Street closure rejected
Rick Hoganson is returning to the drawing board. Hoganson, a Moorhead developer and architect, wanted to build as many as three high-end townhomes worth about $325,000 apiece along the Red River in the city's southwest corner. He will likely scra...
Rick Hoganson is returning to the drawing board.
Hoganson, a Moorhead developer and architect, wanted to build as many as three high-end townhomes worth about $325,000 apiece along the Red River in the city's southwest corner.
He will likely scrap those plans after the Moorhead City Council voted Monday against his request to close a portion of River Oaks Point.
Nearby residents who opposed the plans - saying closing a stretch of the street would split their neighborhood in two - said they were pleased by the decision.
Council member upheld the unanimous vote earlier this month by the Planning Commission, which recommended denying the street vacation and a zoning change.
With the current zoning on the half acre of riverfront land and the street left open, Hoganson could still build two attached homes at 18 River Oaks Point.
But he likely will not, he said after Monday's council vote.
The denial of the proposed zoning change, which would have allowed Hoganson to build three homes instead of two, was not a deal breaker, the developer said.
But it would be too difficult to sell high-end townhomes without the river view that would have been created by closing a portion of River Oaks Point, he said. "Two units would be fine. It's the road."
Councilman John Rowell said closing the road would have paved the way for other developers to ask the city to do the same for their exclusive benefit. "If we do it here, we're going to set the precedent," he said.
Councilwoman Nancy Otto was the lone vote in favor of closing the road. She said the city's comprehensive plan calls for a mix of housing in neighborhoods.
Nixing plans that would do just that, putting townhomes in an area full of single-family houses, demonstrates "that we really don't mean what we say," Otto said.
Hoganson, who sat on the Planning Commission for six years until February, said he thinks the city's decision was based on the neighborhood's not-in-my-backyard reaction, not the facts.
One member of the nearly a dozen families who opposed the plans disagreed.
"We are pro-development in Moorhead if it makes sense," Melanie Heuerman of 28 River Oaks Point told the council.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535