Wendy Reuer, Published December 03 2013
West Fargo approves used car lot in Eagle RunWEST FARGO – Despite objections from the owner of nearby apartments, the City Commission here have approved a plan to open a small used auto lot and service store in the Eagle Run Plaza.
Ted Hall plans to add an auto service store to Lot 2, Block 1 of the Eagle Run Plaza and use nearby Lot 12, Block 1, for auto sales in the area west of Sheyenne Street and 32nd Avenue West.
City staff initially recommended approval of the plan, saying in a report that the plan was within zoning requirements – auto service is a permitted use within the light commercial district while auto sales is a conditional use.
But on Nov. 12, the Planning Commission recommended that the City Commission deny the proposal when residents voiced their concerns in a public hearing that the dealership would be detrimental to the look of the area.
Patrick Vesey, a partner in the West Lake Apartment properties, said Monday night that residents in his apartment building do not want a car dealership next to their home.
Vesey said he has invested “millions” in West Fargo and chose the Eagle Run area to development because of the city’s excellent planning.
He said he supports more retail in the Eagle Run Plaza, but not auto sales.
“We didn’t envision a used car dealership there,” he said.
Hall, who also operates Dakota Chrysler Center in Wahpeton, said Tuesday that the West Fargo sales lot would be an upscale, clean dealership that will be well-maintained.
“In 15 years, you’ll have a nice building that is landscaped the way you want it,” he said.
The service center will be for light maintenance such as oil changes and electronic upgrades only, he said.
Mayor Rich Mattern said he doesn’t share Vesey’s concerns. He said if the auto lot is kept clean, there should be no problem.
“You knew what the zoning was, so I’m not following,” he said Monday.
Other tenants of the plaza told city staff they supported Hall’s plan and would like to see the Eagle Run Plaza “fill out.”
Hall’s conditional use application was unanimously approved by the commission Monday night, provided landscaping, lighting, signage and a building stay consistent with Eagle Run development plans, and an enhanced berm buffer is put in place to soften the sight of the car lot.
Readers can reach Forum reporter
Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530