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Dunn County looks to define temporary housing

Courtesy Photo Dunn County commissioners discussed crew housing, like the Dunn County Lodge just north of the Dunn-Stark County line shown in this undated photo, at their meeting Wednesday.

MANNING -- Dunn County commissioners voiced concerns Wednesday over temporary housing.

After floating ideas like limiting temporary housing to six months or even putting a moratorium on new crew camp developments, commissioners didn't impose any new restrictions during their meeting at the Dunn County Courthouse.

The county's Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss the issue at its Oct. 8 meeting.

The county has about 2,400 crew camp beds so far, Planning and Zoning Code Administrator Sandy Rohde said.

She said county commissioners would like the Planning and Zoning Commission to define what exactly temporary housing is, as it's not defined in the current land development code.

"What does it mean -- was it supposed to be six months or was it supposed to be two years?" she said.

In the current code, a "crew camp" is defined as housing units for a temporary influx of workers.

"We developed our land development code two years ago and it's been a learning experience," Rohde said.

She said the county also wants to see more permanent housing, like apartments and single-family dwellings.

In proposing the moratorium on crew camps, Commissioner Bob Kleemann said he thinks the county should take action now, "because it's just gonna keep coming and coming and coming."

In other news, the commission heard a request for housing funds from the county Jobs Development Authority.

JDA Director Carrie Boster asked commissioners to consider providing $50,000 for housing in the county -- and commissioners seemed supportive, with a catch: the money couldn't go to anything directly related to oil.

Commissioner Daryl Dukart brought up how the oil boom has increased housing costs, and said the county should direct its money away from oil and toward essential community functions.

Boster said one idea for using the funds would be to build a nursing home.

"You could argue that it's oil-related," she said, "because all our growth is."