Daybreak Decision Delayed (9/11/19)

The Reno City Council voted 4-3 to delay a decision on the Daybreak development until their meeting on September 23.  This review is proceeding in an unusual way because the investors (Newport Pacific Land Co.) have already gone to court and negotiated a stipulation with the City Attorney (Karl Hall) and Council Members Delgado and Reese.  Following the denial of the project by the Reno City Council on November 28, 2018, NPLC went to the Reno Planning Commission with a proposal for a part of the Daybreak project called Rio Wrangler North II.  The Planning Commission denied this project, and NPLC went to court with a petition for judicial review and a claim for $50M in damages against Reno for the original Daybreak project.  Their claim is that the city denied them their project unfairly thereby “taking” value from their property.  The stipulation mandates that Reno must agree to the Daybreak plan with minimal changes or go to court starting on September 27.  The main point being that the city cannot add more conditions to the project to gain approval.  The court action on September 27 would be Reno’s motion to dismiss the case brought by NPLC.

Neighbors were disappointed that the city council did not affirm their previous denial of the Daybreak project, but it was understandable that the majority preferred to delay.  NPLC has made many changes to their plan and provided this information to the council members just yesterday.  They do not have a new, complete proposal, so the Reno Planning Department will need to update the existing plan with these changes.  Once the changes are incorporated, the council members will be able to review them, but this must all happen in less than 12 days.  None of the council members were satisfied with the accelerated schedule.  Voting for delaying the decision until September 23 were Reese, Delgado, Jardon, and Weber.  Voting to deny the project again were Brekhus, Schieve, and Duerr.

Karl Hall gave a presentation describing the stipulation and the “order on stipulation”.  He also covered the choices facing the city.  (Daybreak_Discussion_KHall)

Andy Durling of Wood Rogers gave a presentation describing the proposed changes.  He spoke like an auctioneer to try to cover the material in the 10 minutes allotted.  No reasoned conclusion could be drawn under these circumstances. (His presentation is not available at this time.)  He went on to make the point that the zoning amendment had already been approved for the Butler Ranch North portion and that NPLC could proceed with that and it would not get some “improvements” that are incorporated in the new plan.

Points made during public comment; (note: there were 124 comments received in opposition online.  There were four comments received online in support)

  • There is already area flooding due to blocked drainage channels that are not maintained.
  • The Daybreak development could cause flooding leaving Reno liable as they were for the Lemmon Valley flooding.
  • Earlier development projects contributed more to the community in terms of schools, fire, road improvements, etc.
  • Reno staff admits they don’t enforce requirements in the Reno Development Handbook.  We are not confident the flood mitigation features will be incorporated.
  • This process is not transparent.  It looks like “Let’s make a deal.”
  • There have been many “100-year” floods in recent history.
  • Daybreak only considered flooding on the Truckee River.  They did not consider flooding on Steamboat Creek.
  • Reno has no enforcement on previous developments that violated the master plan.
  • The council was right to deny the project earlier.  They should affirm this decision.
  • Reno should buy the Daybreak properties from the investors and set it aside for recreation and flood control.
  • The wetlands are critical for the wild horses and other wildlife.
  • NPLC is a real-estate speculation firm.  They can’t commit to what the developers will do later.
  • Only 245 homes were approved in the original Butler Ranch development.
  • Why should Reno grant NPLC an exemption from the Re-Imagine Reno master plan?  If every developer gets an exemption, the master plan is meaningless.
  • We need common sense development that does not engender these problems of flooding and traffic.

Discussion by the council members and staff;


  • The stipulation violates the Hanson Rule related to legal counsel acting on behalf of a governing body without that body’s approval of the action in a public meeting.
  • This sets a remarkably dangerous precedent: NPLC should re-apply and pay a new filing fee.  Why do they get a “do-over”?
  • This is a new application and should go through the Planning Commission.
  • Why should we let this project jump in front of others awaiting approval?
  • We should see the new tentative maps before considering approval.
  • NPLC could move forward quickly if they would comply with the existing zoning and master plan.


  • “Why not bring this back as a new project instead of requiring a new decision on a modified version?”
  • The earlier denial by the city council was based on their inability to make the “findings” required to approve the project.
  • We got a lot of new information from NPLC just yesterday.
  • I hear the lack of trust in the city’s code enforcement.


  • “Why did NPLC get to file their complaint so late?  They only had 30 days from the decision.”  Hall answered that the 30 days starts from the filing date, not the decision date.  This answer was not entirely satisfactory.
  • A lot of documents have been submitted since the development documentation binder was distributed.
  • There is no map for the current or revised development.
  • The Butler Ranch North Planned-Unit Development (PUD) approval is now 15 years old.  They have still to get a tentative map.  Is the old PUD even relevant?
  • I don’t even know what questions to ask at this time.
  • The need for an additional fire station is not addressed.
  • This project should be re-submitted as a new plan.
  • The investors claim this is an “exaction”.  This is not possible since the project was never approved.
  • The housing density is way too much.  I don’t see how this can change by 9/23.


  • Can we get answers from staff about the changes in 2 weeks?  Can staff identify red-flag issues by then?
  • Can we negotiate a later date for a decision?  An additional month to October 23 would be a better plan.


  • His goal with the stipulation was to have the negotiation be as much in public as possible.
  • The master plan only “discourages” building in flood plains: it does not prohibit them.
  • We have a critical housing shortage.  Reese wants to continue to explore the process.
  • He wants to know “What were the investors assumptions and who did they talk to?”
  • We should move forward from where we are and not start over with a new application.


  • There is not sufficient detailed information to consider approval at this point.


  • We should move forward.
  • She wants to delay a decision for an extra month.
  • We need to grow and build homes or we’re dying.


  • Today is a day to decide if we want to engage in the settlement process.
  • If the council approves the delayed decision, they may be able to negotiate a delay in the due date.

Arlo Stockham (Reno Planning Manager)

  • The planning department can review this in two weeks and identify any red-flag issues.



Reference from previous pages and posts;

Take-5 to push back against the Daybreak Development

Daybreak Strikes Back

Daybreak Denied

Daybreak Development Continued

Daybreak Redux at NAB3

Rio Wrangler North II Denied by Planning Commission


2 thoughts on “Daybreak Decision Delayed (9/11/19)

  1. Thank you again for a great write up. There was a question ask about the date the denial was actual put in the system and the February date Daybreak filed. But no one could really give the exact date. I believe Daybreak only had 30 days to file and the February 15 is past the 30 days. Someone from the audience sad it was done in time BUT could not give a date. Can you find the actual dates?

    Nov. 28, 2018: Reno City Council denies Daybreak project.

    Feb. 15, 2019: Newport Pacific Land files lawsuit against city of Reno.

    Judi Gesh



  2. Pingback: Be of Good Cheer | Washoe Residents for Appropriate Planning

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