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City thanks developer for Charleswood connection

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Bruce Clapham, president of Charlewood Inc., offered special kudos Monday night to city officials and staff as he concludes an almost 20-year chapter in his life as a West Fargo developer.

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"I came here tonight to say thank you," Clapham stated. "In 1993 my partners and I purchased a large tract of land with the understanding to complete a residential community."

He said that plan evolved into the realization of 37 additions in Charlewood which are now nearing completion. "Charleswood is a very fine community. The experience of working with everyone has been pleasurable and rewarding. And you (the city) have been part of the success we've achieved. I also commend the administration. Everyone has been extremely helpful and supportive. Thank you very much and I wish all of you continued success in keeping this fine community going."

Mayor Rich Mattern responded by extending in return the city's gratitude to Clapham. "Your vision and perseverance through the years have been remarkable. You've changed the face of West Fargo and we have a lot to thank you for. I admire you and really appreciate working with you."

Clapham praised the relationship as "a collaborative effort. I've been in business for 40 years and I've never experienced such cooperation. Keep it going you guys."

Mattern then came forward with a special token of appreciation on behalf of the City of West Fargo presented to Clapham, a wooden case complete with clock and special words of engraving.

Clapham and his wife, Joyce, have made their home in the community since the early development began. They are currently residing at Vancouver Island, British Columbia where Clapham is involved in creating a large master-planned residential development. They will be selling their West Fargo home but have plans to visit the community often to nurture the many great friendships they have also built through the years.

The last piece of property currently being developed in Charleswood is Charleswood 29th Addition located in the northwest corner of the intersection of I-94 and 9th Street/Veterans Boulevard for a hotel/conference center and commercial development.

City staff said Clapham has been a true professional and just great to work with through the years."We are really sorry to see him go," said Senior Planner Steve Zimmer who was associated with Clapham on a number of projects. "Professionally he was one of the really good ones. He was also so easy to work with. If he said he was going to do something, he would always get it done, no questions asked."

In other action, the commission:

-approved first reading of Ordinance No. 943 relating to penalties for unpaid parking tickets. The change pertains to the time frame for paying the fine, taking it from five days to ten days of the issuance of the ticket before the fee goes up from $8 to $10. The request for the change had been made through Municipal Court because complaints had been received that the time frame for paying was too narrow. The court had been using the ten days so adjusting the ordinance provided clarity to the issue;

-approved first reading of Ordinance No. 941 relating to smoking in public indoor workplaces prohibited. The action repeals Chapter 15-05 of the revised ordinances of 1990 in its entirety for the city, making way for the newly adopted statewide ordinance provisions that are more restrictive and which the icty will now be following;

-following a public hearing, approved an application for a retail liquor, beer license for Blarney Stone Pub at 1910 9th St. E. Matthew James Geiger, Bismarck, made application.under the business name Blarney Stone Pub -- Fargo, LLC. A successful Blarney Stone Pub is currently doing business in Bismarck. Officials from Blarney Stone present at the meeting said they hoped to break ground on the project next spring;

-approved second reading on the rezoning and final plat approval for Oak Ridge 3rd Addition, from agricultural to light commercial;

-okayed a planned unit development for the sale and development of Blarney Stone Pub at 1910 9th St. E. with the request made by CIG Investments. The elevation plans on the 66,923 square foot parcel show a 6,250 square foot building with a four-season patio area;

-tabled a request for a conditional use permit for an in-home hair salon for Kris Peterson at 1438 Elmwood Court, south of 13th Avenue West and east of 8th Street West on the westside of Elmwood Court. City planner Steve Zimmer made the recommendation for approval but City Commissioners Duane Hanson and Mike Thorstad both stated they thought Peterson should have been present at the meeting to represent the request. Hanson said he felt the applicant should show common courtesy by attending and answering questions that may arise. He made a motion to table the matter until Peterson is present. Thorstad provided the second saying "I agree with Commissioner Hanson. When we give them a special permit they should show up."

-heard recommendations for Brooks Harbor 1st Addition traffic operations review, a proposed development between Sheyenne Street, the Diversion, and the limited access to undeveloped land to the north. Chris Brungardt, assistant public works director, spoke about the three recommendations that included: prohibiting any future use of the Sheyenne Diversion dike as a means of transportation as the dike is barely adequate for existing traffic; relocating the 21st Avenue access point to the south to the point of intersection of the horizontal curve on Sheyenne Street, roughly 250 feet south, to provide for the needed spacing from the diversion bridge to the north and 26th Avenue West to the South; and to continue Fifth Street West north to the edge of the proposed development to allow for a third access to the undeveloped property to the north. This last quarter section of land for all purposes is land-locked by the diversion and the Brooks Harbor development. Brungardt added this area has the potential of adding over 250 single family homes and that limited access to this property to two roadways Ninth and Eleventh Street West that are a minimum of half a mile from Sheyenne Street is impractical. Thus a third point of access would be beneficial.

-awarded the contract for the Compensation Plan/Salary Survey to Public Sector Personnel Consultants for $29,500.

-reviewed and approved the state audit as of Dec. 31, 2011.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place Monday, Jan. 7, at 5;30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at West Fargo City Hall, 800 4th Ave. E. All meetings are open to the public.

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