Good Development

We tend to see “development” and “bad development” as synonymous.  This is largely a legitimate conclusion in Washoe County.  Bad development can bring bad traffic, flooding, school overcrowding, environmental degradation, water insecurity, fire hazard, and loss of outdoor recreation.  Bad development impacts the new homebuyers as well.  They may be part of the problem, but they are victims too.   The Washoe County Planning Commission (backed by the County Commission) has allowed zoning variations and permitted violations of plans and guidelines to allow the bad developments to proceed.  They have compounded this by ignoring CAB recommendations and public comment. Talking to our commissioners, I get the impression they feel obliged to guarantee the developers’ profits.  They will accept higher housing density and noncompliances to this end.  The commissioners seem to accept that development is detrimental to homeowners and that they should accept the loss.

But, it does not have to be that way.  Road improvements, flood mitigation, school development and low-impact design can result in new developments that benefit existing residents.  How about some playgrounds and bike paths and community centers?  Good development is possible, and we must insist on it.  Once the majority of the Great Basin is paved and suffering gridlock, it’s too late to enforce our standards.

We are derided as NIMBY’s (Not In My Backyard), an acronym promoted by the real estate associations.  I respond that this is not true: we want our standards enforced.


4 thoughts on “Good Development

  1. The Steamboat power plant exists because of a fault that allows hot liquids to rise close enough to the surface to be utilized to generate steam. I’ve seen maps that show extensive faulting through the area. Soil liquefaction is a phenomenon where under pressure (earthquake), soil and rocks behave like water and flow down the hill. Proposed houses would be in danger of being smashed by boulders without warning. Underneath the surface are innumerable more boulders, as the uplift which created the Steamboat hills occurred long after the glaciation from Mt. Rose, leaving the boulders we all deal with every time we dig. We felt an earthquake last month, and have many times before.


  2. I had told a friend that my grand daughter caught a blue tailed skink in our yard and found out they are endangered or close to being endangered. We live on Millie Lane off Shawna is that something we can use? There is only one yard behind ours then it is the Ascente development area. Just a thought.


    • Thanks for your observation. The Planning Commission ignored the issue of the Mule Deer habitat and also a Golden Eagle nest on the Ascente property, so I don’t think it would have swayed them. At this point, we don’t have an avenue to force a review of a new consideration.


  3. The driving force behind a lot of the new developments is the growth at the TRIC. Decisions made in other counties are having disastrous effects on our quality of lifr here in the Truckee Meadows. Have you considered proposing a Northwest Nevada Regional Planning Agency? It has been discussed and is similar in concept to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency that encompasses several counties and even crosses the Nevada//California state line. The TRPA has it’s faults and detractors but without it the Lake Tahoe we know today would no longer exist, buried beneath the same kind of destructive and mindless overdevelopment we’re seeing in the Truckee Meadows.

    Portions or all of Washoe, Storey, Lyon and Churchill counties would be under the jurisdiction of the NNRPA. Of course, the Washoe County commissioners will not grasp such a visionary long term solution that would require real leadership from them, much less support it. The NNRPA will have to find a champion or champions within the state government, and or support from such visionary leaders as Elon Musk. What say the WashoeRAP folks to this NNRPA concept?


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