June 19, 2014

City council approves zoning changes

By Jerry W. Kram

The Parshall City council approved a number of zoning changes and special permits at a special council meeting Monday, one of which attracted the attention of neighbors.

The council took testimony at a public hearing on the proposals, including a request by Perry Byers to rezone his property in southeast Parshall from agricultural to industrial to accommodate his portable toilet business. Cindy Buchholz testified that she was a neighbor of Byers and wanted assurances that steps would be taken to protect ground water and air quality around the site.

Byers said he has already changed his business practices to eliminate the problems associated with his business. He explained that a recent violation occurred because he made an agreement with an area landowner to spread the waste as fertilizer on farmland near the airport. The landowner didn’t realize he was only allowed to contract to have the waste applied to land he owned. Some of the waste was spread on land that was rented, which is a violation of state rules. Byers said he has stopped most of his land applications of waste and will be completely eliminating it from his operation soon.

Buchholz also wanted to know if the two 1,800 gallon storage tanks on the property were inspected. Representatives from the North Dakota Department of Health said that tanks smaller than 25,000 gallons are not inspected by the state annually, but they do have to meet all the plumbing codes for residential septic tanks. Byers noted that his tanks are sealed and do not connect to a drain field like a septic tank. They are pumped out and the waste is trucked to an approved landfill.

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