Hawthorne Neighborhood Speaks Out on Controversial Building Project

Opponents say the new townhomes are not a fit inside the historic Hawthorne neighborhood

FARGO, N.D. — Fargo City Commissioners approved a zoning change to allow a new row of townhomes to be built in the Hawthorne neighborhood.

The new housing project is controversial and not everyone agrees that the new housing units fit in with the historic feel of the neighborhood.

Developers got the go-ahead to construct new housing units on a vacant lot in Fargo’s Hawthorne neighborhood.

“What they intend to do is construct a three–unit townhouse on the property,” said Aaron Nelson, Fargo City Planner. “They have specifics that they have submitted to the city that have gone through the historic preservation commission and have received a certificate of appropriateness.”

The new townhomes will cater to a new home buyer who wants more choices for the type of home they live in.

“We can try to provide more choice availability for people for right now,” said Nicole Crutchfield, Fargo Planning Administrator. “The easiest choice are single family house or apartment and how do we make more choices available for people across the board.”

City leaders heard the concerns from the public about what to do with here at 4th Street and 8th Avenue, but their options about what to do with the lot were limited.

Private developers purchased the vacant lot after the previous home burned down.

Fargo commissioners voted four to one to approve the zoning change.

Commissioner John Strand voted against the project to give Hawthorne residents a voice in the process.

He said opponents want something that fits in with the older neighborhood, but those types of homes can be more expensive to build and maintain.

“Some people, when looking in the old, downtown core neighborhoods, understand when they’re buying a $200,000 house that often might require re–wiring, new roofs, new utilities, new…everything, so they’re adding to that price point,” said Crutchfield.

Fargo’s population is growing and the question is how to keep up with the needs of new home buyers.

No timetable has been set for construction of the project.

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