Push for permits help responders in ND oil patch

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Associated Press

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 6 at 10:03 AM

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Workers spilling into western North Dakota for high-paying oil jobs and nowhere to live set their eyes on McKenzie County thanks to its lack of zoning rules for housing.

That quickly turned the state's largest oil-producing county it into a mass of trailer parks and scattered RVs, leaving thousands of people without addresses.

Longtime residents didn't want zoning rules, but local officials saw a big problem in not being able to keep track of people amid the booming population.

So ordinances were pushed through, and they're now being credited in part in helping emergency workers respond when a recent tornado hit a workers camp.

The new rules require that temporary housing areas obtain permits and addresses, enabling 911 dispatchers to pinpoint where people are living.

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