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Challenges of Fargo's Rapid Growth - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Challenges of Fargo's Rapid Growth

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Fargo is expanding, and it is expanding fast!  Although the recent surge in construction and population in our region is positive, Fargo leaders say city sprawl is becoming a challenge.  Fargo leaders met on Friday to discuss the city's blossoming growth, especially on the southern end of town.

The city planning commission talked about what that expansion means for roads, utilities, and flood control in the coming years. They say in order to keep new development efficient and accessible, the city and community designers have to work together.

"Connectivity matters, so I agree that we want to work with developers but I think we also want to understand that this has to work as a system for delivery of services for the fire department, the garbage, the utility, and so I don't think we can leave it up to the developers as to how those roadways work," explains Fargo City Commissioner Mike Williams.

Some commission members also turned the focus to population density, saying having more people in a smaller area would save the city in infrastructure and services costs. Williams says it's time refocus efforts to grow upward, rather than outward, to help meet Fargo's expansion goals.

"The way we've been growing is not necessarily conducive multi-use development and increased density our stated goal in our land development code is nine people per acre and right now we have about 48 parcels of land and our density is about four," Williams explains.

City officials say reaching that population density goal shouldn't be an issue. Right now, Fargo has about 110,000 people living within it's 48 parcels of land. Compare that with Boston, which has 700,000 people among it's 48 parcels. San Francisco has a million people living in just 45 parcels of its metro area.

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