Digging Deeper

It looks like the developers are still digging the County into a hole in Lemmon Valley.  They are presenting a tentative map proposal before the Washoe County Planning Commission on July 3 at 6:30PM at the county complex at Wells and Ninth.  The next development is called Prado Ranch North which includes 490 homes on lots ranging from 1/8 to 1/2 acre.  See this LINK  and LINK for more details.

This basin centered on Swan Lake has been flooded for over a year.  New development only means more flood hazard since the paving increases runoff and the treated waste water (sewage) ends up in Swan Lake increasing the flooding for adjacent properties.  The developer is proposing retention ponds to offset the runoff, but given the nature of the subsurface rock, there is little percolation so that the ponds could stay filled from year to year defeating their purpose.

Show solidarity with the neighborhoods all over the county.  The only chance to stop such poor development anywhere is to fight it everywhere.  Put it on your calendar.

Blockchain Center

The company, Blockchains LLC, have purchased 67,000 acres in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center.  They have opened a new center remodeled from an existing building.  They plan to hire 1,000 employees by 2021.   It is not clear how they plan to use the land they’ve acquired.  The corporation did not get tax breaks, but were attracted by a recent law prohibiting the taxation of blockchain and crypto-currency.  See the Nevada Independent article.

LINK

Sierra Reflections in limbo

The 1438 unit Sierra Reflections development between 395 and 580 in Steamboat is on hold.  The developer’s approval for the project will expire in 2020 if the final map is not submitted and approved by then.  Work cannot proceed until the final map has been submitted and the County’s conditions of acceptance have been met.  But, the County has been hearing from a developer who may want to proceed soon (Trevor Lloyd).  Look for details and the complete plan submission to the County on the Washoe Developments page.  LINK

Also, take a look at “In the Media”.  This page gets the most frequent updates with articles and opinion pieces found that relate to development.  LINK

CAB Comes Through

The South Valleys Citizens Advisory Board showed once again that they faithfully represent the interests of neighbors and residents in contrast to the Planning Commission and County Commission that consistently favor the developers.

The meeting opened with several residents expressing their opposition to the Washoe County Lands Bill as drafted.  This may have been due to the fact that Commissioner Lucey had planned to come to speak about the bill, but later cancelled.

The principal application before the Board was a development called The Estates at Marango Springs.  This 80 acre development is along the Toll Road in the Geiger Grade area.  The application was to change the zoning from several types of rural to all low-density suburban (1 dwelling per acre).  The existing zoning, consistent with the South Valleys Plan, permits up to 11 dwellings on these 80 acres.  The new zoning would permit 80 dwellings at the far end of Toll Rd.  This application was just to change the zoning and make an amendment to the South Valleys Plan to permit the higher density.  There is no tentative map showing the individual lots, connecting roads and utilities.  But, this is the crucial step.  If the rezoning is approved, then the higher density development is permitted with it’s flood risk, increased traffic, and related problems.  The residents present expressed the following concerns.

  • Runoff drainage and erosion are a problem.  It will get worse with more development.
  • Fire evacuation from Toll Rd was terrible during the 2003 wildfire.  It will be much worse with 80 more homes.
  • The developer, Fry, has a history of not fulfilling his obligations on other developments.
  • There is no water available to support 80 more homes.
  • The South Valleys Plan took five years to develop.  It’s the best template for responsible development and should be adhered to.
  • Washoe County admitted that they only had 2 code inspectors for the entire county.  There’s no confidence that compliance would be enforced.

Two staffers from the Washoe County Planning Department were present.  They argued that residents should trust the developer and the County to have a good plan when the county’s conditions were applied to the developer’s design.  Residents laughed in derision.  One resident pointed out that such a proposal must have an impact report submitted with it per the South Valleys Area Plan.  The staffers admitted there was no such report.  One resident challenged “Has the planning department ever turned down a development plan?”  The staffers struggled to think of a single case.  The response “Lemmon Valley Drive”.  There is no development by that name.  The Lemmon Valley Heights project was approved by the planning staff.  So, they couldn’t think of a single denial.  Ponder that.

Due to a “severe credibility problem” the motion was made to “reject this proposal lock, stock, and barrel”.  The motion carried unanimously.

More information: LINK

Reno’s just as bad

Thursday night, the Reno Planning Commission approved another high-density housing development in Lemmon Valley called Silver Dollar Estates. The plan is for 624 dwelling units on 92 acres of mixed detached homes, duplexes, and townhomes. Unbelievable! Commissioner Marshall’s voice of reason was drowned out by the others in a 5-1 vote despite his carefully reasoned arguments and probing questions. He also asked a key question “How do we get an aggregate number for the impact of these projects on the schools?”

He explained clearly how the new development would increase flooding around Swan Lake since waste water (sewage) effluent will flow to Swan Lake after treatment at the Reno-Stead plant. This was the reason for his “no” vote. The second contributor to flooding, rainwater runoff, will be captured in a catch basin as part of the development. Water captured in the basin may be there all year since there is little percolation through the granite layer below the surface. By the second year, the catch basin will likely overflow contributing more water for flooding. Commissioner Marshall let a couple of issues go which demonstrated the sloppy or misleading nature of the application. The Washoe County School representative could not explain why the O’Brien Middle School utilization was unchanged at 99% with the new development. He guessed it might increase to 104% and the Commission accepted his guess. Shouldn’t the Planning Commission work with credible facts? The Reno Civil Engineer couldn’t confirm that the traffic would not increase on I-395 beyond acceptable levels. Her machinations brought a scornful laugh from the attendees. Neither the school capacity nor the traffic increase issues were enough to disqualify the project. The supporters on the commission were optimistic that the flooding hazard would be addressed before the new development was built. It looks like gambling trumps engineering in city hall.