At their November 7 meeting, the Washoe County Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny the zoning amendment and master plan amendment which would permit the development of the Estates at Marango Springs development at the south end of Toll Road (at Marango Road). The application was denied because none of the five required “findings” were met according to the planning commissioners. The current plan is to build 50 homes on the 80 acre property.
Discussion points, notes
- Commission counsel advised Thomas Bruce to recuse himself since the applicant, Harry Fry, is his dentist. Thomas Bruce did so.
- A super-majority is needed to approve this amendment. Derek Wilson (Rubicon Design) representing the applicant asked what the super-majority vote threshold would be given that Commissioner Horan is absent and Commissioner Bruce is recused. Commission counsel replied that a minimum of 4 “yes” votes would be needed to approve.
- Commissioner Lawson had gone to see the site in preparation for the meeting.
- The applicant will need to obtain water rights for this new development. The applicant will pay for water and sewer to be extended to this new development.
- The possibility was raised that Toll Road have an extension to connect it to Rhodes Road so that there would be more flexibility to handle traffic. A Rhodes Road resident spoke out against this possibility. The applicant did not offer to build this extension.
- Several residents of Majestic Ranch Estates testified to bad faith interactions with the applicant, Harry Fry, and made reference to a pending suit against him for issues relating to Majestic Ranch homes.
- Derek Wilson asserted that no traffic study would be required for such a small development, but did not refer to a specific statute indicating this. Trevor Lloyd (county planner) said that a traffic study is needed if the peak traffic is expected to exceed 80 trips. Toll Road and Marango Road have no shoulder or sidewalks, so traffic safety is a critical issue. It currently takes REMSA (ambulance service) nine minutes to respond to an emergency on Toll Road when there is only light traffic. A fire fighter testified that it took an hour for fire crews to reach the end of Toll Rd. during a wildfire evacuation.
- One area resident says that he has seen four 100-year floods in the 27 years he has lived there. Flooding is a chronic problem in the area.
- Commissioner Chesney expressed concern that there is already a lot of development approved but not yet built in the area that will increase traffic. He says that the LDS zoning is not applicable since some of the property is on a slope which cannot be built on.
- A long time resident pointed out that it took years to develop the area plan, and that this development will not be compliant. Commissioner Lawson read the introduction from the South Valleys Area Plan and pressed Mr. Lloyd about the importance of the “character statement”. Commissioner Chesney asserted that the South Valleys are being “laid to waste” by development. He hesitates to go against the neighbors.
James Barnes, Thomas Bruce (recused), Sarah Chvilicek, Larry Chesney, Francine Donshick, Mike Lawson, Phillip Horan (absent)