As is the case with many boom-area issues, a decision by one government body tends merely to transfer the problem to another. Thus it is that the ban on recreational vehicle living in Williston, N.D., has created a flurry of RV-related issues for the Williams County Commission.
On Tuesday (July 3), the commission approved three RV park zoning requests that will provide 245 parking spaces in Round Prairie, Tyrone and Springbrook townships, but commission members were clearly feeling their way on an issue they said had increased in magnitude in the last month or so, since the city began considering the ban, the Williston Daily Herald reported.
“Absolutely,” said Commissioner David Montgomery when asked if he felt the city had simply passed on the problem to the county. But he didn’t dwell on the origin of the problem, instead suggesting the commission needed some consensus on how to approach such requests over the long term before dealing with this week’s agenda items.
“Do we compound the problem by approving them?” asked Montgomery.
“They’ll park everywhere if we don’t,” said Commissioner Wayne Aberle.
“Who is going to be responsible to take care of them?” Montgomery said, in reference to extreme weather situations, both winter and summer. While he and the other commissioners stopped short of expecting bomb-shelter type tornado protection during discussion, they clearly were concerned about extreme hot and cold, hail storms and extended power outages.
Commissioner Dan Kalil and Planning and Zoning Administrator Jill Edson then provided commissioners with an overview of an RV park checklist recommended by the Ad Hoc Committee, a group comprised of planning and zoning board members. The checklist was so new, neither had a hard copy to provide commissioners.
They provided a verbal version of the checklist, which would require that before any RV park proposal would be approved, it must show it meets all state requirements, which include water and sewer rules; that all roads and green space be completed; that parks be lighted; and that each park provide laundry and shower facilities; and that each offer a common area that provides an emergency housing alternative in the event of emergency.
“They ought to be able to withstand anything Mother Nature throws at them,” said Commissioner Barry Ramberg.
Commissioners agreed to apply those basic rules to each request and made their approval contingent on each RV park project meeting those guidelines.