July 7, 2014

Fines may go up for building without permit

By Suzanne Werre
BHG News

Not thrilled with having to approve a conditional use building permit "after the fact," county commissioners will be looking at raising the fine for those who build on their properties without first getting approval for the building from the county.

After unanimously approving two building conditional use permits for "non-farm structures on agricultural land" within the county, commissioners were divided on the approval of a third request, made by Derrek L. Rasmussen of Garrison, for a conditional use permit for a nonfarm structure on agricultural land which also required a variance, as the structure would have only a 90-foot setback instead of the required 125 feet. The building is already in place, noted commissioner chairman Pam Link.

Commissioners Steve Lee and Barry Suydam voted to approve the request for a permit/variance; Link voted no.

"I don’t like it," she said. People should not be allowed to put up buildings without getting the required permit first. If they do, there should be a heftier fine, said Link. Currently the fine is half again as much as the cost of the permit, which in this case totals $187. Commissioners Lee and Suydam concurred, noting that the current fine isn’t going to deter many people.

Commissioners asked Planning and Zoning’s Todd Schreiner to find out what fine other counties/cities levy when property owners build without a permit.

Schreiner indicated he would check with Burleigh County and the City of Minot to see what their fines are for those who build without getting the required permit.


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