Autumn Wood Proposed Development – Incompetence or Corruption?

Phase2PublicHearingAutumn Wood Site Map

Post by guest writer Whitney Freeman, concerned Washoe resident

Incompetence or Corruption?

Either way, the residents of Washoe County pay the price. WRAP continues to give voice to concerned citizens. in the many cases in Washoe County where elected officials and paid Washoe County staff do not adequately consider existing Master Plans and existing residents safety when reviewing development applications. Yet again, another development seems to be receiving “special consideration.”

Major development in already congested area at the bottom of Zolezzi and in direct conflict with the Thomas Creek Southwest Character Management Plan:

Autumn Wood, Phase 1 – originally approved in 2006 on land zoned LDU b/c what existed on the parcel previously was a very rural mobile home park. Fast forward to 2010, the Master Plan is adopted and Low Density Urban (LDU) isn’t even an allowed regulatory zone, yet somehow the development plan receives another 8 years of extensions requested by the owner of the parcel. How is it possible that a Washoe County Planner reviews the request and finds that “the development plan is consistent with the Master Plan”? How can 47 dwelling units be consistent with a neighborhood composed entirely of single family detached homes and rural farm lands? How can LDU zoning exist when it isn’t allowed in our master plan? How can the vision and character management of the area be completely ignored? Incompetence or corruption….

Autumn Wood, Phase 2 – D.R. Horton, while in the process of purchasing the Phase 1 parcel, submits an application to amend the Master Plan so that they can develop the second parcel at an increased density, again, in conflict with the Medium Density Suburban (MDS)regulatory zone placed on the parcel. Over 200 neighbors, and Mountain View Montessori (MVM, the school adjacent to the property) oppose this application and D.R. Horton pulls the application. Despite stating that it wouldn’t make financial sense for his company to purchase the land if they cannot build at the increased density, Tom Warley proceeds with the purchase of the land. We suspect the purchase was made for two reasons: 1) they realized that one side of the TMWA water easement they would need for their development existed on that land 2) they also realized that they had to redirect the water from the ditch that would run along the front of Phase 1. Which brings me to another question: how did the Phase 1 development get approved in the first place if the ditch is being redirected to the separate/back lot – owned by a separate entity – The Catholic Bishop?

The parcel that they want to build Phase 2 on is zoned Medium Density Suburban and is limited to 3 dwelling units, single family detached, per acre in the Master Plan. I read that to mean – 3 houses allowed on each acre. What D.R. Horton is trying to push through (under our noses!) is actually 16 houses on only approx. 1.94 acres; they are using two thirds of the 5.83 acre parcel for the detention ponds (remember they have to send the water from the ditch that was on the first lot somewhere). They couldn’t get the application to amend the master plan through, so how are they getting this approved? They are requesting to reduce the required side yard setback from 8 feet to 0 feet so that the houses can share a common wall – thus creating ATTACHED townhomes! How is it possible that Washoe County Planner, Roger Pelham (interestingly – on vacation until July 2), thinks this application is in compliance with the Master Plan? Incompetence or corruption……

There are many other issues with this proposed development, but these are the major and obvious concerns that should be handled by 1) the PAID Washoe County staff and, 2) the ELECTED county commissioners – this is Bob Lucey’s District.  This is yet another example of poor planning and corrupt land development practices.

WHO TO CONTACT: We recommend that you put your concerns in writing….and request a face to face meeting if possible!

ELECTED COUNTY COMMISSIONER FOR THE AREA – up for re-election I might add:

Bob Lucey: 775-328-2012



Roger Pelham, MPA, Senior Planner


**While he is conveniently out of office until July 2 (date of public hearing) emails are still encouraged

Roger’s Planning Commission Staff Report:


2 thoughts on “Autumn Wood Proposed Development – Incompetence or Corruption?

  1. Pingback: Independence Day (Local Edition) | Washoe Residents for Appropriate Planning

  2. Whitney,
    Possible to contact you offline regarding this Autumn Woods abomination? Have enjoyed your posts and want to run something by you regarding Tuesday night’s Planning Commission meeting.



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