Mobile home park

Sidney City Council denied a request from Lee’s Tire Trailer Court to allow RVs into eight of their spots, which currently sit empty.

Sidney City Council denied a request by Lee’s Tire Trailer Court, owned by Paul and Patricia Tjelde, for a variance allowing eight RV spots in the trailer court at the recommendation of the board of adjustments during the Monday, July 1, meeting.

“It was denied due to zoning issues,” Jeff Hintz, director of public works, said.

Sarah Tjelde of Lee’s Tire spoke on behalf of her family’s business.

“Originally we were zoned for mobile homes and then in around 2009, 2010 when the oil boom came, we were rezoned,” Tjelde said. “We were permitted to have RVs. The reason why was because people were coming in with RVs and didn’t need mobile homes. Since then, we’ve had a bunch of people approach us wanting RVs, but we’ve had to turn them down because we weren’t permitted. We came to the council to ask if we could rezone to have RVs.”

The minutes from the board of adjustments meeting stated board member Adam Smith wondered if RVs would need to be moved every 180 days if allowed into the mobile home park and who would keep track of those records. Justin King spoke at the meeting, saying he was strongly opposed to turning trailer spots into RV spots because they run generators all night and leave beer bottle and pop cans behind. City clerk and treasurer Jessica Redfield did not receive any filed opposition to the variance.

From those minutes, the reason for voting against the Tjeldes’ variance request was stated as the “request does not meet the seven required findings of facts necessary to approve the variance.” Those seven findings are found in the Sterling Codifiers book at the city and include consistency with the Sidney Growth Policy, compatibility with vicinity, minimal adverse impact, minimal adverse environmental impact, impact on public facilities and services, degree of hazard/nuisance and compliance with city codes.

Sidney utilities manager Greg Anderson said those requirements were developed after many lengthy discussions and public hearings in April 2014. He also specified Lee’s Tire Trailer Court was never rezoned, but the zone conditions did change in 2014.

The Tjeldes said they weren’t informed of the seven required findings during their application process. Anderson said applicants are not actively informed of the seven requirements, but there has been talk on the board of adjustments to include the information on applications in the future. No action has been taken yet, however.

“None of our RVs ever had generators,” Sara Tjelde said the day after the meeting. “They were all hooked up to power and we paid MDU every month on them.”

At the city council meeting, Tjelde explained why RV spots would be beneficial over mobile home spots.

“Mobile homes are a nuisance. They can’t be moved,” she said. “We’ve been stuck with them many times. The landfill won’t take them. They’re expensive to move. People leave them. They’re an eyesore.”

Tjelde said they were recently approached with a deal to move in several RVs and were forced to turn them away.

“They couldn’t find any [Rv spots] around Sidney because all the lots are full,” she said. “We lost those customers. We lost that business into the city.”

Council member Brian Koffler made a motion to accept the board of adjustments recommendation to deny the variance request. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

In other news:

A request for public records policy was approved by city council. Under the new policy, public records will need to be requested via a form to the city clerk. The city will charge fees of $0.15 per page after 15 pages, $0.25 per page for 11x17 copies, $1 plus postage to mail copies and electronic data will be $0.03 per page for every page over 15 pages. For staff time, a charge of $10 will be applied for 15-30 minutes and $10 every additional 30 minutes. The request form is available on the city website or at city hall.

Mayor Rick Norby took time to thank ROI for their efforts in putting on the adult prom this year, which was the first time the event was held. “I actually had tears in my eyes watching it,” Norby said. “It was pretty neat… I would personally like to thank ROI for doing that. There’s a reason we give money to ROI.” He encouraged council and community members to attend the grand march and dance next year.

Jeff Hintz, director of public works, reported 844.5 hours of street work for the month of June, 142 hours of street sweeping, 479.5 hours of parks work, 726.5 hours of garbage (457.08 tons of garbage picked up), 395 hours for water, 365 hours for sewer and 183 shop hours.

Fire Marshal Kale Rasmussen said there were seven fireworks stands in Sidney this year.

Council approved workers’ compensation presumption coverage for certain cancers and other diseases, which is available to volunteer firefighters. The coverage is $191 per year per firefighter. Twenty-five firefighters qualify, with a total cost to the city of $4,775 annually.

A budget and finance committee meeting for the 2019-20 fiscal year was scheduled for Wednesday, July 10, at 6 p.m., at city hall.

A draw for phase three of the waste water treatment plant was approved in the amount of $563,392.75.

Hintz requested a meeting for the water and sewer committee, stating his concerns for multiple neighborhoods in Sidney and the flooding that occurs every year. The meeting was scheduled for Monday, July 8, at 5:30 p.m. at city hall.

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