Stark County denies housing requestsStark County Zoning Board members rejected every request to build more housing during Thursday’s hearing to amend the county’s zoning ordinance, which took place in the commissioner’s room at the Stark County Courthouse in Dickinson.
Stark County Zoning Board members rejected every request to build more housing during Thursday’s hearing to amend the county’s zoning ordinance, which took place in the commissioner’s room at the Stark County Courthouse in Dickinson.
As eager developers approached the podium and asked for permission to set up shop, commissioners dished out a handful of reasons as to why proposals were insufficient.
Ken Heck of Belfield asked for a conditional use permit to build an unspecified number of campers and trailers approximately 6 miles north of Belfield.
“(Workers) just wanted somewhere to stay where they park their truck,” Heck said during Thursday’s meeting.
Commissioners responded to the request with a safety-first motto.
“Campers out into the country, we’re seeing more and more of them,” commission Chairman Russ Hoff said. “One of our issues is with emergency management.”
Hoff added that emergency management personnel have trouble responding to campers because it is difficult to know which one to approach.
“Whose door do you knock on until you find the right person that’s having a heart attack,” Hoff asked. “That’s a life and death situation.”
When Lynette Hondl presented her idea to place “one to 12” campers on an 80-acre plot of land 4 miles north of Dickinson, she mentioned safety immediately.
“I would require that (residents) each have a fire extinguisher,” Hondl said. “We have a dugout on the property as well.”
Hondl added that her proposed building site is near county roads, which emergency responders might find helpful.
Commissioner Jay Elkin responded to Hondl’s request by sharing Hoff’s
“From an emergency services standpoint, whether it be ambulance or law enforcement, they have a difficult time finding these trailers,” Elkin said. “Those are the problems that we had in the past, people setting up these little put-together campgrounds.”
Hondl reminded commissioners that Stark County is experiencing a housing shortage, and campers would provide more people with a place to live.
“There’s no doubt that there’s a need for housing,” Elkin said. “It would be nice if you put something together that was permanent … an RV-type campground park.”
Also requesting permission to build was Leif Olson of Killdeer, who represented Carroll Drilling. Commissioners denied his request to proceed with plans to build multiple permanent homes off 33rd Street, 2 miles north of Dickinson.
“You do recognize that this is really close to a proposed bypass route,” Elkin asked. “The concern I have is having any development along that whole route at this time.”
The North Dakota Department of Transportation asked commissioners to avoid construction around the proposed building site, Elkin said.
“So the entire area is being froze,” Olson asked. “That slows every progress in the county.”
Elkin said the NDDOT has not determined where a bypass would go. He added that it could end up on 32nd, 33rd or 34th streets, but commissioners may not know until September.
Because of the long wait, Elkin proposed an alternative solution.
“If people are really looking for a place to build, there’s over 700 lots available in the city of Dickinson,” Elkin said.
Olson said some people do not want to live within city limits.
“They would rather prefer (to) live out away,” he said. “That’s the reason these (homes) came available.”
At the end of Olson’s presentation, the commissioners’ decision was clear.
“We have to manage where the growth goes in order to accommodate for this potential bypass,” Elkin said. “It’s as simple as that.”