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West Fargo parks mulls options for The Farm at Elmwood Park

The park district was unable to sell the land that was referred to as Beaton Farm. Board members are now looking at how the area, which has been renamed The Farm at Elmwood Park, can be best utilized as its unlikely to be sold.

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After the West Fargo City Commission curtailed the park district's ability to sell land near Elmwood Park to potential developers, the park board is now looking at how to move forward with the land it currently owns.
Michael Vosburg / The Forum
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WEST FARGO — After the West Fargo City Commission curtailed the park district's ability to sell land near Elmwood Park to potential developers, the park board is now looking at how to move forward with the land it currently owns.

The land, often referred to as Beaton Farm, is near Elmwood Park and was donated to the park district by a developer who bought the land earlier.

While most of the space remains green space, access to the land was not ideal for the district to create a new facility. It hoped to work with a developer who wanted to buy the land and add housing.

After nearby residents protested, the commission did not agree to change the zoning requirement which the park board requested to pave way for the developer.

Since the board was unable to sell the property, for an estimated $1 million, it now must pay its share of special assessments on the property which will total about $235,000, as part of the southern Sheyenne Street project.

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Park Operation Manager Josh Mathern said the board is likely facing roughly $375,000 to simply clean up the area and pay for its assessments.

Board members are now looking at how the area, which has been renamed The Farm at Elmwood Park, can be best utilized as its unlikely to be sold.

Mathern presented two potential options for the land. The first would likely cost about $2.6 million and would add a playground area, bathroom, skateboard park, pickleball courts and site infrastructure.

Paved parking to Ball Road would likely cost about $1.2 million.

Another option would be to add a playground area to the park along with a bathroom, skate park, eight pickleball courts, a splash pad and remodeling of the current Quonset hut. The option would cost about $4.5 million.

Mathern said the district could consider using special assessments to build a new facility.

"This will be way different from any of the parks we've done," Mathern said. "This is an established neighborhood."

The board agreed to move forward with considering its options and will request an engineer to consider the project.

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READ MORE FROM WEST FARGO EDITOR WENDY REUER

Readers can reach West Fargo editor Wendy Reuer at wreuer@forumcomm.com or 701-241-5530 . Follow her on Twitter @ForumWendy .

As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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