There may have been a misunderstanding in Wednesday’s news of an abbreviated quote at a Fargo Planning Commission meeting regarding a residential development in the Oak Grove Neighborhood. The project passed the planning commission unanimously.

Being a devotee of preservation of historic neighborhoods, I have encouraged Historic Overlays as a means to protect the integrity of neighborhoods. Too late to affect this project, the Oak Grove neighborhood has undertaken the establishment of an historic overlay.

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The current status of preservation is weak in the city of Fargo and has placed several entities in a difficult conundrum, those being the neighborhoods, the planning department and the developers.

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Because there are no stringent guidelines for developers, they are forced to invest in a project, then later, the neighborhood is informed at public meetings held too late to change the project significantly, meanwhile creating animosities.

Jessie Craig attended several of our Fargo Neighborhood Coalition meetings and neighborhood public meetings to answer questions about this project. He expressed frustration that there is no clear planning policy or guidelines for any of the entities to alleviate this painful process.

Hopefully, the answer lies in the new Core Neighborhood Plan for which the city of Fargo has hired a consultant to listen to suggestions from the various entities and to create better policy.

My statement at the planning commission meeting was, “with a new Core Neighborhood Plan on the horizon, the city of Fargo should see a clearer way for the three entities, neighborhoods, the planning department and developers to work together." My last sentence was, “and I applaud Jessie Craig for his tenacity,” referring to his many years of difficult work on this project.