Changing the way the Washoe Planning Commission and the County Commission operate will need to be a grassroots effort. We need to inform and motivate people to effect the change. Against us will be a lot of developer money producing slick ads and spreading disinformation to discredit us and our positions. Our strength comes from the many residents who are enraged, disgusted, or disheartened by the way developments are spoiling our neighborhoods and the Truckee Meadows in general. Part of our effort is to keep the current problems in the public eye.
- Write a letter to the Reno Gazette Journal: 160 words maximum, your name, your city, your address (not published), and your phone number (not published). Use the form on the RGJ website or sent your letter to “firstname.lastname@example.org” Shorter letters are welcome: RGJ will come up with a title.
- Write a letter to This Is Reno: send it to Bob Conrad; email@example.com .
- Post your opinions on Facebook and include a reference to washoerap.com .
Topics you might want to address:
- Development in Washoe County is out of control! There are over 100 approved development projects that have not been built. More are in the works.
- Why don’t the planning commissioners and county commissioners have the discipline to follow the area plans and established zoning?
- Will we have broader, regional flooding problems given the area of the Great Basin that is being paved?
- How do our development plans address the coming drought and the many drought years to come? I have heard that the state regulators laugh at TMWA for their reckless commitments.
- Why is it OK for county commissioners to accept campaign contributions from developers and then to judge their projects? A small amount of the contributions are idenified; the others are hidden using lawyers and lobbyists as middle-men.
- Reno was identified as one of the top 25 destinations by Outdoor Magazine. But, we are developing the Steamboat Hills that are desirable for horseback riding and mountain biking. If we want tourism, we need to preserve the rugged beauty of the Great Basin.
- Pell mell development is supported by the city and county partly because the tax revenues are like a ponzi scheme. This is worsened by the unfair property tax formula that depreciates older homes of comparable value to new homes.
- We have a shortage of affordable housing, but the majority of the new homes are in the $500,000 to $1,500,000 price range. The commissioners say “We need the housing and it’s not our problem if it’s not affordable.”
- Why isn’t there a requirement that some of the new homes are built with solar panels to power air conditioning? This is incorporated in many new developments in California. It’s a benefit to the buyer because the solar system cost becomes part of the mortgage and the utility savings are immediate.
- What about protecting our wildlife? The planning commission ignores the issue of the destruction of habitat for eagles, deer and many other native species; even ones with federal protection.
- Fire services for both Reno and Truckee meadows are presently stretched scandalously thin. How will we support additional residents?
Your letter or post will remind readers of the ongoing problems and motivate them to effect change. As the author, you may find it cathartic to make your point and “get it out of your system”.
Thank you. This is so helpful. I will work on getting letters/comments off to each of these entities. Most of us aren’t unconcerned, just overwhelmed in our daily lives.
I have a related question concerning the Washoe County Public Lands Bill. The county had a form on their website for submitting comments on this odious proposal. Is it correct that comments submitted through the county’s “Open Government” webpage become part of the public record concerning the particular issue? And, that emails sent in from private email accounts can be ignored and not be considered as being part of the public record concerning the particular issue? Asking this because the county removed the input form for their Public Lands Bill.
If you think we have poor planning and overdevelopment now, wait and see what happens should the county’s proposed Washoe County Public Lands Bill become law! 73,000 acres of our local public land to be available for purchase by developers! The county is working on this bill under the radar, hardly anyone knows about it. Thank you for putting this great website together, you are making an important difference.
I’m afraid it is news to me. I’ll see what I can find out. Steve
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Steve, the fact that you, who are completely immersed in county planning and government didn’t know about the county’s public lands bill is even more of an indictment of the county’s lack of transparency and efforts to keep their work on this bill under the radar until it’s too late. It will be very helpful if you can use your website to publicize what the county is up to. They do have it listed on their website, but the only people who find it are those who go out of their way to maneuver through the site. They are not actively publicizing it.
I have another comment, this one about TMWA. I’m concerned about water shortages, not only due to the present irresponsible development but even more concerned about the proposed extreme population growth that will be enabled by Washoe County’s little known proposed Public Lands Bill that allows for 73,000 acres of our local public land to be put up for sale to the highest bidding developers.
I note that the TMWA board of directors consists solely of political appointees. Nearly all of them and those who donated to their campaigns stand to financially benefit from over-development of our water resources, giving the appearance of conflict of interest.
I also note that none of them appear to have any technical qualifications. Water is being treated as a purely political issue, when the lack of water to support continued development is a technical issue and is dependent on mother nature and the laws of physics, neither of which respond to developer’s campaign donations.
I believe that the current system of political appointees clearly amounts to the fox watching the chicken coop. At least one of the board members should be a Citizen at Large and another board member should be a qualified Technical Advisor who can advise the board on the realities of the Truckee Meadows water resources. Our water supply should not be under the control of political appointees who have no technical backgrounds and are themselves politicians and unduly influenced by self interest and the interests of other politicians who have appointed them.
There is some sort of Standing Advisory Committee “SAC” that seems to concern itself mainly with financial issues like rate increases. I note also that the SAC members are appointed by the board of directors. This does not seem healthy either.
I am not a lawyer and I don’t know if my concerns about possible TMWA Board of Directors ethical violations are valid. Who can we take this issue to? I personally am saying “Enough!” to the county’s irresponsible activities.
You mention that you’ve heard that our state regulators laugh at TMWA for their reckless commitments. The state regulators should not be laughing while we who pay them are suffering. State regulators need to be doing their jobs too and held accountable. Specifically who is laughing? We need to go after them with our votes. We get the government that we deserve.
I have noticed from attending development meetings that whenever water issues are brought up, they are dismissed, saying they have plenty of water. You may recall that last year, TMWA was airing ads stating that Reno only used 3% of the Truckee River water. Not sure where they dreamt up that number. 42 years ago, there was concern that there wouldn’t be enough water for too much growth, and that was when Damonte Ranch was still a ranch, not endless development! Just because a developer has purchased water rights to develop a piece of property, doesn’t mean there will be water to back it up and deliver to the people in the development. If this year fell on the heals of 2016, this area would be in a real world of hurt. There are a lot of residents who were told that the Montreux development would not affect domestic wells in the area. Several wells went dry, but the county doesn’t seem to care. The developers got what they wanted and the County was left holding the bag and hooking those residents to city water, that they didn’t want. Definitely, not enough due diligence is done, at least, not by the right people. I purchased my home in part, because it had a well. I also don’t have the $20,000 – $50,000 to hook up to city water should the county goof up again.TMWA received a bit of a windfall when the Truckee Carson Irrigation District in Fallon, sold their water right interest in Donner Lake to TMWA. I believe they have spent those water rights ten times over already.
Do we realize we live in a desert?While last you we received plenty of water, this is not the norm. Also what costs have not been considered with unlimited building. Cost of education, police, fire, roads and many other costs associated with over expansion. Also traffic is already a mess and a danger to current residents.
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