Ethically compromised …

Reno City Council-member Oscar Delgado voted for the massive Daybreak development on September 23.  In so doing, he betrayed himself and his constituents in Ward 3.  He knew what he was doing: the problems were explored in detail before the vote.

Delgado knowingly voted against the wishes of his constituents who are concerned about how the reckless Daybreak development will undermine their quality of life.  Adding 4,000 more homes will wreak havoc on the area: major intersections there are already choked.

Delgado knowingly voted to put his constituents at increased safety risk from flooding due to the loss of flood storage in the south meadows and to the changes in Steamboat Creek.  These will increase flood levels in the UNR farms area as well as in the South Meadows neighborhoods.

Delgado knowingly voted to put his constituents at risk of increased exposure to Mercury since the contamination study done by the developers was grossly inadequate.  It was a bad joke.

Delgado’s motivation to alienate his constituents is not clear, but his recorded campaign contributions offer a clue.  He has recorded a campaign contribution of $2,500 from John Patterson of the the Newport Pacific Land Company in 2017 (Daybreak developer).  His campaign records do not include late 2018 or any of 2019, so we don’t know if there were more recent contributions.  His campaign has been mostly funded by developers, realtors, and builders. Below are the totals from the Nevada Secretary of State website for all of 2017 through August of 2018.  Note that this includes only contributions over $100 recorded since the beginning of 2017.  Earlier contributions would have been made for his previous campaign.

Developers (incl. Engineering Companies) $6,950

Builders (incl. materials & landscaping)      $4,000

Real Estate  (incl. property mgmt.)                $4,500

Lawyers (likely representing developers)    $1,750

                                                        SUBTOTAL         $17,200

Casinos/Gaming                                                   $4,000

Other Contributors                                                $764

                                                        TOTAL          $21,964

So, 78% of his recent recorded campaign contributions came from organizations with a financial stake in building and development.  This may explain his vote for Daybreak and his earlier vote for Stonegate.  Also, 19% came from casinos that tend to support all candidates.  Rumors indicate that he may not run for a third term, but rather seek a different office.  He may think that his campaign contributors are more important to him now than his constituents.  Here’s a detailed list from the NV Secretary of State records:

Delgado_Contributions_101819

The Daybreak decision will get a second reading at the city council on Wednesday, October 23 (agenda).  It is agenda item F.3.1.  The meeting will start at 10:00 AM at the county chambers, but it is a long agenda and item F.3.1 is near the end.  The council may decide to take the issues out of order, so it is unpredictable when this topic will be covered.

You can express yourself to Council-member Delgado through his Reno City e-mail or on his Facebook page.

email: delgadoo@reno.gov                                  Facebook: @oscardelgadonv


 

If you think he cannot be persuaded and want to express your outrage at his malfeasance, WRAP has purchased some “DUMP DELGADO” bumper stickers.  These are available with an adhesive backing or a magnetic backing.  One or two will be provided free of charge to residents who request them.  If you want a magnetic sticker, please check that it will stick to your bumper or trunk.  Many such parts are now Aluminum or plastic so that magnets won’t stick.  These are high quality stickers that will peel off cleanly with a little patience.  Please leave your name and address through the “Contact” tab at the top right of the WRAP site.

Bumper Sticker: 191014112800

Fire News 10/16/19

This is a guest post by Tom Daly reporting on yesterday’s TMFPD meeting.  Note that there will be green waste collection by TMFPD in November.

Highlights from today’s TMFPD Board meeting and other intel:

