The following is a guest post by Valerie Truce. She published it as an opinion piece in the Reno Gazette Journal on September 16. The City Council will vote on Monday whether to approve the development with few changes or to fight it in court starting September 27.
Despite a denial from Reno City Council on November 28, 2018, the Daybreak development, a project consisting of 4700 dwellings, is back on the council’s agenda on September 23, 2019. Daybreak, formerly known as Butler Ranch, is a bit over 900 acres on the west side of Veteran’s, in between South Meadows Parkway and Mira Loma
Parkway. If you’ve ridden your bike along the path, or driven along Veteran’s, you’ve probably noticed the vast expanse of wetlands and pasture.
Daybreak presents several concerns. Top on the list, it’s in a flood plain. The speculators said they’d create a complex arrangement of culverts to take care of flooding, but the area floods frequently. When the natural sponge of wetlands and pasture is taken away, areas adjacent to it, Heron’s Landing, the Rosewood areas, Eastside Subdivision, Hidden Valley, Steamboat Creek and Veteran’s Parkway, will flood. The water’s got to go somewhere.
Look at what’s happened in Lemmon Valley. Ask the residents of Double Diamond what it’s like to live in a wetlands area. They suffer from nuisance flooding. Many have had to replace their plumbing due to corrosion of pipes from water underneath their homes. Which is why our newest master plan, Reimagine Reno, discourages building in flood plains. We know what future problems will bring.
Despite the efforts of thousands of hours of citizens input, creating Reimagine Reno, our master plan, we’re now asked to return to a dysfunctional paradigm. The speculator wants to amend the new master plan to accommodate his needs. The speculator is also asking the city council to neglect other concerns.
Reimagine Reno says our community needs infill housing, dwellings within McCarran circle where there is infrastructure to support them and where most jobs are. Yet, southeast Reno has become the new hot spot. The council has approved a 15 building apartment complex on Geiger Grade, 1300 apartments on Steamboat on the corner of
Veteran’s, 1300 homes off of Western Skies Drive, and hundreds in the Bella Vista II project at the northern end of Rio Wrangler, not to mention several smaller projects like 200 apartments on Old Virginia Road.
Due to tremendous growth southeast Reno is riddled with congestion and traffic accidents. Getting in and out of neighborhoods onto thoroughfares is often life threatening. Our local emergency room has seen a sharp uptick in vehicle related accidents due not only to distracted drivers, but congestion.
Not only is Daybreak’s ecology and our infrastructure unable to support 4700 dwellings, we don’t need them. Reno’s population is supposed to grow by nearly 100,000 by 2038. At 2.6 people per household (PPH), we’ll need about 22,000 dwellings. We already have over 34,000 PUDs (Planned Unit Developments) aka zombie projects, projects currently on the books for which building is yet to start, and almost 16,000 dwellings in projects currently being built. The math is simple. We need 22,000 dwellings. We have 50,000 on the books. We’re overbuilding.
Unless the speculator makes significant changes, in terms of number of dwellings and Daybreak’s impact on the wetlands and infrastructure, it should not go forward. Our city council needs to stand firm on their previous decision. It was based on sound reasoning. We need to implement our master plan and protect residents from the avarice of
Readers, you have options. Attend the meeting at city hall on the 23rd. Call or email your city council representative before next Monday. Let them know we stand united in protection of our beautiful valley.