Independence Day (Local Edition)

Something more to celebrate.

Wherever you live in Washoe County, your Planning Commissioner defended the special nature of our communities last night … twice!  Remember that the next time the county does something infuriating: your planning commissioner sided with the residents on a tough vote when it mattered.

Prado Ranch North tentative map application denied unanimously.

Prado Ranch North      Prado Ranch  KOLO-8: Prado Ranch Denied

The house was nearly full in the big auditorium.  Consideration of Prado Ranch North started about 7:30 PM.  It was voted down at 10:35 PM.  Most of the time was consumed by residents raising concerns with clear reasoning and delivery.

  • Flooding: the waste water will go to the Stead treatment plant and from there to Swan Lake raising the water level for all on its perimeter.  The area where the developer plans retention basins is already underwater.  Bringing in 1.2 million cubic feet of soil to raise the development and Lemmon Drive will displace water which will raise the level of Swan Lake.
  • Traffic/Evacuation: Lemmon Drive is impassable at one point and hampered with road degradation and reduced speeds everywhere.  Residents are making detours through the  residential streets and suffering doubling commute times and worse.  Emergency vehicle response times are now exceeding 20 minutes.  The traffic study was done January 2.  What does that represent?  Road improvements are tentatively planned for 395, but there is no commitment and no schedule.
  • Incompatibility with the North Valleys Plan: residents live in Lemmon Valley for the rural lifestyle.  They like to see the stars, to keep and ride horses, to keep livestock, and slower traffic.  Prado Ranch represents an urban neighborhood that would be out of place.
  • Schools: they are presently overcapacity in contradiction to the information provided by the developer and by the county staff.

It was impressive.  It was a little unruly, but it was democracy in action.  Congratulations, patriots!

Autumn Woods-II tentative map application denied unanimously. 

Autumn Woods Development  Autumn Woods Blog

The auditorium was mostly empty by the time the Commission convened to consider this development at 10:55 PM.

  • Flooding: the area floods routinely from Whites Creek.  One area resident pays $2500 in FEMA flood insurance indicating a high risk.  Not only does the area flood, but the developer plans to redirect drainage through a 90-degree bend.  Neither the developer nor the county staff could give a reason to be confident that flooding wouldn’t continue.
  • Traffic: the property is next door to the Montessori School on Zolezzi which has 240 students that must be dropped off and picked up every day.  Traffic onto Arrow Creek Parkway is already slow in either direction with the big, new apartment complexes on Zolezzi Lane.
  • Incompatibility: the development design is unusual and new to Washoe County.  Basically, the residences will be duplexes where the shared wall is also the lot boundary.  This is not compatible with the master plan and represents an increase in density.
  • Expired: Autumn Wood-I has been extended 8 years from the tentative map approval.  This is highly unusual and was done during the recession, apparently as an effort to support the local economy.  The drainage from Autumn Wood-II will require a change in the design of Autumn Wood-I.  This should probably require a new tentative map submission for Autumn Wood-I.

We should anticipate that this victory for residents may not hold.  The developers can expect a more sympathetic hearing from the Board of County Commissioners should they decide to appeal.  Catch up on your sleep.  We may need to do this again.

8 thoughts on “Independence Day (Local Edition)

  1. Congrats on your win with the county planning commissioners and you are right Steve now we will have to deal with the county commissioners because you know they will both appeal the decision on both losses. Why can’t they just do the right thing. I know money but for once I would like a developer do the right things


  2. Thank you for this update. Big victory for Lemmon Valley and we in the Zolezzi area have to keep up the good fight. Thrilled it was also unanimously defeated at this stage, though it is not likely the end. Power to the people!!


  3. Another thoughtful and informative post Steve, thank you. You have done more for our neighborhood communities in the past year than Commissioner Lucey has done during his entire tenure. Most importantly unlike Lucey you stand with US not developers that disregard neighborhood concerns for the sake of a few extra bucks. Vote Steve Wolgast for County Commissioner in November!


  4. I attended this meeting thanks to the postings from Whitney Freeman on NEXTDOOR. The applicants team (Autumn Hills) was huddled around the counter in the lobby outside of the council chamber following the denial at 11:30pm on Tuesday night.

    This developer needs to get a return on his investment. He is already making plans to appeal the denial,don’t you know. Bob Lucey is our county commissioner. How do you think he will vote during the appeal hearing?

    There is a general election in November. Bob Lucey has opposition. You have a couple of choices: vote for the incumbent, don’t vote for the incumbent, vote for the other guy, write in a candidate.

    This could be a referendum on development in our county. Depends on what the voters decide. Please vote all the way down the ballot. It does make a difference.


  5. The plans (based on their presentation) met all code and standards (units per acre etc). So it’s actually concerning (given the Boards mission) the Board were so easily convinced to deny it unless they know the BCC wont. The meeting and local opposition was all ‘emotion’ based and not ‘factual’. When it comes to the eventual appeal I suggest changing our tact from “but I moved here for a reason” to actual issues (traffic etc). Development has to happen (“that’s progress” according to a number of us during that meeting and now on record) so we need to find a common agreement or they will build as planned.


  6. Pingback: DEVELOPERS – 3 / HOMEOWNERS – 0 | Washoe Residents for Appropriate Planning

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s