Fir Lane, Spruce Lane projects on target for later this year.

    It’s looking more and more likely that the next phase of developer Bob Herkenhoff’s Nature View Estates in Crookston’s northeast corner is going to make major steps forward this year, with the Crookston City Council green-lighting the preliminary plat that has Fir Lane and Spruce Lane in Evergreen Estates extending east across Barrette Street and terminating in two cul de sacs that will be encircled by 12 new homes (six in each).

    The next anticipated step will involve the City Planning Commission consider the final plat, which, assuming it’s approved, would then go back to the council.

    Herkenhoff, as part of a deal with the City and CHEDA that made the City’s Barrette Estates Subdivision possible along the east side of Barrette Street, built homes along Eickhof Boulevard heading east and to the north, with many of the homes wrapping around a man-made pond he created out of the original borrow pit used for the construction of Highland School. In anticipation of the new homes to be built in the new cul de sacs, Herkenhoff is digging a second pond that will be located to the east of the cul de sacs. Noting that space is being left for a trail that heads toward the second pond, Herkenhoff said recently that he’d be open to coming up with some kind of arrangement with the City in the future that would have the pond and the area around it be designated some kind of “natural” City park.

    Building Official Matt Johnson tells the Times that it’s likely that the extended Fir and Spruce lanes, since they would both end in cul de sacs, would each likely have to lose their “lane” designations and be renamed as “court” or “circle.” He said an ordinance change would be necessary to change the streets’ names.

    The next phase of Nature View Estates has been envisioned for some time, and Public Works Director Pat Kelly, saying he anticipated something might transpire in 2019, said he’s been positioning the street improvement budget so that the extended streets and cul de sacs can be included in this year’s project list.