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Rezoning sought for former Pizza Corner factory in Valley City

VALLEY CITY, N.D. — A simple zoning meeting in Valley City became contentious after a controversial property asked to be rezoned.

Neighbors to the former Pizza Corner factory say that for years its round-the-clock work made living next to it a nightmare.

The property's owner, meanwhile, says he was forced to sell the business on his land because the city "singled him out."

Now a request for new zoning, a way to classify his property is opening some old wounds.

For 30 years, Valley CIty's Dave Zubrod owned the Pizza Corner factory, until he decided he needed to expand to meet demand.

"They told me the zoning was wrong," said Zubrod. "Why wouldn't they change it?"

Zubrod believes the city treated him unfairly, claiming other businesses were given the correct zoning but not him, meaning he couldn't expand his factory.

He says it's because he hired so many "out-of-towners."

The city, however, says Zubrod's efforts to right the zoning problem were not enough.

"There's paperwork that has to be done and I pulled some of it out. There's paperwork that has to be filed and this is the extent of what was filed. This is it," said Jennifer Feist, Valley City director.

Now, Zubrod's property is empty, and mostly silent, which is music to his neighbors' ears after years of round-the-clock factory work.

"We were being kept up at night, and when we get home from a long day of work, we want to be able to relax," said neighbor Barry Devit.

Now Zubrod says he needs the proper zoning so he can sell the empty factory.

Valley City held a zoning commission meeting to discuss considering changing the factory's zoning.

After listening to concerns from neighbors, the commission opted to take the rezoning process to the next step.

"I don't know what's going to happen? Is another all-night business going to come in there?" said neighbor Dale Sather.

The "yes" vote doesn't mean the factory will be rezoned, only that the full City Commission will look at the situation and vote on it next month.