The new Washoe Citizens Action Network held it’s first meeting last night. It was attended by about 60 area activists who seemed well informed about many aspects of the City and County issues.
Brandon Camp introduced the new organization and the vision he has for moving forward. He is hoping to involve residents from all over the county to fight the destructive development. The group might turn its attention to other issues over time.
Bill Johnson (Commissioner candidate) asserted that the Truckee Meadows was being offered as a fire sale to developers. He favors responsible development, but not the recent development. He mocked developers who claim they will offer “open space”.
Tammy Holt-Still (Lemmon Valley/Swan Lake Recovery Committee) made the point that the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Authority has the responsibility to oppose much of the problematic development. She has met with Mayor Schieve and Councilwoman Duerr to describe the inadequacies of flood insurance as applicable to the Daybreak Development.
Jeanne Herman (County Commissioner) wants to see the return of the Citizens Advisory Boards broader role and extensive coverage. This is the citizen’s voice. She says the developers are running the government. She wants to see the area plans updated.
Carly Borchard (Verdi Community Council) discussed her community’s efforts fighting the big West Meadows development, and how the plan was reduced from 600 homes to 300 homes due to citizen involvement.
Steve Wolgast (Commissioner candidate) described his experience with the county regarding a development and how this inspired him to help found the WRAP group. It further inspired him to run for county commissioner against Bob Lucey.
Mike Lawson (Planning Commissioner) could not be present, so Steve presented his principal concerns. The first is the use of misleading engineering reports paid for by the developers and treated as authoritative by the county planners and county commissioners. These are consistently biased to support the developer’s plans. The second is the existence of “zombie” projects. These are projects that were approved, but never built. These have received special extensions by the county. If they hadn’t, the approvals would have expired long ago. No one knows the fate of these projects. There are developments totaling 68,000 dwelling units in this category when only 42,000 are expected to be needed by 2038. This is a big issue that tilts any planning effort.
The audience contributed during a Q & A session.
- They want plans and calls to action, not just discussion.
- The county isn’t following proper procedures and endangering federal funding.
- The county is vulnerable due to violations of the Open Meeting Law.
Brandon closed the meeting with an emphasis on working together across the county and across political and other differences. He plans to call another public meeting in January.
See more detailed notes here: WashoeCAN_Meeting-Notes_121118