Religious Sect Denied Permit to Build on Fort Hall
FORT HALL - The Tribal Land Use Commission denied a building permit for Joseph D. Ahlstrom, a member of the Church of the Firstborn and the General Assembly of Heaven, who planned to build a three-story dormitory for about 20 people on the Fort Hall Reservation.
The Land Use Department also sent a violation notice and a cease and desist order to the group Thursday afternoon.
It states that Ahlstrom is misusing the property at RR2 Box 24A-5 Reservation Road because of the amount of people living in the home and several others that are living in trailers which is in violation of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes laws and regulations.
The order also points out the occupants are putting a strain on the water resources, overburdening the septic system, endangering the underground water source and the health and welfare of the Reservation residents.
The commission added the large number of people coming and going at the home is disrupting the peace of the community.
If the group does not immediately comply with the order, the commission said it will take legal action.
Ahlstrom has ten days to request an administrative conference.
The Church of the Firstborn moved to the area three months ago from Utah. They said they prayed about the move and the spirit of God directed them to Fort Hall.
Their home lies on the boundary of tribal lands.
Geody Harman, First Counselor, spoke with Local News 8 about their plans for a 38-room home. He also touched on the harassment the group had been getting since they arrived.
Harmon noted that if the permit was denied, the sect would go to God for direction on what to do next.