Mandan News

Steps taken on zoning borders

The Morton County Commission on Dec. 10 approved a new extraterritorial agreement between the city of Mandan and the county that strikes shared zoning jurisdiction borders.

It basically gives the city of Mandan zoning jurisdiction about one mile outside of city limits and the rest is the county’s responsibility, said County Planner Daniel Nairn.

Before legislative changes, the city of Mandan and the county shared jurisdiction for two miles outside of city limits. Legislation now allows the county and city to create their own agreement to bypass that and determine their own jurisdiction lines.

Nairn said on Dec. 11 that they based the new plan on what Burleigh County and the city of Bismarck did in their new jurisdiction agreement to eliminate the shared jurisdiction lines. In fact, he said he and Mandan staff consulted with those entities in working out the new agreement.

He said in recent months he has been working with Mandan City Engineer Justin Froseth and City Planner Robert Decker.

“It just clarifies jurisdiction,” Nairn said. “It increases efficiency. With the shared jurisdiction, it just adds another layer when someone has a zoning question. Property owners don’t know which commission to go to.”

He said rural emergency addresses will be kept the same for two miles outside of Mandan for responders.

He said the agreement is flexible to allow the city to adjust the map as annexations occur. The Mandan Planning and Zoning Commission and the Morton County Planning and Zoning Commission also have approved the plan.

The Mandan City Commission members were tentatively scheduled to discuss the jurisdiction boundaries on Dec. 17.

Decker said the new boundaries will clarify for affected property owners who to go to with a zoning question. “A lot of it was agriculture land,” he said.

“Daniel did a good job of defining the borders,” Froseth said. “It has been a cooperative effort.”

Decker added that complaints were coming in from neighbors about land now in the shared zoning jurisdiction. “They didn’t know who to go to,” he said.

If approved by the Mandan City Commission, the new jurisdiction plan will take effect on March 1.

By LeAnn Eckroth

Lee News