There was little relating to development on today’s agenda at the Reno City Council (July 24). Most of the 27 speakers came to speak on item D-1 relating to enforcement actions against the homeless. That item was pulled from the agenda at the last minute.
Councilwoman Brekhus had announced that there would be a moratorium motion discussed at this meeting, but it was not on the agenda. She made this commitment following the joint Reno/Washoe County meeting on April 29 that covered flooding in Swan Lake. Speakers from the North Valleys felt betrayed.
Speakers during general public comment made the following points.
- A moratorium is long overdue: there is no plan to address the flooding, and construction continues unabated.
- Reno does not appear to have done anything to address the flood risk since the April meeting with Washoe County.
- What is Reno doing to prepare for the coming rainy season now that the flood waters have receded?
- Do repairs to the Hesco barriers mean that these are seen as a permanent fixture around Swan Lake?
- Why do we need to keep building? Is it really a benefit to the residents?
- The North Valley’s plan for development is insane. The sewer plant is already non-compliant.
- Fire and police services are not keeping up with growth in the area.
- The city should be firing people responsible for the flooding and the recovery effort including the city manager (Sabra Newby) and public works director (John Flansberg).
- The city lost the class-action suit: the city knowingly flooded the Swan Lake neighbors. How would the council redeem itself to regain the trust of all residents?
Mayor Schieve announced that there would be a special meeting dedicated to the topic of a moratorium on August 5 at 5:30PM in the city council chambers.
After the public comment, we saw the sparks fly on the dais. Councilwoman Brekhus expressed her dismay that her moratorium motion was not on the agenda after she had specifically requested it to be. She then requested that it be on the next meeting’s agenda for July 31. She made the point that “moratoriums are of the essence. They are a suspension of regulations and activity for a period of study and evaluation and planning. Since May, there have been additional hookups (Lemmon Valley) and a lot of earth-moving.” She is concerned that not only will it be detrimental to the community up there that is bearing the brunt of the un-managed growth and inadequate infrastructure, but that it will disrupt new business when the city runs out of capacity to support new additions up there. She doesn’t want to wait till the August 5 meeting to “start to queue-up the process”. She expects that implementing a moratorium will take multiple steps and that we need to start the process now. Mayor Schieve responded sharply (presumably regarding putting items on the agenda). You can see the exchange at the 1:59 time mark on the meeting video.
Note: there is now security screening with a metal detector to get into the city council chambers. It is new today and caused a big delay for attendees to the city council meeting.
A Moratorium on building has got to be done and quickly. I know the city wants the increased revenue on building but we do not have the infrastructure in place to take care of the increased population. The roadway system has to be increased and not just new signal lights. You need new roads to take care of the new inflow of drivers. Lights to slow down or meter traffic but do a feasibility study when the children are in school and get a clear picture of how many vehicles use the present roads and act accordingly. A Moratorium is the only way to address those issues. Next, the flooding issue is going to be an ongoing problem. Does the city have Emergency measures in place to combat flooding? Stop-gap measures were put in place after the floods but a more permanent measure has to be put in place. Another point with the increased building animal habitat to the predatory species is being destroyed and with no place to go those animals are encroaching our neighborhoods. Now you have more responses for animal control and the Police department and Sheriffs department. Law enforcement is already overwhelmed and the increased population sorry to say will increase crime. A green belt has to be left in designated no build locations so that area wildlife has some to retreat to. We need fewer art projects and more projects to take care of the infrastructure. These are only a few items many more need to be discussed during a Moratorium on building. Thank you all I hope this letter doesn’t fall on deaf ears. I moved here from California 8 years ago to escape high taxes and urban sprawl and I do see that happening here. Thank you again for reading my concerns. Lawrence Anthony De Silva Concerned citizen and Homeowner Lemmon Valley
On Fri, Jul 26, 2019 at 6:08 AM Washoe Residents for Appropriate Planning wrote:
> Steve Wolgast posted: “There was little relating to development on today’s > agenda at the Reno City Council (July 24). Most of the 27 speakers came to > speak on item D-1 relating to enforcement actions against the homeless. > That item was pulled from the agenda at the last minut” >
Thank you so much for all you are doing to keep us up to date on this. I did notice a new Public Notice posted right in the center of roundabout near the Harrah Ranch development. Of course it was specifically in an area that you can’t see it and you can’t stop or even slow down. Afraid its going to be to increase the density again.