Limited use industrial park request rejected
By Brian L. Gray
Concerns over Harmon Lake and its nearby homeowners was enough cause for the Morton County Commission to deny a request for a limited industrial use site.
The Morton County Commission voted on May 14 to reject an application by XL Homes asking to rezone 102 acres of agricultural property to limited industrial use. The proposed site was located north of State Highway 25 near Interstate 94 and the Harmon Lake Recreational Area.
The vote was a 3-2 split against the proposal. Commissioners Andy Zachmeier and Cody Schulz voted in favor of the proposal, which was previously approved by the Morton County Planning and Zoning Commission.
Zachmeier said XL Homes had met all of the requests made by the county and followed all county codes and state requirements. Schulz said that while the county is in favor of bringing industrial sites into the county, the sites must be placed in the right location.
The vote brought in roughly 50 residents that live near Harmon Lake, most of whom were there to speak out against the proposal. The residents worried that runoff from the industrial could negatively impact Harmon Lake and contaminate their properties.
A petition was formed by roughly half of the residents who live in the Wainright Estates, Harmon Village and Windsor Estate developments near Harmon Lake. Some of them were present at the meeting to oppose the application.
Commissioners that voted against the proposal said it was not compatible with its surrounding land use. Commissioner Ron Leingang raised the concern that a berm design, which is intended to keep runoff from entering the watershed system leading to Harmon Lake, might not be able to hold during heavy rainfall.