April 13, 2016

Crew Camp documentation met after approved permit

By Kate Johnson

Allison Hicks and Scott Solem, Solem Law Office, Beulah, presented to the Mercer County Commission that Synergy Crew Camp has not met all the requirements but has already been granted a permit.
Hicks and Solem were approached by an adjacent land owner to Gerald Pischel, where a crew camp had been approved. Synergy Crew Lodge approached the Mercer County planning and zoning commission several months ago seeking approval for their crew camp facility.
Hicks led the discussion by referencing every ordinance and requirement this facility has to meet and their lack of fulfilling those requirements at the current time.
Synergy was granted a permit approval by the Mercer County planning and zoning commission, as well the Mercer County commission. Although missing a considerable number of the required documents, the permit was granted anyway.
Gary Emter, land use administrator for Mercer County, assured the commission that all these requirements will be met before dirt begins to move for the project.
Hicks presented that, after taking a deeper look at this case and its application, she determined the permit to be “unclear.” When she compared the Mercer County ordinances section issued on crew camps to the applicant’s current documentation she found a number of holes.
There was no list of vendors who would be coming and going from the property. There were not any corporate applicants listed, only Jack Arbess, who is the CEO of Synergy Crew Lodging. Hicks presented a corporate applicant’s list, noting “It isn’t quite clear what the make-up or financial status of this corporation is.”
A large issue was that the certificate of insurance was not included in the application, but a certificate of insurance for McKenzie County.
“The zoning ordinance requires a certificate of insurance for the project as a part of the application,” says Hicks, informing the commission that there is no proof of any insurance on this property, let alone in this county.
A description of the units was missing, with only a description of the different options available provided with the application. There was also no bed count or facility count as to how many would be on site, making that number an unknown.
The ordinance also requires an anchoring system for crew camp units. Syngery said they would provide an engineer’s report stating these units did not need anchoring. Hicks brought up the strong winds this county has and the importance behind the anchoring requirement.

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