Subsidizing Developers 2019

We’re seeing it North and South in the Truckee Meadows.

The Washoe County Commissioners are requesting a $50M bond to increase the sewer capacity in the Pleasant Valley area.  Some of this cost would go to improving an existing sewer plant and to upgrade the existing sewer line.  Some will go to expanding the capacity.  Presumably, the extra capacity would be intended to support the dreaded Sierra Reflections project in Pleasant Valley.  It would bring suburban development to the rural area.  It is a zombie project approved in 2006 and repeatedly extended outside public view.  A detailed account of the $50M proposal has been requested, but not provided by the County.  The proponents claim that the bond will be paid back by developer fees when they start their projects and STMWRF rate payers.

The Reno City Council is considering a $56M bond to provide infrastructure to support the far-flung Stonegate Development at the foot of Peavine Mountain toward Cold Springs.  The developer would like to see funds from this bond available in June.  Proponents of the bond, again claim that the bond costs will be offset from fees paid for by the developer.

Both proposals ask the City and County taxpayers to bear the costs of development at the beginning.  Both proposals have limited recourse if the developer does not complete the projects or if the housing market turns down and the developments are abandoned.  Development is like high-stakes gambling.  The developer may win big or may bust dramatically.  The taxpayers are being asked to front the chips.

Both Sierra Reflections and Stonegate are poorly planned projects that will negatively impact area residents.  Both are only possible due to the favoritism paid to developers by the County Commission and the City Council.  Issues of traffic, area compatibility, flooding, school capacity, and emergency services are not credibly addressed.  The taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing developments that despoil their neighborhoods.  This is adding insult to injury to enrich the developers.  Express your opinion to your City Council member, County Commissioner, or mayor.

Washoe County Commissioners

Reno City Council Members

One thought on “Subsidizing Developers 2019

  1. I worked in Brasil for a while. There, what payments were required to be made to officials were called “facilitation payments”. Seems like what is going on here.


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