The Ascente preparations are moving forward. They have been using a tracked excavator this week to cut trenches to locate earthquake faults. Our first impression is that they are not following best practice and may not be making a good-faith effort to find the faults. Since they fill in their trenches immediately, we can’t see what they’ve unearthed or whether the trench is deep enough to be informative. They have also started drilling at selected locations to see how deep the loose soil and rocks are before they hit the base rock. This will indicate how difficult it will be to excavate to level the roads and the lots and run the trenches.
We are advancing too. We are planning a strategic meeting for the WRAP initiative. Our PAC is now registered with the state. We have updated our officers to include Kristin Hemlein, David Sater, and Steve Wolgast (me). We are waiting for the IRS to assign an EIN number which is required before we can open a bank account.
There is a lot of new material in the “In the Media” tab about recent articles and letters regarding development and the housing market. The housing market is slowing nationally, and anecdotal evidence indicates it’s slowing in Callahan too.
I would encourage readers to sign up for the blog. Our plan is to issue about 4 posts a month, so we won’t fill up your “in box”.
Here’s a quick view of our status and efforts.
The effort to file a judicial petition has been abandoned and the deadline passed September 4. We worked hard to find a lawyer to represent our case – most had conflicts due to the fact that they represent the developers in one capacity or another. The attorneys that did take the time to review our case, before declining to act – felt that there was enough evidence to support the board’s decision and that it would be a waste of our money to take the case. The lawyers’ statements to Julia were – if the Commissioners had a plausible reason that the project was OK, then they were not being arbitrary and capricious (the standard). The Planning Commission and their county staff said it was OK, so they are probably in a defensible position even if the information was false, or inadequate. We are discussing what to do with the money in our Gofundme account for the legal effort.
A number of specific permits will be needed for the construction work to proceed. these can be individually challenged.
Julia Gold will begin efforts to explore other options to see if preserving part of the property – most likely the southern part that is adjacent to Forest Service land is possible as soon as she gets through a couple of her own work related deadlines. If anyone is interested in working with her on this endeavor – please let me know and I will get you in touch with her.
Ascente seems to be hard at work to advance their project. This week Lumos dug two trenches to investigate for faults: their initial work appears to be suspect. Kristin and another geologist are tracking their efforts.
Ken and Todd have met with a county engineer to understand the project schedule and identify when specific conditions are likely to be met and documented.
The formation of the PAC is proceeding, but the steps have been time consuming. Part of our current effort is to identify good candidates for our board from other parts of the county.
Hello neighbors! Its Ryan again. I’m writing you on behalf of Ken, Todd and myself. We wanted to thank everyone for all the hard work you have put into this fight against Ascente and have a good ol neighborhood BBQ to blow off steam on this whole issue. So anybody who has been involved or will be affected by this monstrosity are more than welcome to join us at Ken’s house.
5250 Shawna Ln
Friday the 15th, 5-9
Just bring something to throw on the grill, maybe a dish for potluck and your trusty lawn chair. If anyone can help with extra grills and tables, let us know. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to see you all there!
Randi Thompson has a new piece in Sunday’s RGJ promoting the new “Plan Truckee Meadows” survey. It has several lies that we should counter. I’m hoping to see letters to RGJ countering her assertions.
- “Current development is better planned that older developments.” She cites Ascente as an example of a good plan with attention to traffic and safety. Safety concerns weren’t addressed at all.
- “Community input is valuable and important.” This is patently untrue. The county ignores citizens’ input and the Citizens Advisory Board reports. Lucey appears to be truly owned by the developers, and maybe Berkbigler too. All the citizen involvement is a sham.
- “Growth is inevitable.” Some growth may be inevitable, but EDAWN, Berkbigler, and Sheive are making a special effort to lure businesses to the area through special incentives and tax arrangements. So, at least some of the growth we’re seeing is artificially stimulated.
It’s easy to hate Randi, but that’s misdirected. She’s a paid lobbyist for the developers and real estate interests. I think of her as being like the doctors that spent a generation claiming that cigarette smoking didn’t cause cancer. They were paid by the tobacco industry.
RGJ will only accept one letter a month per person, and so I can’t submit one now. Submitting a letter is easy (link to instructions). My approach is to write a draft, and then go back and pare it down to meet the 160-word limit. Washoe County is blatantly corrupt with regard to development. We need to keep this perception at the forefront.
It’s been slow with a bunch of intermediate steps, but the WRAP PAC is taking shape. We need to get going since we’re fighting entrenched interests with a lot of money.
- Bob Parker, David Sater and I are the officers for the PAC.
- I have sent the PAC registration form to the Nevada Secretary of State
- I have sent a request to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number. While we have no employees, we need this number to get a checking account for the PAC.
- I visited a Great Basin branch and have a list of the documents needed to open an account.
- We are reviewing a draft set of bylaws for the organization.
The officers are needed to establish the PAC, but that does not define their roles. We are considering candidates to join our board from all over the county. Once we have a board, we can begin to consider the principal efforts of defeating Lucey and maybe Jung in 2018. Also, we need a sustained outreach effort to individuals and area groups to advance the cause.
Lastly, I’ve created a new “In the Media” page showing recent articles about the commissioners and development in the area. I still struggle mightily with WordPress, but I have some progress to show. I hope this page is visible on the site. I encourage neighbors to continue the drumbeat of negative press about problem development and problem commissioners. We will not have the campaign budget to cover a lot of TV advertising. We need to build on the widespread dissatisfaction with the commissioners and the direction of development.