By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Local Boards Need Volunteers


September 15, 2021

The significance of volunteers in city government cannot be understated. This is certainly true in smaller communities, including the City of Three Forks who currently has vacancies on two citizen advisory boards.

According to City Clerk Crystal Turner, there is an opening on the Three Forks Zoning and Planning Board. At least one and hopefully two volunteers are needed to serve on the City Board of Adjustments and Appeals, which desperately needs help.

“Right now, if anyone applies for a variance, we couldn’t even hear it because without four voting unanimously to approve or deny – the application would be at a stall. That particular board has to have four votes in agreement. It’s a five-member board. We currently have one vacancy and one wishing to drop off but is hanging in there for us knowing this clause. So we are really searching for two volunteers on that board,” she said.

As far as the Zoning and Planning Board, Turner noted it is a city-county collaboration because anything happening within one mile of the city boundaries is supposed to go through a zoning review. The one-mile jurisdiction includes a zoning map adopted in 2009.

“Many people living and working in that one-mine jurisdiction do not know this…So things like storage units get built because the county does not require a zoning permit for buildings, but the City may require a conditional use permit for what could be draft zoned agricultural, for instance,” Turner said.

Officials are hoping to balance city and county members to ensure the entire area is represented with the future town development.  

“We want to hear from both the urban and rural community because Three Forks is both,” Turner said.

Those interested in serving on the Zoning and Planning Board must live within the one-mile jurisdiction.

Turner stressed the importance of volunteering, noting finding residents is a challenging task in every community.

“Volunteering is a big commitment, and every community, I think, struggles with finding volunteers. With so many different topics a city or town covers, like zoning, golf board, Historical Society, Boy & Girl Scouts, Rodeo Committee, etc., I feel like we have the same people volunteering for many different groups,” said Turner. “However, the entire community benefits from all these volunteer organizations, and so why not give it a chance and take a two-year turn on one of these boards? If we all did that and spread our opinions, voices, time around to help our community, it would benefit us all.”

The Three Forks Zoning and Planning Board is a seven-member board, who serves staggered three-year terms. 

The term for this and the term on the Board of Adjustments and Appeals have already started. The appointments would be for the remainder of the term.

If you are interested in serving on any of these boards, please complete the board application available at City Hall or on the City’s website at and return it to City Hall.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call City Hall at 285-3431.


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