A controversial railport proposed for Beach has gotten over its first governmental hurdle.
The Beach City Council, following the zoning board’s 4-to-1 recommendation from March 17, approved the rezoning of 275 acres west of town where Utah-based developers plan building a $65 million facility that would bring in oilfield commodities by fall 2015 and eventually ship out oil.
About 55 people attended the Monday meeting, but no one testified when given the opportunity, said Kim Nunberg, the city’s auditor and zoning administrator.
“By having no comments, I guess they felt … that they should move forward with it,” she said.
At a public hearing for the project in February, more than 100 Beach residents weighed the value of the project -- bringing jobs to the town -- against worries over the community costs, like more rail traffic transporting crude from the Bakken oilfield.
This approval is only for the rezoning of the land from agricultural to industrial. For any activity on the site, developers will need to apply for a conditional use permit, a process that also requires a public hearing.
“By our ordinance, there are only seven things that can go into an industrial area and a railport facility like they are saying does not comply with industrial, it needs a conditional use,” Nunberg said.
“It’s a good thing because it gives the public another opportunity to come forward and express their concerns or support. … It allows the community to set some parameters on the development.”