  1. Presiding officer – Chief Moore is on vacation so Deputy Chief Kukulas filled in to present the agenda.
  2. Ladder Truck – Under the consent agenda the Board approved Chief Moore’s request to begin the process to solicit for the acquisition of a ladder truck for the District. A ‘Request for Proposals (RFP)’ will be issued shortly to acquire a ladder truck for an amount not exceeding $300K. This will be a used ladder truck, as a new one would cost about $1.4 million. Chief Moore has identified a 2008 ‘Quint’ (combined ladder truck and engine) from a county fire department back east. The truck is well-maintained and would only need a paint job and crew training to be placed in service. If this unit is acquired look for it to go into service in Q2 2020 after training multiple crews to operate it. The tentative location would be at TM#33 Foothill as that station is one of two that has sufficient room for this unit. The ladder truck would respond to all structure fires in the District along with three engine companies and TM#33’s location is ideal, given its proximity to I-580.
  3. Promotions and recognitions – Several TMFPD personnel were promoted from EMT to Paramedic and recognition of crews assisting with the birth of a child and a successful cardiac save were acknowledged by the Board.
  4. EMS Report – The FY17-18 EMS annual report was presented by Christina Conti of the Health District. Of note, response by fire units to EMS calls is averaging about 6.5 minutes (dispatch time + turnout time+ travel time) with fire units typically arriving ahead of REMSA units, especially in the unincorporated County (TMFPD). The same report for FY18-19 will be presented in November.
  5. Fire Chief’s Report
    • Progress on the Hidden Valley station (TM#37) is stopped until the City approves a minor land swap to accommodate parking. No report on when that will occur (2nd vote).
    • Ambulance billing – in progress and should be ready by year end. This will allow TMFPD to bill patients (insurance companies and MEDICARE) when transported by TMFPD units.
    • Green Waste- Program will resume in November with collections at TM#32 Eastlake and TM#430 Silver Lake VFD (Red Rock) Friday and Saturday November 9 & 10 &15 &16.
    • Open House – Opens houses for citizens during Fire Prevention Month is scheduled for SATURDAY Oct. 19th at TM#33 Foothill, #46 Spanish Springs and #42 Cold Springs.
    • Community meeting to review the plan to consolidate TM#30 Washoe Valley and #32 Eastlake will be held on 11/4/2019 at Tamarack Junction at 6pm and a second meeting in Washoe Valley, date and time TBD.
  6. Mobile Data Computers – 26 units were authorized for purchase for engines and command vehicles in the amount of $191K.
  7. TMFPD recruiting/personnel – A recruit class will start in 2020, likely in 1Q, to fill existing and predicted vacancies with those personnel assigned by 7.1.2020. Grant funding is being sought to staff one or more fuels management crews (seasonal) and, if successful, would start in FY21.
  8. RFD News – The Reno Fire Department will begin a recruit class for twenty new firefighters next month. Twelve of those positions are being fully funded from the City’s General fund. Eight positions are being partially funded by a FEMA SAFER Grant (65% of compensation in years one and two and 35% in year three) with the balance of funding from the City’s General fund. Assuming all recruits graduate, RFD will be able to staff RFD#7 Skyline and #19 Somersett with a crew of four and be able to respond to structure and wildfires (now only a crew of two, so only able to respond to EMS calls). Those new personnel should be on duty in 1Q 2020.
  9. Dispatch – The resolution of the dispatch issue should be on an upcoming BCC agenda with a presentation by the Sheriff to take over all dispatch functions and terminate the existing dispatch/forensic services agreement on 90 days-notice to Reno.

NEXT TMFPD MEETING IS TUESDAY NOVEMBER 19th at 0900 at the County Building.


 

REMINDER: Former Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott will discuss wildfire considerations for suburban development on Thursday 10/17/19 at the TMCC Dandini Campus, Sierra Building Rm 108 at 7:00 PM.  This event is hosted by Silver Knolls neighbors but addresses fire concerns all over the Truckee Meadows.

Handout: Washoe-Reno Smart Growth Alliance Community Meeting Flyer_100219

 

 

Daybreak Dangers

Kim Rhodemyre of the Upper South East Communities Coalition wrote a compelling article that Daybreak is dangerous to residents in eastern Reno.  I summarized her principal points.

