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Glen Ullin moves to ban man camps ... with exceptions

Glen Ullin moves to ban man camps ... with exceptions

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The Glen Ullin City Council unanimously passed the first reading of a new city ordinance that bans "man camps," but reluctantly kept wording that allows rare exceptions for the dormitory style-structures inside industrial and commercial parts of town.

The measure passed Monday with a 6-0 vote. Council member Brian Schneider was absent.

The draft code lets the city decide the exemptions to the ban on a case-by-case basis. Council members fear the energy-based housing units would sap the limited resources of the city.

The new code bans energy crew housing citywide and prohibits adapting existing structures into dormitory housing without city permission.

"If they make a good case, they can still make an application to those other areas (industrial and commercial)," said city attorney John Mahoney.

Under the draft ordinance, permit applications for building or placing man camps inside industrial or commercial areas must be submitted to the city planning and zoning commission. The planning and zoning commission would hold a public hearing about the permit application, giving residents 15 days notice before the hearing.

The planning and zoning commission would make a recommendation about crew camp requests to the full city council based upon the health, safety and welfare of people in town and whether the facility promotes sound and desirable use of the land.

Under the ordinance, the city can approve the applications at its discretion based upon impact on the town, said Mahoney. He said permit fees would be set individually and be based on the amount of city services and resources to be used.

"We've talked to people and nobody wants anything," said Mayor Betty Delabarre, who voted in favor of the ban. "It's going to be pretty tough to get one in. They can go outside city (jurisdiction) limits 1 1/2 miles outside town and put them there. Our industrial area is full."

She said mobile skid houses also are banned in the draft ordinance.

"Our main concern is we don't have the facilities, like the lagoon. The city is not set up for them," she said.

The Almont City Council also banned man camps in that city because it feared they would overwhelm city resources, but made an exception for the former schoolhouse that will be used as apartments for nine workers.

Glen Ullin's final council vote on the man camp ban is scheduled Jan. 9.

Reach reporter LeAnn Eckroth at 250-8264 or leann.eckroth@bismarcktribune.com.

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