Extra! Extra!

There’s lots of news, folks.  Check it out!  Watch our “In the Media” page.

Residents sue over Wildcreek Golf Course destruction for a school.  The Save Wildcreek organization is claiming the school project violates that area plan and that the sales price is below the market value.  The action is an injunction against the school board moving forward with the plan.  The lawsuit names the school board, the Reno-Sparks Visitors and Convention Authority, the Washoe County Board of Commissioners and the City of Sparks as defendants.  Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung and Sparks City Councilman and RSCVA board member Ed Lawson were left out of the suit. Both voted against the sale of the proposed land.  It’s a tough issue.  The school is needed, but based on a number of factors, the golf course is not be a good location.  LINK

Reno knew that Lemmon Valley would flood, but approved development there anyway.  Scandalous!  Development worsens flooding in two ways.  First, the development means more pavement and surfaces that are impervious to water thus restricting the absorption of water into the soil.  Second, is that more development means more volume processed by the water treatment plant which is pumped into Swan Lake after it is partially treated.  Swan Lake then floods the neighborhoods.  LINK

The Washoe County Planning Commission over-ruled the residents’ concerns and approved the new Lemmon Valley Heights development (Lawson and Burns voted “no”).  This is remarkable malfeasance given that some of the property has been underwater for over a year.  Their proposed solution is to build catch basins as part of the development.  An experienced hydrologist has remarked that catch basins will be ineffective against flooding in this situation.  The residents will appeal to the Washoe County Commission.  The county commissioners will have an opportunity to demonstrate their integrity or to confirm that they represent the developers, not the residents.  LINK

Have you heard of the Land Use Bill?  The out-of-state developers have.  Basically, there are 73,000 acres of BLM land from Pyramid Lake to Carson City.  Much of it is in scattered parcels.  County commissioners have traveled to Washington DC to lobby Senator Heller and Representative Amodei to support a bill to transfer these properties to the cities and the county.  Once transferred, these properties could be sold to developers.  This sale would enable a huge burst in development (think of Phoenix) and expected official malfeasance.  Selling off public lands to private owners has long been an element of Republican orthodoxy.  Amodei and Heller are likely predisposed to support it.  But, this is an election year.  Please e-mail, write or call these two to express your opposition to such a bill.  It is enough to say “I am opposed to such a bill.”  LINK

Representative Mark Amodei contact

Senator Dean Heller contact

Last and least … Steve Wolgast has announced his candidacy for County Commissioner in District 2 in a bid to replace Bob Lucey.  His platform is to faithfully represent the residents, homeowners, and taxpayers of Washoe County.  This is not being done at present.  His primary platform is to see smart growth as opposed to the irresponsible plans we see now.  Wish him luck.  Look for his information at http://www.wolgast4washoe.com (it’s not visible on Google yet).  Contact him at stevecwolgast@gmail.com.

Join Together, Saturday

If you haven’t seen it on Nextdoor, we’ll have a neighborhood meeting at 4:30 at the South Valley Library, Saturday, March 10.

We’ll be discussing …

  • Steve’s candidacy
  • WRAP activity and strategy
  • The new Land Use Grab Bill

I hope we have a good turnout.  It’s been a long time since our last meeting.  The WRAP steering group didn’t want to schedule a meeting till we had identified a candidate.  It’s a while till the election, but there’s work we need to be doing now.  I know it’s short notice, but there are limited openings in the Library’s schedule.  I expect to hold the meeting to 90 minutes or less.  There will be time after the meeting to talk to each other individually.

“The Candidate”

No, it’s not Robert Redford from the 1972 movie.

The WRAP group sought a candidate to run against Lucey.  We needed a candidate with intelligence, integrity, and a knowledge of how the county worked.  We were hoping to find a Republican given the party affiliations in District 2.  We thought of a few good candidates, but none was willing to run.  A political consultant told us that finding a good candidate would be the hardest part of defeating Lucey.

So, we’re supporting a candidate who is neither a Republican nor has extensive experience with the county; me.  But, I will staunchly represent the homeowners and taxpayers of District-2 and of the county as a whole.  I will advance their interests against those of the developers or other commercial enterprises.  The commissioners taking the side of developers over homeowners is at the root of the terrible problems we’re suffering related to development.

My principals:

  • Development must be a net benefit for existing homeowners in the area.
  • Development must be sustainable relative to water availability, flood drainage, and wildfire hazard.
  • Development should follow the area plans and Re-imagine Reno so as to retain the character of the area.  We don’t want to be like Phoenix or Vegas with urban sprawl.
  • Taxpayers need to be confident that they are getting value for their revenues.  Coordination with Reno should not impose a burden on taxpayers outside the city.
  • I will not accept campaign contributions or any favor or consideration from a party with business before the commission.
  • Engineering reports must be accurate for safe development: current reports are of dubious merit.
  • Development should not disrupt the wildlife and should not cause long-term environmental harm.

I have started a website: wolgast4washoe.com.  I’m not sure it’s accessible yet.  I will be introducing myself at our next neighborhood meeting.

I will need the support of the community for my bid for office to have any chance.  Come to me with your ideas and concerns.

Steve Wolgast


I was pleased to get this endorsement from a WRAP follower (ML) who is familiar with the County.

“My favorite thing about WRAP is it allows a wide range of Washoe residents to offer their perspectives on issues of mutual concern despite our varied political views. WRAP does not care if I am a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent. The group simply cares that I wish to maintain the quality of life we cherish and that I advocate for responsible and appropriate growth and planning. While WRAP is an excellent forum for us to express our concerns about irresponsible growth and development, it goes beyond that and is an organizing body that takes thoughtful action at planning commission meetings and board of commission hearings. It is also a uniting force that brings together citizens in all commission districts to fight against bad development. The group has been defeated in more than a few battles so far, but those battles have uncovered the deficiencies that exist in the current review and approval processes and more importantly they have revealed a commission that favors ANY AND ALL development regardless of harm to existing communities. I am working to effect change in the approval process that currently does not provide an independent review of questionable reports used in supporting irresponsible development. My next blog will address that more specifically. In the meantime I encourage you to follow WRAP and share it with your friend and neighbors. United we can make a positive change in Washoe County. ”  ML

=> NEW

  • Check out my notes from meeting with Mike Kazmierski of EDAWN.  While he is a growth advocate he is concerned about poorly planned growth too.
  • See new additions to “In the Media” and “Washoe Development”.