  • The Truckee Meadows averages a “100 year” flood about every 17 years.  We had “100 year” floods in 1986, 1997, and 2005.
  • The Vista Narrows east of Sparks is a restriction on the Truckee River that causes upstream flooding in eastern Reno.  This floods the area of UNR Farms and the Rosewood Lakes Golf Course.  This area also collects water from the North Truckee Drain in Sparks.  The Daybreak development will increase the flow capacity through the South Meadows with channel improvements so that water collected upstream (to the south) will flow to the Truckee River more quickly raising the flood level in the area flooded by the Truckee.
  • Eastern Reno is also vulnerable to flooding from Steamboat Creek which has 9 tributaries.  Steamboat Creek has a restriction at the Butler Ranch Narrows located between South Meadows and Hidden Valley near Alexander Lake.  This restriction has worsened with the new Veterans Parkway which takes up some of the space in that narrow channel.  The Daybreak homes will be built on elevated on fill on both sides of the Narrows which will reduce the opening further.  In addition, the other new homes will be built on elevated fill reducing the flood storage area available.  So, when flooding backs up at the Butler Narrows, it will not spread out as it does now, but rather rise in level and flood neighborhoods further south.  So, Daybreak will cause more flooding from Steamboat Creek in the South Meadows area.
  • The developer will put in retention basins as a mitigation strategy to offset the increased runoff from Daybreak.  This is will not be effective.  The large mitigation basin at the airport along with 4 other large basins have been full for years rendering them useless for the next storm.  The same is true for the detention basins built for the Southeast Connector.  The water table is too high for these basins to ever drain through percolation, so they have become permanent bodies of water.  We can expect the same to happen with the basins built for Daybreak.

The Daybreak development comes up for its “second reading” at the Reno City Council meeting on October 23.  You can try to contact or persuade one of the council members who voted to approve Daybreak in spite of the detailed arguments: Reese, Delgado, Jardon, Weber.  Delgado’s approval was surprising since Daybreak is in his ward and is manifestly unpopular with his constituents.  Reese is new to the city council, so his predilections are not so clear.  He is seeking his way and might respond to persuasion.

Regional Plan Update 10/10/2019

After more than 2 years of efforts, meetings, and polls, the new regional plan comes up for a vote on Thursday at the Washoe County Commission Chambers (agenda) at 2:00 PM.  It’s been a long time coming, and there is a sense that the principals just want to finish it up now.

The developers, builders, and realtors are well represented on the Regional Planning Governing Board.  Historically, the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Authority has not opposed massive new developments that are not compliant with the Reno and Washoe County master plans.

The salient points:

  1. The new plan shows the Evans Ranch, Daybreak, and Stonegate developments as “Tier-2” priority projects.  These will likely require a lot of taxpayer-funded infrastructure.
  2. The new plan does not address the issue of zombie projects that hamper any rational planning.  These are projects that were approved before the Great Recession and have not completed the final map process in over 10 years.
  3. There is no consideration for the fact that it will take time for all the new construction to be “absorbed” into the market.  It is impossible to plan for future growth when the effects of current growth are not yet clear.
  4. The new plan has a “Climate Change Scenarrative” that makes no mention of residential solar installations.  These are extremely cost effective in new construction.  The new owners can save money the first month.

Bear in mind that there are 60,000 approved, but not built, residential units in Planned Unit Developments (PUD’s) or in tentative maps.  In addition, there are 20,000 to 30,000 vacant properties that can be built on with no special zoning.  This represents 40 to 50 years worth of growth (presuming no major recession).  What is the point of a new 20-year regional plan when so much growth has already been approved?

The Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Authority was created by the state to make order when Reno and Washoe County disagreed or were working at cross purposes.  Expect the new plan to be approved easily.  Don’t expect the planning done by the city or the county to improve.

TMRPA Board Members

Washoe County:  Berkbigler, Lucey, Vaughan

Reno: Brekhus, Duerr, Reese, Weber

Sparks: Abbott, Bybee, Lawson

 

 

 

 

A Ray of Sunshine After Daybreak

The following is a guest post by Mike Lawson.  He was a Washoe County Planning Commissioner for District-2 and follows the planning commission.

“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions” is a quote first attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Various others, most notably Oliver Wendell Holmes. have also been credited with variations on this quote. Regardless of its origins, this thought was manifested by the Washoe County Planning Commission this past Tuesday (10/1) when they denied the application for a horrific tentative map for the inappropriately named “Pleasant Valley Estates”. It would seem our County Planning commissioners are an ally in the community’s continuing fight against development that does not comply with the area plans that are an integral part of the Washoe County Master Plan.

