DRC LTE: Local zoning control is at risk – Pete Wolla

My neighbors and I have been fighting a proposal for a landfill less than half a mile from my home. We have been successful in getting two proposals for the same landfill denied at the county level. We had more than 50 opposed at the township hearing and about 20 opposed at the county level.

Now, I see there is a proposed measure in committee in the state to end local votes on landfill proposals. Tim Dawson, who drafted the proposal, says this will end the not-in-my-backyard opposition to landfills. The proposed landfill isn’t in his backyard; it is in mine. I believe my neighbors and I should have a bigger voice in these matters than someone who may drive by on the highway at 70 mph once in a while.

This countywide vote on zoning proposals has only been used once in North Dakota. That was in Bowman County on a landfill proposal and it passed the countywide vote. So what is this proposal going to solve, or is it to get the bill introduced then change it in committee to further restrict local control of issues? The committee hearing on this will be held at 8:30 a.m.

Oct. 16 in the Lewis and Clark/Maximilian/Stevens Rooms of the University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center in Grand Forks.


  • If the issue is in Williams County why is the discuss in Grand Forks on a Thursday night so that no one local can voice their opinions?

  • Why is this not being held at a local venue where the peopls it is affecting (those in Wiliams county) can reasonably attend. This is a farce! Holding this meeting such a ridiculous distance away from the actual location in question is a slap in the face to those whose backyards, whose children’s playgrounds will be usurped by these landfills. So is it because the people are against the building of the landfills, lets go somewhere they’re unable to attend and rip the rug out from under them? That isn’t what our democracy is about. The people should have a voice, particularly since they are the ones being affected! Not big business!

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