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Helmut Schmidt, Published February 17 2010

Fargo planners delay decision on luxury apartments near Island Park

FARGO - The Fargo Planning Commission voted 4-1 to put off a decision on whether to approve plans by developer Al Carlson to build 58 luxury apartments in the Hawthorne Neighborhood.

Instead, Carlson and neighbors are being encouraged to meet to see if compromises could be found that would allow the project to move forward. The issue will be brought back before the commission in March.

“It’s better to delay than actually reject it,” said Carlson, who has built two condominium projects in the southside neighborhood. “You’d be hard-pressed to say it’s a historic overlay area.”

Neighborhood resident Steve Zaiser said he believes a compromise can be found.

The area is governed by the Island Park Historic Overlay. However, Carlson and city planners agree that the site, the former MeritCare Island Park clinic, is more of a transitional area between commercial buildings and apartments and condominiums.