There were over a dozen concerned and informed citizens that spoke in opposition to the applicant’s plan, but none more eloquent and informed than Bill Naylor representing the Washoe Valley Alliance. Bill, and his wife Marilyn, have been long time advocates for thoughtful development, and both were instrumental in developing the South Areas Plan. Because of Bill’s intimate familiarity with the South Areas Plan he was able to make specific points regarding the applicant’s non-compliance with the plan that guided commissioner Francine Donshick in making her motion to deny. Other citizens, including Delia Greenhalgh, made compelling points regarding traffic impacts, water rights, lot sizes, emergency access, and other legitimate concerns in opposition. It was encouraging to see that while the proposed development was in Steamboat, their neighbors in Pleasant Valley and Washoe Valley took the time to testify in support of another neighborhood.

The commissioners voted unanimously to deny the application, which was encouraging. Kate Nelson, the newly appointed commissioner for the district in which the development was proposed, made a thoughtful comment about noncompliance with the grading on the project. It was good to see she had reviewed the technical merits and had concerns about them. It was however a little disconcerting that there was very little discussion among the commissioners about their thinking in advance of their vote. Beyond Ms. Nelson’s comment, only commissioner Horan observed he believed he could not make the requisite findings, but others offered nothing beyond that. None of the other commissioners revealed anything about their thought process or what specifically concerned them about the application. It would be helpful if they allowed us insight into the affect the testimony had or what deficiencies they saw in the staff report that led them to vote how they did, regardless of what that vote is. Chairman Chesney has historically been thoughtfully vocal in his views on these matters and we can only hope that as he gains more comfort in his new role as chair, he returns to providing the thoughtful insight he shared as vice chair. All-in-all the citizens and the commissioners are to be commended for participating in the process.

We must remain diligent and watch for the appeal that will almost certainly follow. We cannot afford to rest on our laurels and recent successes. We truly can and should be a government by the people and for the people despite the self-serving decisions being made by the current band of thieves we have elected to represent us (with the notable exceptions of Jeanne Herman and Jenny Brekhus)

Meridian South Villages 3 & 4 Continued

The Reno Planning Commission voted 4-2 to continue (postpone) consideration of this phase of the project as requested by the developer.  Planning commissioners Velto, Johnson, Taylor, and Olivas approved while Hawkins and Marshall voted against.  Presumably, they wanted an opportunity to deny the project outright.  This proposal is in a state of limbo.  The Meridian 120 South project includes 6 “villages” for a total of 558 residences effectively doubling the population of Verdi.  The developer is introducing it in phases without presenting an overall plan, so it is impossible to review the total impacts on traffic, wildfire evacuation, fire protection, flooding, and other issues.  The first phase of the project (villages 1 & 2) is in litigation after the city council denied it.  The city council furthermore remanded the first phase of the project back to the planning commission with instructions to consider the total project rather than the phases individually (June 2019).  The applicant asserted that the continuance was needed to work out undefined issues with a neighbor to the south.  This lacked credibility.

Opening public comment was made by Kerry Doyle (attorney from the Lemmon Valley class-action suit) saying that she was representing The Society for the Preservation of Verdi.  She went on to say that the cumulative impacts of this huge project cannot be accurately assessed unless it is reviewed in its entirety.  She went on to urge that the requested continuance be denied since the developer is not complying with the directive of the city council.  Going forward, the planning commission should refuse to put any partial proposals on their agenda.  Her office has moved for an injunction to prevent BT South (developer) from submitting partial plans for consideration.  Until the court acts, she exhorts the planning commission to refuse to consider parts of the project individually.

There were 35 public comment requests; some written only.  Here are some of the points neighbors made.

