Reno Approves Meridian 120-N Extension

The developer did not met the deadline to submit their final map for phase-3 of the Meridian-120 North development.  For Reno there is a 4-year deadline from the time the tentative map is approved until the completed final map is submitted to the city.  The final map needs to show how the new development will meet all the conditions of acceptance at a detail level.  Neighbors appealed the Planning Commission decision to extend the deadline for the final map submission on Wednesday 12/4/2019.  (Verdi Area Development)

The appellants made the following points.

  • The developer misrepresented the project from the outset.
  • The original plan stipulated that the TMWA would annex the project and provide surface water for its needs.
  • The plans to provide surface water are not in place: TMWA plans to provide some ground water initially and transition later to the surface water.
  • This final map is late because it cannot meet the conditions for approval.

The applicant made a presentation to refute the points made by the appellants (neighbors).

  • The Meridian-120 North plan is not only compliant with the old master plan in effect when it was submitted but also with the newer Re-Imagine Reno plan.
  • The final maps for phases 1 and 2 were approved, so there is no reason to use a different standard for phase 3.
  • The precedent for development is that the infrastructure is not usually available at the very beginning of construction.

Discussion on the dais;

  • Brekhus asked why the developer needs this extension.  The answer was that the TMWA acquisition required changes to the project that caused delays.
  • Brekhus would like to see a joint Reno/Washoe plan for the area.  The piecemeal approval of one final map at a time is problematic.
  • Duerr asked what TMWA’s plan was to provide surface water.  Fuss (Reno) answered that the surface water would be phased in.  There will be an all-new water line that will provide partly surface water.  Duerling (developer) said that the project shouldn’t be interrupted with 73 homes built or under construction.
  • Schieve made the point that the residents are at a disadvantage since the city will make planning decisions while the residents live outside the city in the unincorporated county.  So, the residents are having decisions made by officials who do not represent them.
  • Duerr thinks that TMWA should be able to provide surface water for this development by now.  But, the only issue before the council is whether to grant this extension not a broader review of the project.

Public commenters made the following points.

  • Much has changed in this area since this project was approved in 2016.  Issues of police coverage, fire coverage, school capacity, traffic, and evacuation capacity have all changed for the worse in the mean time.
  • Ground water levels have dropped substantially affecting many homeowners depending on wells.
  • The special use permits for clustering and for large “cuts and fills” (grading) require regional approval.  Regional approval was never obtained.
  • Improving the inadequate Garson overpass depends on developer contributions.  These are woefully inadequate for this project.  The developer should pay impact fees for this improvement.
  • Surface streets should be improved to the standards specified in the Mortensen-Garson special district.

The council voted to approve the extension 6-1 with Brekhus as the sole “no” vote.

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