Rough Reception for Silver Hills Project


The Silver Hills development at Silver Knolls was introduced at the North Valleys Citizens Advisory Board last night.  It was met with unbridled derision by residents primarily from Lemmon Valley and Silver Knolls.  The plan includes building 1,872 homes on 780 acres west of the Stead Airport.  The developer wants changes to the Master Plan and zoning requirements to allow 2.4 homes per acre (average).  The current zoning requires 1 acre lots.

Public Comment included the following points; it was a full house

  • Silver Knolls and Red Rock residents are concerned about declining property values due to the high density development.
  • Area schools are already at capacity and traffic is already bad.  The Stead Sewer Plant expansion is only in the “study” phase.
  • A lot of time and effort went into the Character Management Plan.  We should not make exceptions casually.  Why have a plan if every development is an exception?
  • There are 15,000 residences approved but not built and 100,000 more that could be built following current zoning.  There is no need for higher densities.
  • Lemmon Valley residents reported that their situation is more dire with increased flood coverage and failing retention levies. In Lemmon Valley, parts of the sewage levy are now underwater.  The unpaved section of Deodar is impassible.
  • How about a fund from developer fees to solve the flooding?

There was open scorn for the County and City from the residents.

  • “Does the County Commission only exist to support corporate profits?”
  • A call for a moratorium on construction generated applause from the audience.
  • “Where is Bonnie Weber?  She has been responsible for a lot of the problem development in the North Valleys.”

The developer made the following points with their presentation.

  • Their design will be further changed, so this presentation is only preliminary.  They will come back with an updated design in a couple of months.
  • They have reduced the total residence count from 2,340 to 1,872.
  • They have limited the kinds of companies that could occupy the commercial area.
  • They have updated sewer and drainage to better protect Swan Lake.

The Board members raised the following questions and made the following points.

  • “How will the developer help to improve the limited law enforcement?” (Aquila)
  • “How will traffic be managed when traffic is already a problem?” (unidentified)
  • “Our infrastructure can’t handle this additional development.” (Aquila)
  • “Why have a Master Plan if the County is so willing to make exceptions?” (Aquila)
  • “I won’t be voting for any new development.” (Edwards)
  • “I want to ‘agendize’ a discussion about how we can implement a total building moratorium.” (Edwards)
  • “The CAB should have more control over their own agenda.  [It’s been curtailed by the County Commission.]  The CAB should be able to cover issues with RTC, NDOT, and other agencies. (Lake)

The traffic report done by Paul Solaegui was hotly contested.  Residents scoffed at the traffic report that was conducted Saturday at 8AM on July 2 during the holiday weekend.  It was pointed out that the same traffic engineer did a traffic study for the Prado North development on the day after New Years Day.  The new elementary school traffic is not accounted for.

Mr. Soleagui defended his work claiming the study was “statistically meaningful”.  The new elementary school will draw traffic only in the neighborhood, so it doesn’t need to be considered.  He is very experienced and follows a lot of RTC guidelines in his work.  He is instructed which intersections to consider.  He admitted that State and County standards permit traffic congestion that most residents would find objectionable.  The audience was not convinced.

There was no vote: this presentation is preliminary and only for information.  It will be submitted to the CAB again after it has been updated.

Commissioner Herman spoke thanking residents for attending and “defending their neighborhoods”.  She also spoke of a recent trip to Washington DC and how she has “something in the works”.

Developer handout: Silver_Hills_Handout_031119_0001_scw


4 thoughts on “Rough Reception for Silver Hills Project

  1. I live in Lemmon Valley and am very disappointed at how the flooding has not only put our properties in danger but we have been forgotten about and inconvenienced by road closures and punished by being given citations for speeding in painful speed limits. The traffic situation going south on I80 is severely congested with no sights of expansion to help with all the additional building! I’ve never been so disappointed with how the county officials are running the Washoe County! It’s a travesty


  2. I would like to add to your excellent meeting synopsis that Lifestyle Homes (Silver Hills Developer) started circulating on March 9th that they had withdrawn from the March 11th meeting agenda. After notifying NVCAB they were withdrawing Silver Hills from the meeting and getting the “news” of their withdrawal circulating on various forums, the developer then still attended and presented. The positive piece was no vote could take place as they were no longer an official agenda item.

    Thank you to all the folks that attended. We must be vigilant and attend regardless of what the developer “says”.


  3. Time and again we witness that elections have consequences. We just had an election. Those consequences are going to be with us for a while.


  4. Pingback: Silver Hills Project denied by NVCAB | Washoe Residents for Appropriate Planning

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