Oil Boom RV Park Would Double Town's Size
The Williams County Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to OK zoning for a new, 50-site RV park which, when filled, could double the population of nearby Epping, N.D.
The park would serve workers drawn to this community in the northwest corner of the state because of the oil boom, the Williston Daily Herald reported.
Developer Corey Moen was seeking a zone change from agriculture to public zoning and for a conditional use permit to put in the RV park.
The RV park would be on a 40-acre parcel of land. Once set up it's to house workers for an oil company during the initial months of operation.
County Planning and Zoning Administrator Jenelle Loomer told the commission that she was part of a committee to discuss this issue with the town of Epping earlier in the month. Planning and zoning commissioners George Pederson and David Hermanson as well as Williston Economic Development Director Tom Rolfstad were also involved in the meeting. Hermanson said residents expressed a few specific concerns during a public forum on the matter June 9 in Epping.
"A great deal of the concern was based on security issues," said Hermanson.
Jack Sjol of Epworth Resources is partnering with Moen on the project and told the commission he felt the security issue could be resolved. He said the company's foreman was going to be on-site and that Moen lives right by where the park would go in.
"As far as security goes, I think we're pretty well covered in terms of go-to guys," said Sjol.
Rolfstad said during the meeting there was also some talk of the company putting up a clean-up bond for when they're done staying at the site. He added that it's a big moment for the town of Epping.
"To me, it's a golden opportunity for the town to grow but also at the same time shell-shock. Here's a town of less than 100 people where you could have more people living in the RVs than in the whole town," said Rolfstad.
After further discussion, the commission made a motion to recommend approval to the county commission for the requests. There were a series of stipulations to the motion. The conditional use permit would be up for review in two years and a roster of workers living on-site would need to be provided to the county.
Also, contact numbers for emergencies and complaints would have to be posted at the entrances, the park would have to be fenced off the lots would have to be numbered.