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Outlawing the lodging at campgrounds

City Attorney Matthew Kolling

A change to a zoning ordinance could keep campgrounds in Dickinson from becoming crew camps, officials said Friday.

The Dickinson City Commission will review an ordinance prepared by City Attorney Matthew Kolling that will add two paragraphs to the "Supplement Use Regulations: Commercial Use" city code. The first reading of the ordinance is scheduled for Monday at the 4:30 p.m. commission meeting at City Hall.

The code will include language that prohibits temporary lodging on campgrounds within agricultural zones for more than 14 days, Kolling said. Campgrounds wishing to allow lodging for longer than 14 days will be required to obtain a crew housing special use permit.

"It is designed to prevent our campgrounds from becoming man camps," Kolling said.

Commissioner Gene Jackson said the ordinance change stems from campers parking on streets in town. He wasn't sure if the revisions would be passed as written, but he stated it is necessary.

"It's a difficult situation because we don't want to restrict people who are trying to enjoy their summers," he said. "But with this ordinance, it's time for review."

Kolling also said he hasn't heard of any campgrounds being used as man camps, adding the ordinance is a proactive approach to prevent that from happening.

"We want to make sure that if (a man camp) does go in that it is going to be set up the way the city would like it to be set up," Commissioner Carson Steiner said. "If we didn't make sure it was put it in right, they could just put in campers and trailers without the correct hookups and the correct sewer."

Steiner said there was nothing wrong with man camps, but there is a difference between a campground and a man camp. He also said the city wants to make sure it is done properly.