Zoning commission accepts change

Nicholas W. Lees met with the Dunn County Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday, Aug. 28 to request an amendment to the Dunn County Zoning Ordinance.

Nicholas Lees presents his Comprehensive Plan to the Zoning Committee. – Andrew Frost/SPECIAL TO THE HERALD

By Andrew Frost

Special to the Herald

Posted August 31, 2012

Nicholas W. Lees met with the Dunn County Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday, Aug. 28 to request an amendment to the Dunn County Zoning Ordinance. Lees, representing Treguboff Farms Goodyear, LLC, was seeking the amendment to rezone approximately 120 acres north of Killdeer in the SW4, section 20-146-95 and the NW4, section 29-146-95 from Rural Preservation to Rural Development. The 120-acre plot is slated to be developed as the Mirriah Business Park, a commercial and industrial development.

After discussion with the zoning commission, the floor was opened to questions from the public. Michael Maus, a lawyer from Maus and Nordsven in Dickinson, presented a petition signed by area residents opposing the development. Maus stated that he believed the development did not meet the 120-acre minimum required for commercial development.

Lees addressed this concern, stating that the net acreage adds up to approximately 109 acres, but the gross acreage – which is how the property is assessed for tax purposes – measures 124.7 acres.

Mary Nordsven, representing Chad Fettig, also addressed the board. She stated that her client is opposed to the development because it changes the nature of the surroundings near where Fettig lives. Nordsven also pleaded with the board to review their Comprehensive Plan, stating that she believed the development is not in line with the county’s plan for growth and development.

Elaine Fettig also emphatically opposed the planned development, citing safety concerns. Mrs. Fettig told the board that she was concerned that with the zoning change, crew camps or “man camps” would be allowed in the development.

Scott Bice, who owns land near the proposed development, also addressed the board. He discussed that the zoning board was approving an amendment to change the zoning designation and a preliminary plat for the development – not a final plat. He further stated that even after the development comes to fruition, each lot sold within the subdivision for development must “stand on their own merits,” and be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Terrald Bang also addressed the commission and the public in attendance: “This is one of those things where you don’t like to see neighbors go at neighbors, but Killdeer needs development… Killdeer is saturated right now.”

After lengthy discussion and debate between commission members and people in attendance at the meeting, the commission voted five to three to approve the zoning change. The commission also voted unanimously to approve the preliminary plat for the development in a separate vote.

William Groffy and Derek Webb, representing Marathon Oil, also met with the zoning commission about a conditional use permit to construct two microwave towers on the NE4NE4 of section 32-145-95. The Marathon representatives said the towers would be used for first response safety measures, as well as for monitoring pumping speed and production.

According to the Marathon representatives, the towers would be less than 50 feet tall, and would not require lighting by the FAA. Thus, the towers would not have bright lighting around them, and would not produce noise. The commission approved the towers on a roll call vote.

Kevin Carrol of Killdeer, representing Western Exploration and Road Development, asked the zoning commission for a conditional use to allow for a construction company located in the NE4NE4 of section 32-145-96.

Rick Reems addressed the board, asking if the board has measures in place to know what is happening at a development site as the site is being constructed. Reems asked the board why they do not have the means to inspect a development as it is being built, as opposed to responding to complaints after the development is finished. The board addressed Reems’ concern, stating that the board is able to enforce their decisions, and there are consequences for violating ordinances. However, the members of the board cannot patrol the whole county, and must rely on information from citizens to be able to enforce county regulations. The board moved to approve the conditional use permit, on the condition that weed control is in place, and garbage is handled appropriately.

Marion Hoffner of Halliday also asked the zoning board for a conditional use permit to allow for two RVs and five trucks to be parked in her farmyard. Hoffner stated that there is a family with two children living in the permanent residence on the site, and each RV would have one person in each. The board informed Hoffner that due to regulations, the board could not approve parking for trucks if the driver of the trucks did not reside at the site. The board approved the conditional use request, contingent upon trash from the area being hauled to Halliday, and no truck maintenance or repairs be performed on the site.


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