The Williams County Planning and Zoning Department continues to find owners of illegal temporary housing as a thorn in its side.
The most recent culprit is Houston-based Stallion Oilfield Services, which the county recently fined $2.6 million and ordered the company to remove all non-compliant skid units by the end of the month.
Kameron Hymer, the county zoning investigator, said Stallion was originally approved for housing on 49th Street in June 2011.
Stallion’s request for 25 skid units was approved for two years, Hymer said, but the company failed to follow the conditions of its approval and on July 3, 2013, county staff visited the site and counted 52 skid units and six RVs.
In August, the county commission denied Stallion’s request to renew its conditional use permit for temporary housing with the stipulation that all facilities used for housing be removed within 60 days, according to documents obtained from the planning and zoning department. After Stallion appealed, the commission extended the temporary housing permit for one year based on numerous conditions, including that the site couldn’t have more than 25 units and no campers allowed.
Earlier this week, Hymer told the county commission he inspected the site on Dec. 5, and counted no RVs. However, there were 54 skid units.
“Stallion is attaching five and six skid units together and calling them one unit,” Hymer said.
Commissioner Wayne Aberle was less than pleased.
“They’ve been warned. They’ve been let off, and they do not do one single thing,” Aberle said. “I say we shoot them a letter and shut them down.”
The planning and zoning department staff agreed, and asked the commissioners to back it in enforcing county regulations.
“If we don’t put teeth in our regulations, it makes our jobs in the planning department a lot harder,” Ray Pacheco, director of the department, said. “When you’re  units over the limit, at some point we have to say no and draw the line.”.
Stallion is being penalized for each unit over its approved 25 skid units, Hymer said. If the company fails to pay the fine and doesn’t remove the units by Dec. 30, the county will assess additional fines for all 54 units currently on site.