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Jim Swenberger. West Fargo, Published September 08 2012

Letter: West Fargo rezoning questions

I have been notified of the West Fargo plan to build a hotel/

convention center, gas station/convenience store and retail shops on the southwest corner of East Beaton Drive and Ninth Street in West Fargo, across the street from Cheney Middle School and my neighborhood. A meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. Monday.

This has raised a lot of questions. Wasn’t this planned as an “office park” since 2007, zoning that requires only limited contact with the public? Didn’t the Planning Commission already have concerns about traffic, without the addition of offices, let alone a convention center/hotel? Isn’t there supposed to be a buffer between residential and heavy commercial use, such as that proposed in this rezoning request? Isn’t a stated goal of the planners of West Fargo to preserve the integrity of established neighborhoods by prohibiting the intrusion of incompatible uses? Isn’t another goal to provide buffers or transitions between incompatible land uses?

Is the West Fargo School Board aware of the attempt to change the zoning in this area to place a convention center/hotel – gas station convenience store across the street from Cheney Middle School? What does the PTA say is in the best interest of safety for their children who walk home from school in traffic that could become comparable to the busy interchange at 45th Street and 19th Avenue?

Will the West Fargo Police Department notify parents when a transient pedophile is staying at the hotel/convention center? Isn’t this a little too convenient to provide an opportunity to these deviants?

Most convention centers/hotels serve liquor to their guests. Isn’t it policy not to grant a liquor license next door to a school? Won’t school and after-school activities conflict with three-martini lunches, wedding receptions and other busy events at the convention center?

The proposed plan places the hotel/convention center along the west side of the north/south portion of East Beaton Drive. Giving guests a perfect (YouTube) look from the higher floors into the backyards and bedrooms of existing homes across the street in the Villas of Charleswood and Evergreen Estates. Will the hotel/convention center turn off the lights in the parking lot at night so they will not shine into our backyards and bedrooms across the street? Is this the neighborhood atmosphere that West Fargo is trying to develop?

We are not against West Fargo’s plan to have a convention center and hotel but just question the rationality of rezoning the Charleswood residential and Cheney school area for the location. With all the land just south of Interstate 94 available for commercial use, and with all the planning this proposal destroys, it seems silly to create this eyesore in front of our residential community.