The Ascente development was sold by Drakulich Properties (representing NNV-1 Properties, Michael Barnes) to DRP NV2 representing Toll Brothers. When the developer requested (August 2021) that the final map deadline be extended, he claimed that he had an agreement with Toll Brothers to buy the property. The sales price was indicated as “just under $17M”.
This project was approved by the Washoe Planning Commission in 2017 over the strenuous objections of the residents and despite numerous public-safety issues. Residents presented a detailed report on the many violations and hazards that this development represents. Residents appealed to the Washoe Board of County Commissioners who went on to deny the residents’ appeal (document). Issues of flooding, wildfire evacuation, and hazardous traffic were not addressed.
The developer’s earthquake fault map is highly suspect. The area is rife with faults, but none of them go near the development areas according to the documents submitted with the original development application. This is implausible. One known fault was not shown on their fault map. The developer did an unprofessional Geotech survey and did not publish the results. One of the core samples taken indicated fault activity in an area that would be developed. A geologist in the neighborhood sent a letter describing the problems with the developer’s procedures to the county engineer in March 2021. There has been no response.
The public has little say at this point. The plan was approved faults, hazards, and all. There will be no public review. It is now between the developer and county planners. If the planners can be convinced that the plan and further changes are somehow acceptable, the developer can move forward unimpeded. Residents can challenge individual permit applications by the developer. Given that the project was approved, this is not likely to be fruitful. There might be a legal case to be made over a fraudulent Geotech report with a fraudulent fault map. The county and the developer are under no obligation to announce the submission of the Geotech report or to publish it. In Washoe County, there is no process to challenge a fraudulent report.
The buyer bought a property with an approved tentative map which lays out in detail where the homes will be built. This plan is now 5 years old. If the new owner wants to make changes (other than at the detail level), they are required to submit a new tentative map for review and approval. The perspective of the Washoe Planning Commission has changed to be more skeptical of developers’ claims and assurances. A new plan would likely be more benign for existing residents.
A surveyor’s truck was spotted at the entrance to the property at the end of Fawn Lane on 6/22/22.
ThisIs Reno announcement (from developer)
Ugh, not nice news to wake up to on a Friday morning. Even though I no longer live in the Callahan neighborhood, I still feel a strong kinship with the residents and a huge sense of injustice regarding the impacts the Ascente project is going to have in the Callahan and Fawn Lane neighborhoods, as well as the Mt. Rose corridor. We residents did so much work to evaluate the many flaws in the original Tentative Map, and to make the WCC and Planners aware of the potential dangers and impacts to the existing residents. That Toll Brothers get to carry on as if all is well without even addressing the over 130 Conditions in the Tentative Map approval of June 2017 would be a travesty. We are entering yet another extremely dry year in the American West. Where the hell is the water going to come from? TMWA should be held accountable for this. Their website never mentions anything about updating their supply modeling to incorporate the REAL drought numbers in western NV. Surely they must be addressing this reality, not just hoping for a few wet winters! The Washoe County Residents cannot legally do anything more……..?
With the changes coming in November to the BCC, a citizens petition to amend the Development Code to require a public hearing before final maps are approved might gain traction with the new Commissioners. That change would engage the Planning Commission and the public to ensure no ‘deals’ are cut behind closed doors.
Alternately, resurrecting and re-purposing the Design Review Committee, July 13, 2017 Draft Minutes.pdf (washoecounty.gov)https://www.washoecounty.gov/csd/planning_and_development/board_commission/design_review_committee/2017/files/July%2013,%202017%20Draft%20Minutes.pdf, with new ‘citizen’ members would be beneficial to our interests.
I have several home projects underway and will be mostly away on vacation thru mid-August, but would be glad to work with you on one or both of the above, if interested, post mid-August.
Tom firstname.lastname@example.org@gmail.com 775.849.1622
Thank you for this newsletter. Very informative and happy to be receiving it now.
PS Will add a comment on the org chart thru the Comments section of the newsletter.
At the very least direct access to Mt. Rose highway should be required. Is it too late to do anything about any of this ? I had always hoped that this project would die a slow death.
That argument was made vociferously before the Planning Commission to no effect.
Lets all thank Bonnie Webber for pushing these and other developments through. She promised if she get elected all the developers would get their projects going and totally destroy Lemmon Valley. Hope she got enough pay offs from the developers oh wait she did she got re elected by you bozos.