Stark County Zoning Board approves man camp permitsStark County Zoning Board Members approved two workforce housing permits during a meeting in the Stark County Courthouse on Thursday, but they were frustrated workers were already living on the location.
By: Klark Byrd, The Dickinson Press
Stark County Zoning Board Members approved two workforce housing permits during a meeting in the Stark County Courthouse on Thursday, but they were frustrated workers were already living on the location.
Board Chairman Russ Hoff said after the meeting that the approval was granted because the requests were for a short time and the board will not approve future permits of that nature.
“We are putting them all on notice that this can’t be tolerated,” he said.
Tim Priebe, general counsel for Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., approached the board for a permit that would allow employees and subcontractors to live in trailers near a gravel pit. However, there are 27 trailers and portable bathrooms already on site.
Priebe said that the permit would be for the extent of the construction season and would not be more than three months.
Hoff said that the plan was too crude and did not show spacing for utilities or a way to accommodate emergency vehicles.
The trailers should have been located in an available mobile park, Board member Jay Elkin said. He added that there are safety concerns because there are families living out there.
Board member Joe Frenzel said he it was unacceptable that many trailers were there without approval. He added that he would be in support for this one-time agreement, but “will be really hard to get along with next time.”
Hoff said this was an instance similar to crew housing issues that are being analyzed and it should have been brought before the board earlier.
“To me this is almost like a small crew camp, and I understand it has been there, but it is kind of what we are looking at when we are looking to adopt a policy for crew camps,” he said.
Another permit was granted to a resident who had workers staying in recreational vehicles on his property.
The permit was for 30 days and the vehicles must be removed after it expires.
Elkin said he was concerned this would not set a good example.
“I believe this is wrong,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that if we continue to approve things like this, pretty soon everybody will have seven trailers behind their barn.”
After the public hearings, the board discussed the adoption of a crew housing ordinance similar to the city of Dickinson’s.
Hoff said it is important that the city and county work together so companies do not perceive one as more easily accessible to set up housing.
The board members decided to redraft the city’s ordinance to accommodate the county needs.