  • Some of the apartments are too tall.  It is not compatible with the site location and scale.
  • Some of the tall buildings will put existing neighbors in the shade.
  • The top story balconies will invade the privacy of some homes.
  • Parking will be woefully inadequate in the plan.
  • Reno claimed that it could not provide emergency services.  Verdi has no fire station; not even a volunteer station.
  • Needed infrastructure should be in place before construction.
  • This is a poor plan bringing in excessive density to the detriment of the community.
  • The Garson Rd. overpass (built 1964) is already inadequate as is the on-ramp to I-80.
  • This developer has lied consistently about their plans to address flooding.
  • The federal DOT should review the plans since the I-80 ramp can flood.
  • Wildfire evacuation issues are “a recipe for death”.  The emergency exit is to the East which is most likely heading into an approaching fire.
  • One resident lost two horses in the 1996 wildfire: he was unable to evacuate them.
  • Neighbors bought homes on 1-acre lots with the reasonable expectation that zoning would be honored.
  • Area development is putting pressure on wildlife.  Deer are roaming Verdi due to the loss of their habitat.
  • The developer is making no effort to accommodate the existing neighbors.  The continuance is made under false pretenses.
  • Some of the problems with the plan previously identified by staff have not been addressed.  Issues need to be addressed now; not “figured out” later.
  • Steamboat Ditch is not identified as a drainage ditch by the Army Corps, but is intended for this use by this developer.
  • Older wells provided ample flow drilled 200′ deep.  Now wells need to be 500′ deep and provide less flow.
  • TMWA’s water line will not be complete until 2021 at the earliest.  In this regard, the tentative map does not comply with the code requirements.
  • The developer misrepresented the water plans to the city in 2016.  The developer has gone to court to force the city to approve the plan again.
  • Developer payments to the city are already overdue.
  • The traffic study is now two years old and not current.

Note that the traffic report was done by Paul Soleagui who has consistently written reports that favor the developers that employ him.  He is notorious after doing traffic studies on national holidays when there are no commuters or school traffic.

Neighbors cringed to see Angela Fuss on the dais.  After years of promoting non-compliant developments for Lumos, her new position as the manager of the planning department suggests the total capture of Reno’s planning function by the developers.

Agenda: 2019-10-03 Reno City Planning Commission – Public Agenda-1857

Video

 

Recent Events 10/2/2019

County Manager hiring decision 9/30/19

The Washoe County Commission interviewed the top three candidates for the County Manager position on Monday, 9/30/19 and selected Eric Brown to succeed John Slaughter and taking over from the acting County Manager; David Solaro.  The two other top candidates were Kate Thomas, the Assistant County Manager and Jon Hagar who was employed the the Silver State Health Exchange.  Thomas drew the ire of some south county residents for her desire to incorporate the Truckee Meadows Fire Department into the Reno Fire Department.

RGJ Article 9/30/19

Meeting Video

Washoe Planning Commission denies Pleasant Valley Estates development 10/1/19

The Washoe County Planning Commission unanimously denied the Pleasant Valley Estates development at their meeting Tuesday, 10/1/19.  There was little discussion, but the principal concern was that it was not compatible with the area or in compliance with the South Valleys Area Plan.  Look for a detailed piece on this outcome here in the next few days.  Also, be on the lookout for an appeal by the developer who can expect favorable consideration by the county commissioners.

Coming up …

Reno Planning Commission considers Meridian 120 development, TOMORROW, 10/3

Come support the embattled Verdi neighbors as they fight this high density development in their small community.  The Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) voted to deny this project in September.  The Reno Planning Commission will meet at the chambers in City Hall at 6:00 PM.  Contact the planning commissioners through this page.

Wildfire Hazard and implications for Development Meeting Thursday, 10/17/19

Come hear former Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott discuss strategies for “smart growth” that limit the wildfire hazard that accompanies development.  The meeting is hosted by neighbors in Silver Knolls and will be at the TMCC campus at 7000 Dandini Way at 7:00 PM in Room 108 of the Sierra Building.

Washoe-Reno Smart Growth Alliance Community Meeting Flyer_100219

Aside …

Washoe District Court

Wolgast requested a copy of the complaint that the speculators filed with the court in the Daybreak case.  This is the filing in which the speculators claim damages because Reno did not grant them a special exception from the master plan.  The court website listed the complaint complete with dates and legal steps in the case, but not the complaint itself.  Wolgast wrote a letter to the Clerk of the Court requesting a copy of the complaint since there is no way to request records online or to contact the Clerk by e-mail or phone.  The Deputy Clerk sent a form with a box checked that a fee of $93.00 must be paid before a paper copy will be made.  The payment must be by money order or cashier’s check.  WRAP will pay the fee.  The complete scanned document will be available on the WRAP site once the copy is received.

It appears that the court is deliberately making it both difficult and expensive to access public records.  There is a chronic problem across the nation denying legal access to citizens.  It looks like the Washoe District Court is part of the problem.

Washoe-Court_Fee_092319