Valley View neighbors voice frustrations with City of Fargo after housing proposal
FARGO — Neighbors in the Valley View neighborhood in Fargo are left with more questions than answers after the city proposed a housing development on empty land near the neighborhood.
Bryan McCrea has lived in the Valley View neighborhood ever since coming to Fargo eight years ago, and he said he, along with the rest of his neighbors, are fed up with what the city is doing.
"This area was designated as a residential area, and so now they want to change that," he said.
As many as 50 neighbors packed City Hall a couple of days ago to have a say in a new development proposal just outside of their neighborhood.
A sign on the west side of the neighborhood details what it was supposed to be like when it was built, with mostly just single-family housing.
And to the west of that is a 40-acre empty field, where city developers and planners are thinking about adding both single- and multi-family housing, including town homes.
Neighbors said that kind of housing, which is outlined in yellow on the city's blueprint, could make the neighborhood and nearby Independence Elementary School overcrowded.
"We have a neighbor who said the other night that his child has had to switch schools — seven different schools — and he's never moved from this neighborhood," McCrea said.
But city planners said they're working with the West Fargo School District and neighbors to make sure that doesn't happen.
"They're aware that this area is going to develop, and we do contact them," said Donald Kress, the planning coordinator for the City of Fargo. "I did actually contact them specifically about this for some more information on it too."
Another problem these neighbors have is the development could drive up special assessments.
Neighbors believe this is causing more people to live in apartments, and fewer in houses.
"We've been duped into thinking that the specials make the whole city better, and the reality is, it keeps people out of homes," McCrea said.
Jon Youness, the developer of this project, said a majority of the new housing won't impact specials because the improvements are done locally.
The City of Fargo agrees with Youness, as they both look to move this project forward and openly address these issues at the next city planning commission meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3.