Cerilon will be in front of the Williams County Board of Commissioners Tuesday with a request to change its zoning to heavy industrial for a $2.8 billion gas to liquids facility that has been proposed for the Trenton area.
The applicant will not be applying for a conditional use permit at that time. Under the current process, the zoning change doesn’t require a detailed scenario, a matter that came up during the Planning and Zoning discussion.
Williams County Planning Official Samantha Miller explained the reason the company is not yet applying for a CUP, and a little of the process going forward.
“A CUP expires 18 months after approval,” she told the Williston Herald. “The applicant is unsure that they will be ready to begin construction in the next 18 months.”
The zoning change does not give the company a green light to construct. They will still need the conditional use permit first, which is generally the point in the process where details like where and how many trees will be required to preserve the view, setbacks, safety requirements, and so forth are spelled out in detail.
“(The CUP process) has a public hearing process, so those residents who felt like they need to be heard and want to be heard, which they have every right to, can also attend the meetings for the CUP as well,” Development Services Director Kameron Hymer told the Williston Herald.
Hymer added that Planning and Zoning has recommended that the zone change not take effect until the company has obtained the CUP, and that, if the CUP is obtained, the whole thing could expire if the company doesn’t begin construction within the allotted 18 months.
They could request an extension, if construction doesn’t begin on time, but would then have to show a just cause for that extension. Any extensions would be granted administratively, and would not require an additional public hearing.