We are a group of Washoe County neighbors. The original group is from South Reno in the Steamboat Hills area. We have been fighting a development called Ascente that will destroy our rural lifestyle. The new plan is not in compliance with codes or safety requirements. It was nonetheless approved by the Planning Commission with little review despite the compliance problems being explored in detail. We have appealed their decision to the County Commission which voted against us unanimously. We have discovered that both the Planning Commission and the County Commission strongly favor the developers to the point that development plans will be approved despite glaring non-conformities. Beyond this, we see the county staff, the construction engineering firms, and the property attorneys are all supporting the developers. It is a self-supporting system that is immune to public outrage except at the ballot box. Since all five county commissioners vote on any new development, it is not sufficient to pressure or even replace a single county commissioner. Fighting bad development must be done at the county level.
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Our mission is to shape development in Washoe County to enhance our neighborhoods and the county as a whole rather than to build indiscriminately. What we have is precious. Much of the appeal and beauty of Washoe County is threatened with the current development trajectory which seems to favor the most rapid, extensive development with little regard to the impact on our resources, infrastructure and services. There is an initiative to promote Reno as the next Silicon Valley, but if that growth is improperly managed we’ll end up a sprawling strip mall city lacking resources and devoid of character. Learn more about the effects of urban sprawl HERE
Bring public pressure to bear on all the county commissioners since they are elected. They are responsible for the planning commissioners that they appointed. This is a grass roots initiative that depends on a lot of people each doing a little bit.
- Follow the county planning and zoning meetings to see what developments are in the works. Attend meetings as needed.
- Inform our neighbors through conversation, e-mail, and social media.
- Use print and other media to communicate our concerns and our efforts
- Support each other for presentations and appeals.
- Support candidates for the county commission who will promote beneficial development rather than indiscriminate development
UNITE! The county district system keeps neighborhoods isolated and politically ineffective. Since all the county commissioners get to vote on a development, we need to work together across all the districts; across the entire county. We can be effective if we work together and don’t let our differences divide us.