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Opposition to proposed Edgewood Estates Development

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March 31, 2014

City of Fargo
Planning Commission
200 3rd St N
Fargo, ND 58102

Planning Commission Members,

We are writing in concern of the proposed Edgewood Estates Development on the Cardinal Muench property in North Fargo. It has come to the attention of the existing North Fargo area neighborhoods that the proposed development and related changes would have a negative impact on the existing, established neighborhood.

As neighbors of the proposed Edgewood Estates development we understand that part of making Fargo a better community is planned growth. We want the community to grow and thrive; we just want it to be done in a way that protects our neighborhood, community, environment and our quality of life.

We are disappointed that the City would allow such changes to an established neighborhood that would decrease the quality of life in the area. Changes to a neighborhood should benefit the neighborhood, not just the developer and City. Many of the neighbors in our area have lived here for 20 or more years, some even nearly 40 years. The turnover in the area is very low because people want to live in this serene, safe area of town that has been preserved over many decades. People that originally raised their children here are now able to see their grandchildren enjoying the safety of the area.

Below are several of the concerns we have about the proposed development:

1. Golf Course Road changed to public road.

a. Currently the road is used solely for the use of Edgewood golf course and Divots restaurant access. This is a relatively low volume of traffic. The road is also locked at night and unlocked in the morning which restricts traffic.

b. Widening the road to make it a public road as well as adding lights to the road will significantly increase the traffic level leading to more noise, and decreased safety.

c. Having a public road on both sides of a home will significantly reduce the property value. Developments are not built with homes having traffic on both sides of their property as this is not an attractive quality for an existing or new homeowner.

d. The golf course road will be used significantly more than all other access points to the proposed neighborhood because there won’t be anything to slow down traffic such as children playing or cars pulling out of driveways.

e. Who would purchase a home with a public road on both sides of their property?

f. People purchase homes on dead ends and cul-de-sacs for the setting they provide. When you increase traffic and noise in an area home values instantly decrease.

g. A public road would mean the existing road would need to be widened and would impact existing home owners property by decreasing their yard size and moving traffic closer to the homes.

h. A public road would not benefit existing homeowners who would bear the cost of the project.

i. Potential for existing homeowners on Fairway be assessed twice for any future projects based on having frontage on both sides of their homes.

2. Traffic impact

a. Established neighborhoods are chosen because of limited and predictable traffic patterns. Traffic will increase in the area on 35th Ave. and Par St. and on the proposed public access Golf Course Road.

b. Existing infrastructure will likely see a 50% or greater increase in use in certain areas due to 60 or more homes' usage. This will impact the safety of the streets and will affect the current resident’s quality of life.

c. Additionally, existing Edgewood area neighborhoods have just been charged special assessment in consecutive years to improve our roads. These new roads will quickly deteriorate after years of levee work, deconstruction and new construction.

3. Special Assessments

a. Existing homeowners should not pay for changes that will decrease their home value.

b. A special assessment can only be charged to an area receiving a unique benefit from a project. The proposed Edgewood Estates development and related changes do not benefit any of the existing neighbors and therefore they should not be assessed for any of the costs nor needed changes related to the project.

c. The share of the assessment would be computed on individual properties' value, the developer's lots would be charged a very low amount of assessment as they would be unimproved vacant land. Homeowners' shares would be based on their home values, meaning they will absorb most of the cost for the proposed development.

4. Current Setting

a. We currently pay higher taxes to live along the golf course and to enjoy a serene setting.

b. Homes in the Edgewood area are in demand because of the established community setting. The worries that south Fargo developments face don’t plague this area of town.

c. Families look for safe, low traffic, quiet areas to raise their families.

d. The draw to North Fargo is the setting, even though we don’t have commercial development. People have different priorities that live in North Fargo. The environment they live in is extremely important.

e. A gated community should not be allowed in the area.

f. Large lots and back yards are characteristic of this area.

g. Homes on Par that have no neighbors behind them were purchased because of the setting. Putting a home directly behind them decreases their property value and eliminates their view. At a minimum a buffer of green space and a walking path should separate the current properties from any new development.

h. Having green space and open areas without development are beneficial for communities and should be made a priority in our community.

5. Current Neighborhood issues

a. There are currently drainage issues for homes along Par and a new development could significantly increase this issue.

6. Damage to current property

a. Existing homeowners should not have to be responsible for the costs of damage to current infrastructure and property incurred from construction.

7. Existing Levee

a. After the last flood it was stated that the levee at Cardinal Muench was reconstructed professionally. Why does it need to be upgraded now?

b. Existing home owners should not be charged for changes to the levee that they already were assessed for.

8. Building in a Flood Plain

a. Why are homes being allowed to be built in a flood plain?

b. Would a future buyout situation be caused because new homes are being built in a flood prone area?

c. A significant amount of homes were recently bought out in Fargo that were in the 100 year flood plain. Why would new construction be allowed in the flood plain when this is the case?

d. According to the City of Fargo interactive flood stage map the existing Cardinal Muench property would be affected at 25ft and structure at 37.5 ft. This is lower than current homes that have been bought out on River Drive S and Hackberry Drive with properties affected at 25 ft and homes at 39.5 ft.

9. Home Values

a. Home values in the area would significantly decrease based the on the increase of traffic, congestion and noise to the area.

10. Flood protection

a. If changes are made for flood protection, the city should include this in their flood protection budget as it benefits the whole city, not just homes next to the area.

11. Impact on Wildlife

a. The Edgewood neighborhood area has a significant wildlife population which includes deer, turkeys and other animals, and a new development would significantly decrease their natural habitat.

12. Experience of Edgewood Golf Course

a. As the city’s oldest golf course, Edgewood is known for its pristine setting. Having increased traffic next to the course would not only take away from the experience, but decrease the safety of the course.

We trust that you will take a serious look at the impact the proposed development will have on a very established neighborhood.

Thanks you,

Edgewood Area Residents

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