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.
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