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Published May 30 2010

Major development planned in SW Fargo

A major housing development proposed in Fargo would be the city’s southernmost residential area west of Interstate 29 and is causing concern among Cass County residents already living in the area.

The 222-acre Deer Creek Addition is expected to go before the Fargo Planning Commission on June 9 for plat and zoning approval.

The development, about half a mile south of the Osgood Golf Course, would have room for roughly 800 single-family housing units, said Fargo Senior Planner Jim Hinderaker.

Steve Iverson of Paces Lodging Corp., which is acting as a consultant for Deer Creek’s development group, declined to comment on the project.

The development group, doing business as Corn II LLC, is “a handful of local and regional businessmen” who didn’t wish to be identified, Iverson said.

City planners have discussed the development at length, Hinderaker said.

“The biggest thing, I think, for the city is making sure that we have sufficient parkland and trail connections, so we think we’ve got that in place,” he said, noting plans show about 12.5 acres of open space for parks and trails.

Deer Creek is somewhat unusual in that it wouldn’t front a section-line road. The nearest arterials are 52nd Avenue to the north, 64th Avenue to the south, Veterans Boulevard to the east and Cass County 17 to the west.

The plat shows 63rd Street off 52nd Avenue as the only access into Deer Creek, but city planners will request a second access point to County Road 17 when the project reaches its second phase, Hinderaker said.

The first phase calls for 150 lots. If the project is approved and the weather permits, construction on streets and other improvements could begin in late summer or early fall, Hinderaker said.

The proposal has generated some concerns in the Ashwood subdivision, a group of five homes that would be sandwiched between Deer Creek and County Road 17.

“I think all of us out here are really private people, and we just kind of wanted to be left alone,” resident Christie Smith said.

One concern is that Ashwood’s access to County Road 17 from 60th Avenue South would eventually be closed, and Ashwood residents would have to use 62nd Avenue, which would be connected to Deer Creek. Smith said there would need to be a turnaround area at the dead-end of 60th Avenue for school buses and plows.

“Our other concern is we have school-age children, and the development next to us is in the West Fargo School District,” Smith said, “and the schools are just plump full the way it is, and so now there’s going to be more kids in the district.”

Ashwood residents also have concerns about the Deer Creek plan showing a 9.8-acre “nature park” on the development’s west side, in a former oxbow of the Sheyenne River.

“That’s our backyard, pretty much, so we don’t want people walking around,” she said.

The west side of Deer Creek, which abuts Ashwood, would have lower housing density than the east side, Hinderaker said.

“I suspect you’re probably looking at some higher-end homes there,” he said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528