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Edge of Dickinson may house 600-bed man camp

A permit for a 600-room crew camp was submitted to the Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission. The camp would be built northwest of the State Avenue and 21st Street West.

Plans have been submitted for a 600-room crew camp on 64 acres northwest of the intersection of State Avenue and 21st Street. Though officials think the offered plan is solid, some residents think having a crew camp would be a bad idea.

"I don't think a man camp belongs anywhere near the city of Dickinson," Jan Prchal said. "It doesn't belong anywhere near residents."

Target Logistics, a temporary housing provider in Boston, is the company that requested the permit. The facility would have several key components, including a security plan, plumbing, recreation center and dining facility, City Planner Ed Courton said.

"This is all enclosed in the complex," Courton said. "The effects to the surrounding citizens are going to be very minimal."

Courton added there would be little traffic in and out of the facility because the facilities were sufficient for those who lived there. Prchal and her neighbors disagree.

"How can 600 people live there and not come and go?" she said. "They are going to be buzzing around. They are painting a prettier picture. They are not being realistic here."

The city requires any company that wants to apply for a zoning permit must have a comprehensive plan. Courton said the plans for the facility are very comprehensive. The camp will be kept from the sight of the city and travelers, he added.

"You are not going to notice it coming up States Avenue (sic) and you are not going to notice it coming west on 21st Street," Courton said. "They have done on a good job of pushing it off the road so the visibility will be reduced."

Though the crew camp would not be visible to in-town residents and travelers, Prchal said her neighbors would see it.

"We are going to have to drive by this thing every day," she said. "Nancy, my neighbor, her window looks right out to the site."

Target Logistics also has crew camps in Williston. Williston Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kevin Paschke said Target Logistics is a professional company, and they have never had any complaints about them.

"They have taken a lot of strain off for immediate housing," Paschke said. "I have never heard of any negative feedback from the businesses or community."

Prchall said the city failed to see that local residents would be affected by the camp. She referred to a statement from the city, which said "these zones are not as sensitive to this as residential zones would be."

"Did they ask me?" Prchal said. "Did they ask the neighbors if we are not sensitive to this use? We are very sensitive to this use."

Courton said the plans for the crew camp are sufficient and compatible with the city ordinance.

"We drafted an ordinance that we think is the most comprehensive beneficial to have a crew camp in our community," Courton said. "I think we covered all the bases to minimize the impacts, but also provide sufficient and satisfactory accommodations for the crew camp."

Prchall said several residents in the area will be protesting the crew camp. She added the whole town should be concerned because it could happen to them.

"This is just the first one," Prchal said. "It will be in your backyard next. They are not just going to build one. If they open the door once, then they have sent a precedent."

Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at City Hall on Wednesday at 7:10 a.m. to discuss a permit. The meeting is open to the public.

Target Logistics declined comment.