Keeping the 'Gateway of Dickinson' beautifulThe Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission had concerns about how industrial development north of town on Highway 22 made the city look Wednesday morning. Having industrial developments on the highway may give people a bad impression of Dickinson, City Planner Ed Courton said, and they should build a quarter mile away.
By: April Baumgarten, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission had concerns about how industrial development north of town on Highway 22 made the city look Wednesday morning. Having industrial developments on the highway may give people a bad impression of Dickinson, City Planner Ed Courton said, and they should build a quarter mile away.
“It’s our gateway,” Courton said. “That is how people perceive Dickinson. When all they see is miles and miles of industrial land, what kind of perception do they really see?”
An oil boom has sparked economic and industrial growth in Dickinson, especially along Highway 22, City Commission Vice President Gene Jackson said. He said instead of growing north and south along the highway, it should grow east and west.
“I do not believe industrial needs to be lined up and down this highway,” Jackson said. “If we believe that, it is our job to push it the other way.”
Planning and Zoning Chairman Earl Abrahamson said he doesn’t mind either way.
“That’s a perception of money and jobs,” Abrahamson said. “Some people would rather have grass and trees.”
Courton suggested designating an area for one large industrial park instead of having small pieces around the city. Planning and Zoning Vice Chairman Tracy Tooz, agreed, saying the city needs to step back and find an area that has access to infrastructure.
“Every city that we go to wants to model themselves after Dickinson,” Tooz said. “Everyone is talking about how well Dickinson is planned. As a developer and a person on this board, I want to see it slowed down and take a look at it.”
Commissioner Jay Elkin, Taylor, said he had concerns about traffic if the park is located north of town.”
“These companies want to locate north,” Elkin said. “My concern on the county side is having the proper road infrastructure routed around to (Highway) 22.”
Courton said it would be possible to develop north of Exit 64. He added since there is no access to sewage, either the developer or city would have to facilitate it.
“One of the two would have to develop it,” he said. “The city or a developer will have to make the first move.”
The pressure for industrial development has increased, Courton added, and while growth is important, the city needs to be sensitive to urban and rural needs.
Courton said he would continue to analyze plans for an industrial park and report back at the next meeting.