McAllen pumpkin patch faces shutdown following complaints; asked to make changes

2 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago Wednesday, September 13 2023 Sep 13, 2023 September 13, 2023 11:01 AM September 13, 2023 in News - Local

It's the start of the busiest time of year for Maddie's Pumpkin Patch in McAllen, but this year, there's something else on owner Rick Vega's mind.

After several complaints from neighbors about dust, noise, traffic and loose livestock, Vega has six months to make changes.

The things he needs to fix were laid out at the last McAllen City Commission meeting.

"We're trying to work with our neighbors and with the city, and we're trying to comply," Vega said.

If things stay the same, Maddie's is at risk of being shutdown. Something Vega says would be more than a loss for him, it would be a loss for the community.

"If we're gone, then you're not going to have another place like this ever again in McAllen," Vega said.

The community includes Vega's neighbors. They would prefer if the business went away.

Erica, who did not provide her last name, says her main concern is the escaped animals. She says they get into her backyard through Vega's broken fence.

"It's just very frustrating to have these animals come over here, when I have a 5-year-old that can get hurt," Erica said.

Erica first complained to the city in 2021. They granted Vega a temporary permit. After nine months with no complaints, Vega was given the green light to operate for another year.

A similar decision was made this time around.

He has six months to make changes. If he does, the city may grant him a three-year conditional use permit.

McAllen Planning and Zoning Director Edgar Garcia says the number one thing they're looking for at the end of six months is the animals staying inside. 

Garcia also says, Vega has been cooperative with requests from the city and his neighbors. 

"I mean, he's open, and he wants to work with his neighbors. He understands that even though he doesn't live there continuously, it's something that he brings to the community, and so he wants to be in their good graces," Garcia said.

Vega says he plans to repair the broken fences and hopes his neighbors understand the efforts he's made.

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