This is an undeveloped property outside the city limits of Reno. It is a section of hilly terrain located south of McCarran Blvd. and west of the Lakeridge Golf Course. The four parcels constitute 1019 acres and are located in Washoe County, but within the Reno’s “sphere of influence”. It is also known as Ballardini Ranch.
The property owners, Evan’s Creek LLC of Stillwater, MN, applied to the City of Reno to get the property annexed with plans to develop it for residential housing. Annexation would have meant that urban-density zoning could be applied to the properties and that Reno would be responsible to provide water and sewer infrastructure to service the development.
This is a popular open space used for hiking, running, biking, and quad riding. A plan to acquire the property for a preserve was abandoned in 2003 when the owner decided not to sell. There had been $15M ear-marked in federal funds for the acquisition.
1997: Everest Development LLC (MN) entered an agreement with the Ballardini family to buy a portion of the 1,500 acre ranch. The developer asked Reno to include the southern 600 acres as part of its sphere-of-influence with the plan to build up to 2,226 residences. The developer withdrew this plan following a negative reaction from Reno, Washoe County, and the community.
1998: The Ballardini family reaches an agreement to sell 1,019 acres to Evans Creek LLC (an entity of Everest Development).
2000: Evans Creek applies for a master plan amendment in Washoe County that was denied. Washoe County adopted a plan to buy the property to include it in its Open Space Plan.
2002: The Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Authority circulated a new regional plan that showed the property within the Reno sphere-of-influence. The developer filed a request for annexation.
2003: The Truckee Meadows Regional Plan was updated to exclude the southern 600 acres from the Reno sphere-of-influence. The developer dropped their request for annexation. The developer submitted a new request for annexation that was opposed by Washoe County and denied by Reno.
2004: Washoe County initiated eminent domain proceedings to acquire the Property. The developer sued in response, and the parties reached an agreement in 2006. As part of the settlement agreement, Washoe County agreed not to oppose Plaintiff’s attempt to include the Property in the Truckee Meadows Service Area. The City then “encouraged” the developer to apply for acceptance of the 600 southern acres into the City’s section of the Truckee Meadows Service Area. The City told the developer that the property’s inclusion in the Service Area would be the first step towards development, with annexation and other approvals to follow.
2007: The developer applied to include the southern 600 acres in the Service Area in 2007. The City approved the application, and the property was included in the City’s section of the Service Area.
2014: The developer applied for annexation in 2014 Along with a proposed amendment to the master plan that would rezone the northern and southern part of the property for mixed-residential and single-family residential use, respectively. The developer also provided a traffic study and fiscal analyses, at the City’s request. The city staff recommended the 2014 application be denied and the developer terminated the application.
2020: The developer again submitted an annexation application and the city staff recommended approval. On May 27, the City denied the application due to the following issues:
- i) Evans Creek did not submit a master plan amendment request
- ii) there is no demand for the mixture of land use types proposed on the Property
- iii) there are alleged private party water rights disputes on the Property
- iv) fire danger
2021: The judge ruled that the developer did not make their case. The developer did not make a convincing argument that their annexation request was very similar to others that had been approved. There is no legitimate “takings” claim since the property was originally purchased under Washoe County planning rules and this does not change with the denial for annexation into the city. This does not preclude the developer from suing again with a more convincing argument.