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Dickinson rezoning petition tabled; Man camp agenda item withdrawn

Dickinson resident Jeff Loh protests the rezoning petition from Dickinson Energy Park LLC on Wednesday at the Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at City Hall. Loh collected 57 signatures for a petition opposing the zoning change north of town on Highway 22.

After numerous protest statements and a petition, Dickinson officials decided they need more information to make a decision that could bring more industrial development here.

"This whole corridor (Highway 22) is being looked at," City Planner Ed Courton said. "I think holding off for a month or two, though it may impact this upcoming development season, we got to look at it in the long run."

The Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously tabled a rezoning petition from Dickinson-based Energy Park LLC indefinitely during its Wednesday meeting at City Hall. The request would change the 153 acres from an agricultural zone to commercial and industrial. It's north of Dickinson at the northwest corner of Highway 22 and 33rd Street Southwest.

According to the application from Energy Park, "there is a strong need for industrial development along the Highway 22 corridor," and approving it would alleviate pressure to provide industrial zones in less appropriate areas. There are no site plans for the land, but Mark Swenson, who represented Energy Park as a consultant, said the zoning map will influence what is built there.

Dickinson resident Jeff Loh submitted a petition with 57 signatures opposing the rezone. He said most of the signatures were from people who lived near the land. He added there are too many uses.

"That could be where a huge truck stop could be located," he said. "You are going to have hundreds of trucks that will be turning right by our intersection. This will be 24/7. Do you want to live next to that?"

State Sen. George Nodland, R-Dickinson, who has lived in the subdivision near the land for 35 years, said people want to live there because of the quiet, rural setting. He said the city needs to slow down when rezoning land.

"It's great to see all this progress and great to see all these things come in to our area, but let's not forget we also represent the people that were here first," he said. "The rigs will leave someday, and three-fourths of those people will be gone."

Swenson said he understood everyone's concerns, but he added traffic is going to increase on Highway 22.

"From a planner's perspective, as an engineer who works with planning, a highway is a logical place to make a zone change switch," Swenson said. "We don't know exactly what the traffic flow will be until the entities come in there, but to say that to make this residential would be better is not necessarily a true statement."

Commission President Earl Abrahamson said there was no hurry to rezone the land, and waiting until the completion of the Dickinson Comprehensive Plan, which is being developed by Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, could help commissioners make a more informed decision.

Commissioner Tracy Tooz, who is a third owner of Energy Park, did not participate in the vote due to conflict of interest. He declined comment with the exception that he was "fine" with the decision.

Dickinson man camp agenda item withdrawn

A special-use permit for a 250-room crew camp was withdrawn from the Wednesday agenda of the Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission.

Energy Resource Group LLC, of Lafayette, Calif., submitted the application to build the man camp at the southwest corner of 29th Street East and Fourth Avenue East in Dickinson.

Marc Barra, Energy Resource Group's chief operating officer, said a client, who wished to remain strategies. He said he is talking with another company that may be interested in a Dickinson site.

Barra added his company did not want to burden the city with a request until it finds the right client for the camp.

"This whole man camp business needs to change," he said. "We feel that quality of life is so important, and the way we can really create a facility that promotes a good quality of life is to have a single tenant rather than having multiple companies."

Barra said Energy Resource Group plans to have a crew camp in Dickinson.