November 17, 2011

Ordinances get closer scrutiny

Ordinances get closer scrutiny
RV park definition sought

The Garrison City council is stretching as far as it can, trying to get its arms around the definition of an RV park. At present, the city does not have a specific ordinance relating to RV parks.
At its meeting Nov. 7, the council wrestled with what’s happening at the Sakakawea RV Park on the south edge of Garrison. The park was created by Jeff and Betsy Gerhart. Since it opened in mid-May, it has become a popular destination for RV owners – so much so that the Gerharts have already doubled the number of RV lots from 38 to 76.
Council members said they’ve fielded a handful of complaints that the park is beginning to have the appearance of a man camp. And while the council said it has heard of very few incidents at the park, the fear exists that with future growth toward Garrison by the oil industry, things could rapidly change.
City officials wondered about the difference between permanent housing and temporary housing. The park is geared for long-term RV stays and tenants must follow stringent rules, Gerhart said. If those rules aren’t followed, the person(s) are asked to leave.
When it was originally designed, Sakakawea RV Park was developed to take care of the overflow from Fort Stevenson State Park. But it has been a blessing for many more.
“Little did we know Minot was going to have a flood, which displaced thousands of people,” said sales manager Jeff Husebye. “People were forced to looking for other means of housing, and that increased RV sales with some of those sales staying in the RV park because they had nowhere else to go. We did our part to help these folks. It was a saving grace for a number of residents displaced by the Minot flood.”

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