When it comes to the city council or the county commission, concerned residents have explained, pressured, embarrassed, and shamed officials of these bodies to no avail. Most of these officials are shameless. They are either wholly owned by the special interests, or they act like they are wholly owned by the special interests. It’s possible that they have some obscure underlying motive. The maxim “It’s the exception that proves the rule.” applies here too. Several officials consistently uphold the zoning and approval standards, but these officials can be counted on one hand. Recent egregious decisions have only affirmed the base motives of the majority of our officials.
The Daybreak appeal before the Regional Planning Board:
- The flood control measures proposed were implausible. The developer even admitted that their scheme would increase the flood risk to downstream neighbors.
- The Mercury testing was completely inadequate. It appeared to be designed to miss known Mercury contamination sites on their property.
- The traffic study was misleading at best, but probably outright fraudulent. It used limited data from 2010 when data from 2017 was available.
In the face of these facts, voting with the developer were Abbot, Bybee, Hartung, Lawson, Reese, and Weber.
The Meridian 120 Appeal before the Reno City Council:
- The community hired a traffic consultant that concluded that the developer-commissioned report substantially underestimated the traffic increase.
- The infrastructure needed is lacking to support this development.
- Funding for the new fire station is obviously inadequate.
- There is no secondary fire access.
In the face of these facts, voting with the developer were Delgado, Jardon, Reese, Schieve, and Weber.
The conclusions are inescapable: it’s black and white. Some neighbors will say “We need to explain to our council member (or commissioner) why this development is a bad idea.” This is the honorable approach, but the few true public servants understand the issues. The others understand that they are the servants of the developers and that these concerns don’t matter to their campaign contributions (Reno Swamp).
The carefully reasoned arguments along with the detailed research and expert reviews have almost no impact on official decisions. “The fix is in.” It’s time to look for other avenues to block the dangerous and destructive development that gets a rubber stamp from the majority of our elected officials. There are avenues to block these plans through the courts. There are also some political challengers that would not be the servants of the developers. Some of the challengers are no better than the incumbents: they just want their “turn at the trough”.
The way the Nevada statutes (NRS) are written, it’s impossible for residents to petition for judicial review of an arbitrary decision by the city council or county commission if the planning commission decision favored the residents. I propose a Bill Draft Request to correct the quirk in the statute. So far, no state assembly or state senate member is willing to introduce it.