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Neighbors object to proposed 70-unit apartment building in Moorhead

The project near Interstate 94 and Eighth Street South would sit between a hotel and a senior facility.

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A 70-unit apartment building is planned for this open lot between the Riverpointe Senior Campus and the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in south Moorhead near Interstate 94 and Eighth Street South. The senior facility can be seen in the background.
Barry Amundson / The Forum
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MOORHEAD — Sandy Asleson and a few of her neighbors have been gathering signatures against a planned 70-unit apartment building in their neighborhood in south Moorhead.

She said that at almost every door they knocked on was someone willing to sign the petition.

The apartment building would be built at 2501 11th St. S. between the Courtyard by Marriott hotel and the Riverpointe Senior Campus.

Asleson and some of her neighbors were at the Moorhead City Council meeting this week to turn in the petition signed by more than 50 residents on nearby 25th and 26th avenues, with Asleson voicing concerns about parking, traffic, density and blocking of sunlight and views for the seniors at Riverpointe.

As for the traffic, she noted there are at least 20 children under the age of 8 on the nearby avenues.

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The council, however, voted to granted a conditional-use permit for longtime builder, Sam Skaff, to exceed the height limits by 5 feet up to 45 and 50 feet high for what architect Blake Carlson said would provide a better product in the three- and four-story structure.

Councilman Steve Lindaas was the only council member to vote against the conditional-use permit.

Several council members urged the builder and architect to communicate with the neighbors about the project to try to alleviate some of their other concerns.

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Asleson said her biggest concern was the size of the proposed building on the open lot between the hotel and senior home and that the project "exceeds the capacity of the area."

"Seventy units, that is a lot," she said, adding that there were already numerous apartment buildings in the area.

Carlson, who also spoke at the meeting, said they were willing to meet with neighbors.

Carlson said there would be first-floor indoor parking for residents in the building.

He said it would be an "asset to the area and not be a rundown building" and that the project would meet or exceed the city's parking code and that they could add more parking spots to the project area.

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Regarding views and sunlight, Carlson said a study of the issue found no problems.

Councilman Chad Gilbertson made the motion to approve the permit and said there were several access routes to the new building from the south, north and west.

A sign has already been placed on the "future site" of the apartment building, noting that the family-owned Skaff company has been building apartments in the metro area since 1957.

The City Council in March approved a zoning change on the property from regional commercial to mixed-use to allow an apartment building.

The city's planning commission earlier unanimously approved the project, said City Zoning Administrator Robin Huston, who noted that the area's infrastructure was adequate for the project. A final building permit must still be obtained for work to start.

An almost 50-year veteran of the newspaper business, Amundson has worked for The Forum and Forum News Service for 15 years. He started as a sport reporter in Minnesota. He is currently the city and night reporter for The Forum. bamundson@forumcomm.com 701-451-5665
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