After working SO hard to garner an approved Tentative Map, the owners of the Ascenté property, Symbio LLC, have put the project up for sale. It would appear that the big builders including Toll Brothers aren’t interested, so the project is on the market, listed with Dickson Commercial Properties. The three “Villages”, Sierra, Tioga and Whitney are listed as separate properties. Their website (https://images1.loopnet.com/d2/p_5eEG1sUfO2jH3ljwQ4ykFcYa6LUEPGFmM_M33tm6s/document.pdf) advertises the following:
Dickson Commercial Group is pleased to release the following for-sale offering of Ascenté, a 225 lot luxury single-family residential development in Washoe County, Nevada. Ascenté may be purchased by individual Village or in one bulk purchase by pre-qualified developers, builders, and/or investors at the following prices:
Sierra Village $4,200,000 ($62,687 per lot)
Tioga Village $5,350,000 ($90,678 per lot)
Donner Village $7,950,000 ($96,951 per lot)
Whitney $2,550,000 ($150,000 per lot)
TOTAL $20,050,000 ($90,089 per lot)
Symbio LLC purchased Ascenté property for $7.2 million, thus a tidy profit if all four villages are sold.
Included in Ascenté purchase:
- Approved Washoe County Tentative Map
- Water rights and TMWA Area 15 “Facility Fee Credits” available from Seller
- Preliminary engineering plans for the construction of backbone improvements
- Cost estimates to develop finished lots (backbone infrastructure thru in-tract improvements)
- Site geotechnical investigation report suitable for final map application
- Design Guidelines
Symbio has spiffed up the property entrance via Brushwood we can assume to suggest that this is an approved access, which it is not. Serious buyers might look at the property at this entrance and at Shawna and Patti Lanes, with the nice new grading and gravel and have a favorable impression of overall site access. The neighbors who fought to prevent the tentative map approval of Shawna and Fawn Lanes as the access points for Ascenté will remember that the traffic study was bogus and that all construction traffic must use only these two entrances to the property.
- How does selling the villages as separate units affect development and installation of supporting infrastructure, including access, road upgrades, sewer, water and power?
- How will the Whitney Village be accessed if sold separately? Which “buyer” will be responsible for allowing the access roads from the Tioga and Whitney Villages to be constructed?
- How does the deconstruction of the Tentative Map components affect how the blasting, hauling and grading process? For instance, we might assume that the Sierra Village will be sold first because it has the easiest access, through Fawn Lane. Once this Village is built out, how will the new residents feel about the blasting and hauling of dozens of heavy-duty earth moving equipment through their Village on a daily basis for the years it will take to construct the access road and creating the Tioga Village up on the Steamboat Hill immediately south? Will the new owners/builders of the Sierra Village mandate that every home buyer sign an agreement to allow this activity? Would the Sierra Village owners even care? How does this work exactly?
- Most importantly, how will the sale of these four Villages affect the status of completion for the 134 Conditions placed on the Tentative Map approval (https://washoerap.com/about)? The advertisement blithely boasts of a completed site geotechnical investigation “suitable for final map application”. Italics mine. I beg to differ. Have the County Planners already seen a geotechnical investigation report (which would be prepared by Lumos Associates)? If so, have they actually approved it? And with what sort of peer review process? We know that the County Planning Department does NOT have a registered geotechnical engineer on staff, nor have they procured the services of an independent consultant to do so. I made a technically-detailed case for oversight of the Lumos geotechnical work in a letter to Trevor Lloyd and Dwayne Smith at the Planning Department (LINK: https://washoerap.com/2017/12/). I never received a response.
- Of the 134 conditions, the most concerning for the health, safety and environment of the Callahan/Fawn Lane residents, as contained in our Appeal from June 2017 (https://wordpress.com/page/washoerap.com/3) include but are not limited to: consistency with the Forest Area Plan, traffic management (invalid traffic study), stormwater runoff management, water supply, fire protection, sewage treatment capacity as the County Planners and commissioners neglected to include the cumulative impacts of other approved development in the Mt. Rose Corridor.
Should these four Villages actually be sold to four different buyers, how will the County manage final build-out approvals with each entity separately applying for various construction permits based on ONLY ONE tentative map? It is extremely likely that some of the tentative map components such as infrastructure layout and traffic control must change to accommodate each parcel. As an example, what if a buyer only wanted to purchase the high-end Whitney Village and needed to build out the access roads across the as-yet unpurchased Sierra, Tioga and Whitney Villages? Would that buyer have to procure rights to build the access roads across the other properties, thereby taking on an extra expense? How would the infrastructure installation (which must be provided by Washoe County) be managed in this case? Should the Tentative Map not be re-written and re-submitted for each Village? What does the NRS say about this? Is there a requirement and a process for amending tentative maps to reflect yet another subdivision of ownership and management of build-out? How would each owner ensure that their Village has at least two access roads, should the build-out NOT proceed as described in the Tentative Map.
Will potential buyers do their due diligence and ask these same questions of Symbio, and the County Planners?
Let’s take a look at the Washoe County Development Code. (http://epubs.nsla.nv.gov/statepubs/epubs/322128-2016April.pdf)
Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) CHAPTER 278 – PLANNING AND ZONING contains definitions for “final map” and “subdivider”. What happens when OWNERSHIP of a Tentative Map is subdivided? Who then is responsible for addressing the conditions of approval and what are subdividers’ responsibilities to the other Village Owners, to the County and to the neighboring residents? What are the County’s responsibilities to ensure that the “character” and constructional integrity of build-outs are maintained?
I know this blog is all questions and no answers. That does NOT work to the benefit of existing residents, does it? Let’s hope that the sign graffiti serves as a robust warning to potential buyers. This project is bogus. Symbio knew it all along, and so did the Washoe County Commissioners.
Update: A thoughtful resident just pointed out to me that, as per our appeal argument, IF the County Planners and Commissioners HAD made Ascente adhere to the Forest Area Plan, an access road would be constructed to connect from the Thomas Creek Intersection. This also could have been extended down toward the Symphony Ranch development to alleviate the traffic congestion there. Oh well. Too much bother, I suppose. Kris