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Commission denies request for fence on City property

West Fargo City Commissioners turned down a request Monday night from Developer Ron Morlock for placement of an eight-foot high fence on City property behind a residential development he is considering on the south side of 17th Avenue East., at the southwest corner of the intersection of 17th Avenue East and 18th Avenue East, in Charleswood's 24th Addition.

Morlock came to the Commission for rezoning and final plat approval of the parcel from single family dwellings to planned unit development to build a four unit townhome. He wanted to construct the fence on City property as a buffer between the residential and an existing City lift station located in the northeast corner of the property to be replatted in Charleswood's 17th Addition.

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved Morlock's detailed development plans at their March 12 meeting, with ten stipulations including that the proposed fence and a Lot 4 turn-around be moved to the applicant's property.

Consequently, Morlock was present at the Monday night meeting to ask Commissioners to consider his request and allow the fence on City property, with the idea that it could be moved at any time in the future if the City needed to for any reason.

Commissioner Brenda Warren said she didn't want to set precedent by allowing the fence, noting that owners could eventually forget that it was located on City property. "Our City staff doesn't see it as a good move and I agree with them."

Commissioner Mark Simmons agreed. "My concern is the new owners. You will sell the units and be out of the picture in three years. Are there any other options?"

Morlock said there isn't enough room to place the fence on the intended townhouse property. He added that future owners would need to understand that the fence would not be located on their property, suggesting that information could be included in the covenants. "I just want to shut the lift station off from the project. If I can't make them (the units) attractive to the buyer, I'm not willing to take the risk."

The Commission voted to approve the rezoning to Planned Unit Development, and the Final Plat, subject to the conditions of the staff, including the proposed fence and the lot turn-around being moved to the applicant's property. They also encouraged Morlock to continue on with the project which they viewed as an excellent development.

In other action, the Commission:

- voted to deny the letter of support for Region V Community Development Corporation for a 30-unit senior townhouse style rental housing development at 205 14th Ave. E., directly across the street from the existing Heritage Square and Heritage Commons senior living centers, because the City has another entity that has a project the City was committed to earlier.

-approved a conditional use permit for Doug Fliss, West Fargo Self Storage, for the expansion of mini-storage space on the north side of East Main Avenue and east of 3rd Street East. The property was developed several years ago with several mini-storage buildings. Fliss wants to build a 30 foot x 30 foot addition onto an existing building on the west side of the property, which would add five units to the building;

-okayed a planned unit development amendment for Help & Caring Ministry to allow for construction of a detached garage/storage building for a group home on the south side of MeadowRidge Parkway and west of 45th Street.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place at 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 30, in the Commission Chambers at West Fargo City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.