After more than 2 years of efforts, meetings, and polls, the new regional plan comes up for a vote on Thursday at the Washoe County Commission Chambers (agenda) at 2:00 PM. It’s been a long time coming, and there is a sense that the principals just want to finish it up now.
The developers, builders, and realtors are well represented on the Regional Planning Governing Board. Historically, the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Authority has not opposed massive new developments that are not compliant with the Reno and Washoe County master plans.
The salient points:
- The new plan shows the Evans Ranch, Daybreak, and Stonegate developments as “Tier-2” priority projects. These will likely require a lot of taxpayer-funded infrastructure.
- The new plan does not address the issue of zombie projects that hamper any rational planning. These are projects that were approved before the Great Recession and have not completed the final map process in over 10 years.
- There is no consideration for the fact that it will take time for all the new construction to be “absorbed” into the market. It is impossible to plan for future growth when the effects of current growth are not yet clear.
- The new plan has a “Climate Change Scenarrative” that makes no mention of residential solar installations. These are extremely cost effective in new construction. The new owners can save money the first month.
Bear in mind that there are 60,000 approved, but not built, residential units in Planned Unit Developments (PUD’s) or in tentative maps. In addition, there are 20,000 to 30,000 vacant properties that can be built on with no special zoning. This represents 40 to 50 years worth of growth (presuming no major recession). What is the point of a new 20-year regional plan when so much growth has already been approved?
The Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Authority was created by the state to make order when Reno and Washoe County disagreed or were working at cross purposes. Expect the new plan to be approved easily. Don’t expect the planning done by the city or the county to improve.
TMRPA Board Members
Washoe County: Berkbigler, Lucey, Vaughan
Reno: Brekhus, Duerr, Reese, Weber
Sparks: Abbott, Bybee, Lawson