Lemmon Valley Warehouse not approved

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


Daybreak Redux, Ward 3 NAB 3/5/19



Not content with just a lawsuit against Reno for denying the original Daybreak project, the developers are making another attempt to get the project approved piecemeal.  Last night, the developer presented two requests for master plan amendments (and re-zoning) and presented a third project for tentative map approval.  The new re-zoning requests are for projects called South Meadows West and Rio Wrangler North II.  The third project was the Butler Ranch North development which has received the zoning amendment and now seeks tentative map approval.  The tentative map will provide minimal detail since it defines 9 “villages”.  The developer plans to sell the village parcels to developers who will complete the plan and apply for tentative maps individually.  The Rio Wrangler North development is also part of the Daybreak project.  It is located east of the Rio Wrangler North II project.

The Reno Neighborhood Advisory Board (NAB) meeting was sparsely attended.  One neighbor expressed concerns about traffic, school overcrowding, flooding, and Mercury contamination.  She appeared to speak for other neighbors present.

The developer’s spokesman (from Wood Rogers) admitted that the individual developments were components of the original Daybreak project.  The South Meadows West and Rio Wrangler North form the southern part of the original Daybreak proposal north of the Damonte Ranch area.  The Rio Wrangler North II development fits between the South Meadows West and Rio Wrangler North developments.  The massive Daybreak project lies on the west side of Veterans Parkway between South Meadows Parkway and Mira Loma Drive.  It is not clear whether there were any changes between the original plan and the sum of the new subordinate plans.  One key point was that the Butler Ranch North project can’t be built without the Rio Wrangler North being approved.

The NAB has a limited role to inform residents of plans in the Ward and also to convey feedback to the Planning Commission regarding public input.  The Planning Commission will hear the Butler Ranch North project on either April 3 or April 17.  The South Meadows West and Rio Wrangler North II projects will go to the Planning Commission on April 17.  Residents can express themselves by attending these meetings.  Alternately, they can contact their Planning Commissioner Peter Gower.  The NAB and the developer are requesting feedback with their project review form.  This will be used to inform the developer and the Planning Commission, but may not be as effective as contacting Peter Gower or other planning commissioners directly.