The Silver Hills development is a development north and west of the existing Silver Knolls neighborhood. The plan changes the zoning for higher density and builds 1872 homes on 780 acres. It has the common problems of excess traffic, insufficient wildfire evacuation capacity, and school overcrowding. Beyond that, it will be served by the Reno-Stead Wastewater Reclamation Facility known to contribute to the flooding in Lemmon Valley.
- The zoning amendment was denied unanimously by the North Valley’s Citizens Advisory Board.
- The zoning amendment was denied unanimously by the Washoe County Planning Commission.
- The Washoe Board of County Commissioners overturned the Planning Commission denial so that the project could go forward. Commissioners voting “yes” were Berkbigler, Hartung, Jung, and Lucey who all received campaign contributions from the developer: Lissner of Lifestyle Homes.
The Silver Knolls Community Organization (SKCO) filed a writ of mandamus challenging the decision by the County Commission (December 2019). The case was heard by Lynne Simons. Judge Simons ruled for the developer (June 2021).
This case was different. Lissner/Lifestyle then sued the neighbors claiming it was a frivolous suit and seeking compensation for legal expenses. The judge ruled for the developer granting wide latitude. The developer was granted $78k in damages against the neighbors. So, the neighbors not only paid for their attorney, but had to pay the legal expenses of the developer. The judgement was much more than the SKCO had on hand and many times their annual budget. The neighbors sought a settlement to a cost they could afford. Lissner agreed to reduce the cost to $29k with the condition that the SKCO not oppose the tentative map when it comes before the Washoe Planning Commission. The condition does not apply to individuals representing themselves. The settlement was not public, but it was not confidential either.
This is an attempt by developers to intimidate residents from seeking equal protection in the courts and to gag the neighborhood organizations. It is an escalation in the war developers are waging against residents. Peter Lissner is Lifestyle Homes. Such underhanded and vindictive practices reveal the quality of his character and his scorn for the community. Correction: it was Bob Lissner that wanted the judgement for legal expenses against the SKCO not Peter Lissner.
Remember: there is more capacity for new home construction with existing zoning than will be needed for the next 20 years. The rezoning is simply for developer profits.
The Silver Hills tentative map will come before the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday 8/24. You can contact the commissioners to express your opinion of the Silver Hills tentative map.