with an overpass strong enough to let people get their toys back and forth would probably solve the train problem. As for pipelines, the engineering answer is probably what you are thinking of, the lawyers answer is another thing altogether. They might be worried about the effect of re-contouring the land to make an exciting ride, not want people moving tens of feet of soil around.

        As for Mr. Becker’s concerns about his land values, Lawyer Hvistendahl has been on record (KYMN show) stating that (and I paraphrase loosely), “(1) too bad, (2) does not happen anyway, (3) hire better lawyers”.

    1. Griff,Any word from Theis? When I was home tuesday night I saw the farmer that rents Shaws land out there with a stalk chopper and V ripper plowing the land. I can only assume they will be planting it this year.

  23. Griff,
    Bridgewater farmers who run land both sides of the Bridgewater/Cannon City line know how deep they can till and plant so as to not disturb pipelines. Motokazie plan is something else again.

    Why Lee Theis did not have I&S Consulting get accurate info into the EAW on piplines and railroads before Rice Cty released it for public comment, I don’t know. All of this has been stressful and costly for all parties. The most responsible thing would be for County Commissioners to update their motor sports ordinance in earnest this time, before Theis picks another inappropriate property.

    Theis may continue to try to get his project into Rice County, the only county on I-35 with ordinances loose enough to let him in with such a grandiose plan.

  24. Fbo Daily News: Motokazie project fizzles, permit application withdrawn Tuesday

    After six months of campaigning for his MotokazieLand development in Cannon City Township, Lee Theis officially withdrew his permit request Tuesday morning in a letter to Rice County Commissioners…

    “The permit withdrawal is not just about the pipelines. It is about being backed into a corner with only two choices. Both of those choices resulted in a negative outcome for Motokazie,” he said.

    Commissioners were expected to rule on the first environmental study Tuesday, either approving its findings or ordering a more extensive study. According to county documents, a more extensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would have been ordered if Theis had not withdrawn his permit requests.

    According to county documents, staff believed there were “outstanding issues” that needed the additional analysis an EIS would provide, including the impacts of grading and filling in addition to the impact on the nine pipelines from operation of the Motokazie development.

    The grading and filling concerns were brought to the forefront by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which expressed concern in an April 25 letter. The letter asked for more information about soil conditions, diagrams for water runoff in relation to area ponds and streams and an illustration of how all proposed dirt tracks would direct runoff to wetlands and streams.

  25. Of course, all the townships in the area should now start looking for where they are open for business for this sort of activity. Except for Bridgewater, which does its own P&Z, the rest are relying on County level P&Z, which may or may not provide what they really want. Personally, I think close to an existing freeway interchange, not on top of wetlands, and not on high value farmland, makes the most sense, and I know there is some space near Faribault if they don’t mind the noise.

  26. At the end of the agenda Tuesday, there was a lot of talk about levy and how much property tax increase Rice County residents could bear, etc. Commissioners talked about how bad the roads are. They intend to talk more about what our priorities should be for the money we do have.

    A fellow came forward at adjournment asking why outside developers are being welcomed in when we can’t keep up on costs, such as roads, for our own residents. Good question.

  27. KYMN playing interview w/Theis in all news slots today, along with appeal of Dundas vote against EAW for Rejoice Church.

  28. Lee Theis has picked a new site for MotokazieLand. Looks like it’s in Wells Township on the west side of I-35:

    I am proud to release the new information that MotokazieLand has a new 130 acre parcel for the proposed park. I have regrouped since the last permit application and I look forward to working towards a successful CUP application. I know that I have taken many hits over the last 2 years, but I will forge ahead and learn from the past.

    The 130 acres of land has approximately 90 feet of elevation change, rolling terrain and 3/4 mile of frontage on I35. I will update soon on any upcoming meetings. Goal for completion of the park is Spring 2012.

  29. I understand Theis will do a presentation at Wells Township Hall Monday, Aug. 1, 7 pm. That’s 18400 Roberds Lake Blvd. I am hearing he may be trying for annexation to Faribault to avoid having to go through Rice County again. The site is west of I-35 across from MetCon. I wonder if Wells Township will support the annexation.

  30. It won’t matter if Wells Township is in favor of the annexation, Faribault doesn’t have annexation agreements with their surrounding townships.

  31. Faribault Daily editorial takes a new tack on this latest Theis proposal


    There is a report by Lindberg in Fbo Daily earlier this week also. He says there will be 50 (?) full time seasonal jobs which is NOT what Theis said at the meeting in Wells Twp. He said there would be three full time w/benefit package (down from previous projection of six) and 44 part time. He also said he was moving his headquarters (Belle Plaine?) to here.

  32. Don’t depend on “shared lanes” to protect drivers and bicyclists when Motokazieland Recreational Park and Campgrounds comes to 35W at Cty 9 next summer. The ten-track dirt bike racing will go on year-round with snowmobile racing in winter, if Lee Theis has his way when comp plan and ordinances are updated in coming months. Our northern commissioners asked for the update now, rather than later. No such luck. That idea was voted down on Jan. 22, 2013.

    This 130-acre project will be the first in the Midwest on this scale. Many people think this will be like the one Theis ran at Elko. Wrong–this is bigtime. Defeat of Jesse James Days is here and gone in a week’s time. What about all year long? Bicyclists beware. Road rage incidents on Hwy 3 between Faribault and Northfield are common. Add Motokazieland to that and what do you get? Bedlam.

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