Washoe Seeks Higher-Density Zoning 2/2/22

Washoe County is seeking public input on a new proposal to add “Low Density Suburban -2” zoning to the Southwest Area Plan which would allow 2 homes per acre. Presently, the county requires 1 acre residential lots (minimum) except for areas originally identified as “Medium Density Suburban” (3 homes per acre). This is a broad attempt at increasing residential density in the unincorporated county. This change is not needed to support area growth. The existing zoning will support growth beyond the next 20 years according to the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Authority. Higher density zoning will favor the development interests while undermining the quality of life of existing homeowners.

You can attend this meeting at 5:00 PM via Zoom

The contact in the county planning department is Julee Olander. You can send her an e-mail at jolander@washoecounty.gov or call her at 775.328.3627.

Here is my e-mail to Ms. Olander.

“Ms. Olander,
Please record and report my opposition to the proposal to amend the Southwest Area Plan to add a zoning designation of “Low Density Suburban 2”. I have the following concerns.

  • Higher density zoning will detract from the quality of life for existing residents and may affect property values.
  • The county has been irresponsible in the approval of developments to the detriment of the character of this area. Some of these developments undermine public safety to a scandalous degree. Adding a higher-density zoning category will only enable an expansion of the county’s malfeasance.
  • Under existing zoning, there are buildable lots to support more than 20 years of anticipated growth in Washoe County. The addition of the LDS-2 zoning category is not needed.

I ask you to relay my opposition to WMPA22-0004.

 Steve Wolgast"

There will be a second meeting on Thursday 2/3 noon - 1:00 PM with Washoe County Senior Planner, Eric Young, and planning consultants from the firm Logan and Simpson at the Washoe Lake State Park Equestrian Area.  
Washoe County 2040 
Flyer https://galenacommunities.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/envision-washoe-flier.pdf
Envision Plan

4 thoughts on “Washoe Seeks Higher-Density Zoning 2/2/22

  1. HI Steve, thanks for this. Do you have data to support your sentence “Under existing zoning, there are buildable lots to support more than 20 years of anticipated growth in Washoe County.”? Development interests are continuing to pursue federal land auctions for development in imminent federal legislation. These data would help push back on that. Thanks!!


    • This is according to the analyst at TMRPA. He has presented this statistic repeatedly, but not very publicly. It shows up in meetings more so than where it’s accessible online. I hesitate only a little because he doesn’t do a new analysis every year, so I don’t know what the exact numbers are now. As I recall, it used to be that there were about 2.5x the number of buildable lots available than what was needed for the next 20 years.


      • Thanks. I know others have done analyses of the units currently under permit or already being built being enough to absorb all new residents for the next several decades.


  2. It’s unclear where in the low density suburban zoning will occur; are there associated boundaries or existing zoning areas that will be replaced by the new zoning codes? It’s hard to be for or against something so nebulous.


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