The Reno Planning Commission failed to approve an application by Makita for a distribution warehouse and training center on Military Road. This was to be a massive structure: 818,000 sqft on a 46 acre lot. The location is quite close to the shore of Swan Lake, but was on a rise above the shore elevation.
Neighbors expressed the following concerns:
- The current flooding in Lemmon Valley may be worse than it was in 2017. The flooding needs to be addressed before more development is approved.
- There should be a moratorium on new construction until the flooding is addressed.
- Lemmon Drive is closed due to flooding. The only access to the neighborhoods is Military Road. Construction would constrict traffic further.
- Pompe Road has water flowing through the base road bed. It is at risk of washing out.
- Water is flowing under the existing Hesco barriers.
- Some detention ponds in the area are empty despite the bad flooding.
- The detention ponds don’t work.
- The toxic water is now close to the neighborhood school.
- It’s been 2-1/2 years that the floods have been present. The neighbors should be thanking the City for solving the problem by now; not reminding them of the crisis.
- The warehouse lot isn’t level. Where will the sediment flow after all the grading is done?
One neighbor suggested that detention ponds be dug close to Swan Lake to reduce flooding. He further suggested that the developer in this case could do some of it since the property borders on Swan Lake.
The developer’s engineer asserted that the site will incorporate over a million gallons worth of detention pond volume. This will more than compensate for the increased run-off due to the paving. The developer’s hydrologist admitted that the detention ponds need regular “maintenance” to be effective. This mainly involves digging out accumulated silt so that the pores in the base soil can drain the water. He said that the maintenance would be a good idea after every major storm. That sounds impractical.
The commissioners made the following points.
- We need a comprehensive solution to the flooding in the area involving, Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County. This ad-hoc approach is insufficient. (Marshall)
- We’re trying to solve the problem by applying conditions to the individual developments rather than tackle it on a larger scale.
- This tall warehouse is on a rise so that it would be visually prominent even with landscaping. (Johnson)
The vote was 3-3 which means that the project was not approved.
For: Weiske, Gower, Olivas
Against: Marshall, Johnson, Hawkins
Griffith recused herself since her family company is working on this project