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Tracy Walvatne, Fargo, Published April 21 2013

Letter: Choice essential in ‘city of future’

I am a homeowner and business owner in historic north Fargo. One of the many reasons our family has chosen to live and work where we do is because of the marvelous work many architects and developers have done on preserving and celebrating Fargo’s original architecture. The city of Fargo has encouraged this preservation and upcycling with programs such as the Renaissance Zone and Remodeling Exemption.

I ask our other city leaders (the Fargo School Board) to look at the bigger picture when considering a Long Range Facility Plan for our school district. The best of the best communities celebrate and invest in their core while moderating and tempering growth at their outer edges. This cannot take place without a working relationship with the city’s Planning Department. Doing so requires more than a six-week invitation to “serve” on a task force. These two game-changing planning entities should be at least on regular speaking terms, and ideally in lockstep with one another. Urban sprawl is not a myth, and we are very close to experiencing this in Fargo when the placement of schools is decided without the consideration of true urban planning.

The city has invested in a plan. Eight thousand citizens and residents gave their opinion as to what they wanted Fargo to look like and what services and lifestyles we value. The plan is called the Go2030 Plan, and it is a completely comprehensive, well-researched and documented long-range city plan. It is just coming to execution phase right now; it is not too late for the Fargo Public Schools planners to plug into it. Please, reach out to the city’s leaders and planners and plan a future TOGETHER!

There are families who admire and value historic surroundings. There are also families who value new surroundings. If we are truly a “city of the future,” we need to provide our city with choice. We have that now; let’s not blow it.