The Board of County Commissioners reversed the decision of the Washoe County Community Services Department (CSD) Director denying the final map of Sierra Reflections development (938 residences on 760 acres in Pleasant Valley) on October 25. The result is that the project which received tentative-map approval in 2006 gets an unprecedented eighth extension of 6 months for “first” final map submittal (redux).
Community Services Director Dave Solaro rejected the final map submittal by World Properties for the Sierra Reflections development on 5/31/2022. Their submittal was only 20 days prior to the recording deadline (6/14/2022) when the statutory requirement is a minimum of 60 days. Furthermore, the final map submittal did not include the minimum content of five residential lots. It was late and inadequate.
The developer had previously applied for an extension that was denied by the Board of County Commissioners on 4/26/2022. Commissioner Lucey made the argument at that time that the project was too old and that the design from 2006 was no longer appropriate. He went on to say that “the project does not know what it wants to be.” and that the developer should submit a new plan for the development and start the approval process over.
Kelly Mullen and Dwayne Smith made a presentation representing the Washoe County staff’s position.
- The final map was submitted after the deadline.
- The final map did not include 5 residential lots as required.
- Did not include an environmental site assessment as required.
- The developer has not completed their plans for sewer lines.
Garrett Gordon gave a presentation on behalf of the developer.
- He claimed that the only issue before the board was whether or not to approve the final map. He wanted the final map approved rather than an extension. It is not a time to talk about the development itself or related issues.
- The developer will work on their part of the sewer design when the county has finished with their part.
- He claimed that the deadline date required by the CSD is not consistent with the last extension of the deadline (development agreement).
- He claimed that the lot requirement isn’t specifically for a residential lot and that the lots identified in their application meet the legal requirements.
- The developer has submitted a petition for judicial review of their appeal. The developer will withdraw this petition if the county will approve the final map as submitted.
- Commissioner Lucey asked about the county’s progress on their portion of the sewer design. Smith said that the county had completed their portion of the design. The county has funding and permits to proceed with construction. They plan to put the sewer construction out to bid in January 2023.
- Commissioner Hartung asked why the developer needs the county to provide a detailed list of deficiencies when they have not submitted a detailed design yet? The developer should know the requirements for conformance.
- Lucey asked if additional conditions could be added to the development agreement as part of an extension granted by the county. Nate Edwards (County Attorney) answered that minor conditions could be added regarding the agreement but not conditions regarding the substance of the development.
Commissioner discussion and comments
- Hartung has a problem with the fact that this project is so old and that so much has changed. “We’ve seen so many changes in the region including traffic patterns …” Repeated extensions mean that we have to retrofit for previous codes.
- Commissioner Jung made an extended free form comment that proved indecipherable.
- Lucey made the point that the I-580 highway wasn’t complete in this area when the Sierra Reflections tentative map was approved in 2006. He would like to see a new development agreement with additional conditions of approval.
- Nate Edwards thinks this appeal is a pretty “novel scenario”. Where an extension is denied and then a final map is submitted of questionable merit. Whatever they decide will not establish a new precedent.
- Lucey recognized that he had opposed an extension to this project in April. He was frustrated with World Properties.
- Lucey made a motion to overturn the decision of the CSD Director and to give the developer 180 days to submit a new final map and then 60 days to have it recorded.
- All five commissioners (Herman, Hartung, Hill, Jung) voted in favor of Lucey’s motion: it was unanimous.
There was no public comment.
AGENDA (see item 16)
Thanks Steve. I find it hard to believe that interest rates that would be favorable to a new development is going to change in 60 days. Typical that they get to skirt their own laws.
Thanks so much, Steve! We really appreciate your time, effort, and communication!
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Hi Steve, I appreciate your keeping all of us who subscribe to your newsletter updated with the county’s planning of our town. Reading through this I’m absolutely amazed that these developers continue to get extensions for old projects over and over again. Last Thursday I sat in a meeting at the Washoe County offices on 9th Street. It was a hearing to get two well sites approved on the property owned by Gateway (and approved back in 2006 for Reynan and Bardis’ Terrasante). Of course, that board (can’t recall what it was called) included 4 people–not part of the planning commission. They were tasked with only approving the well sites. Sadly, those well sites have a direct effect on the future project of that land. Yes, they were approved.
Some of the neighbors and I met with John Enloe of TMWA. He was very friendly and is also a neighbor. He also happened to be a consultant in 2006 during the approval process for Reynan and Bardis’ Terrasante development. He flat out said that there was no way they had enough water to do the project back then and it should never have been approved.
Apparently giving extensions for old planned developments is just an easy-peasy thing to do in the county. What bothers most is that the development should never have had an approval. The other thing I have an issue with is that the “notification” process in the county is just 500 feet. Back in 2006, I doubt there were 3 homes in St. James built near the subject property and only a few in the Galena Canyon neighborhood. The developers were able to get an approval without much objection.
I sell real estate and just want appropriate planning. I also grew up in Washoe Valley. That Sierra Reflections has a plan for condos at the top of Jubilee hill makes me sick. The county commissioners are right to say that things have changed since 2006. Plans should also change–because nothing stays the same.
Would you recommend that I reach out to the commissioners regarding Sierra Reflections? I have several clients who live in Pleasant Valley and dread the high density project. My property does not abut the land, but I travel through to Washoe Valley all of the time. It’s just disappointing to see these projects get approved with jam-packed housing.
Truly appreciate your work! Thanks, Karen Melarkey Karen Melarkey LeMond Realty NRED S. 13163 6490 S. McCarran Blvd., #E Reno, NV 89509 775-343-5901 Karen@lemondrealty.com