Western Petroleum, LLC and Maxum Petroleum Operating Company, Inc., d/b/a Pilot Logistics Services, Appellants
Williams County Board of Commissioners, Appellee
from the District Court of Williams County, Northwest
Judicial District, the Honorable Joshua B. Rustad, Judge.
Christopher P. Parrington, for appellants.
Randall J. Bakke (argued) and Shawn A. Grinolds (appeared),
1] Western Petroleum, LLC, and Maxum Petroleum Operating
Company, Inc., doing business as Pilot Logistics Services,
appeal from a district court order affirming their appeal of
the Williams County Board of County Commissioners'
decision to penalize Pilot for violating the county's
temporary housing regulations. We reverse and remand because
the Board unreasonably interpreted the regulations.
2] In September 2011 the Williams County Board of County
Commissioners adopted temporary housing regulations relating
to the use of "man camps" or "crew housing
facilities" in the county. The use of temporary housing
on property within the county is prohibited without a
conditional use permit. The civil penalty for violating the
temporary housing regulations is $1, 000 per violation. The
regulations state a separate violation is committed each day
a violation is committed.
3] In September 2011 the Board granted Western Petroleum a
conditional use permit for temporary housing units on its
property. The permit allowed Western Petroleum to use up to
40 RVs for one year and up to seven mobile homes for two
years. Pilot Logistics acquired Western Petroleum and its
property in February 2012. Western Petroleum did not transfer
the permit to Pilot, nor did Pilot renew the RV permit when
it expired in September 2012 and for the mobile homes in
4] In 2014 the Board became aware that Pilot continued to use
the property for temporary housing after Western
Petroleum's permit expired. Pilot was out of compliance
on 40 RVs since September 6, 2012, and on seven mobile home
units since September 6, 2013. Pilot also had two two-story
framed houses on the property that were not permitted under
Western Petroleum's conditional use permit.
5] At its July 8, 2014, meeting the Board assessed a $29,
635, 000 penalty against Pilot for violating the temporary
housing regulations during the period of noncompliance until
June 10, 2014. The Board calculated the penalty by treating
each non-permitted use as a violation subject to a $1, 000
penalty per day. The Board calculated the $1, 000 penalty on
a per housing unit, per day basis. From September 6, 2013, to
June 10, 2014, the Board found Pilot committed 49 violations
each day subject to the $1, 000 penalty for having 40 RVs,
seven mobile homes and two two-story framed houses on the
6] The Board also offered Pilot a reduced penalty of $1, 885,
000 if paid within 10 days. Pilot did not pay the reduced
penalty and the Board imposed the full penalty of $29, 635,
000. The district court affirmed the Board's decision,
concluding the penalty against Pilot was supported by the
evidence and was not an unreasonable interpretation of the
temporary housing regulations.
7] Pilot argues the Board acted in an arbitrary, capricious
and unreasonable by penalizing Pilot $29, 635, 000 for
violating Williams ...