After 4-1/2 hours of presentations and discussions, the County Commissioners voted unanimously to deny the Willey-Colorock appeal of the Board of Adjustment ruling denying their move to Pleasant/Steamboat Valley. Kudos to the 50 public speakers from the neighborhood. One played a recording of trucks backing up into the microphone to make her point (imaginative!). Thanks to Callahan neighbors who attended. Commissioner Hartung said what a difficult decision it was. Not true: he must struggle to order lunch.
The arguments to deny the appeal:
- The 36 acres is divided between steep hillsides and flood plain. It’s not really suitable for any large development.
- They would have to redirect Steamboat Creek as part of their plan.
- They would have reduced the area available for the percolation of flood water.
- They would have disturbed old Mercury deposits in Steamboat Creek.
- They would have had to build a bridge over Steamboat Creek that would require Army Corps of Engineers approval.
- The rock handling would have put dangerous silica in the air that would be carried by the high winds.
- There would have been a lot of trips by trucks large and small.
- It was in violation of the General Rural zoning and the South Valley Area Plan.
- The county staff produced a list of conditions should the project be approved that ran 12 pages long.
Commissioner Jung pointed out that Colorock was not consistent with the South Valley Area Plan. I remember her telling me to my face that if the Callahan neighbors raised the issue of the Forest Area Plan violations regarding Ascente, people would laugh. Irony and hypocrisy are yet abundant.
Anyway, I take satisfaction that the board did not do the worst, most egregious thing possible. It’s a low standard, but I’m relieved that they met it.
The County has refined the agenda: the appeal hearing regarding the Colorock move to Pleasant/Steamboat Valley will be at 3:30 PM (or later) on Tuesday, November 28. In summary, Gail Willey wants to move his wholesale rock operation into an area not zoned for industrial uses. It will be a travesty for the neighbors and set a precedent in the county for gross violations of zoning. This move has been denied by the CAB, then the Planning Commission, then the appeal to the Board of County Commissioners was denied, then the proposal to Board of Adjustment was denied. On 11/28, Willey will appeal the Board of Adjustment decision. This is truly the equivalent of putting a freeway in your yard. Let’s give credence to the state motto “of Battle Born” and take the fight to the commissioners. This is a fight for all of unincorporated Washoe. Express your rage at the gross violations and non-compliances and stand with your neighbors next Tuesday. Rumor has it that Commissioner Lucey is in favor of Colorock over the residents (voters). Being polite and reasonable has had no visible effect on this council. It’s time to make a little fuss and look toward 2018 for change.
Put it on your calendar: Tuesday, November 28! The Board of County Commissioners will hear an appeal from the Gail Willey Colorock company to overturn the Board of Adjustment decision to deny their plan to move the operation into the Pleasant/Steamboat Valley area. This is a travesty! It has been denied by the CAB, the Planning Commission, the appeal to the Planning Commission, and the Board of Adjustment. Now, they will appeal the Board of Adjustment decision to the Board of County Commissioners. It is terrible for the neighbors and a scary precedent that any zoning rule can be overturned by the corrupt board. It’s not that different than getting a freeway in your backyard. Those masters-of-malfeasance (the county commissioners) will be led by our own Bob Lucey who reportedly supports this move. I know we’re all exhausted from the unrelenting county scandals, but please attend the meeting and support your neighbors. You may find it satisfying to assert yourself against the corrupt machine. I’ll update you with the time when we have that detail.
Check out the updated “In the Media” page (LINK). You’ll see that your perceptions about the slowing real-estate market and rage at the senseless development is shared by residents all over the county. Tolles (developer) says “Houses aren’t unaffordable, it’s that wages are too low.” Irony is still plentiful.