Scope: Stonegate is a development of 4,135-plus homes on 1,378 acres. It is located on the west side of I-395 north of Reno and South of Cold Springs on a plateau below the Peavine Mountains. The developer plans to sell “super-pads” to individual builders giving them flexibility to make their own designs. The developers will then need to apply for tentative map approval for each of the super-pads when the designs are done. This is a novel approach that may not be compliant with Nevada law.
- Traffic: This is already a high-traffic area. The new development will use a single on-ramp onto 395 likely causing gridlock.
- Any improvements to 395 will wait till after the area traffic study is complete in 2020.
- The developers are talking about having a light rail line into Reno. This is about as likely as flying cars.
- The 395 frontage road will be re-routed through the development. This will deny Cold Springs residents an alternate route to 395.
- School traffic for the many new students attending Cold Springs schools will be especially problematic.
- The traffic study submitted by the developers appears highly optimistic, but as of 1/15/18 is not available to review.
- Water Availability: the developers plan to use reclaimed water for landscaping. This is likely to make only a small dent in demand.
- Washoe County will not commit to providing reclaimed water.
- TMWA does not express confidence that they can provide sufficient water given the number of new developments approved for the North Valleys. They report it will be “first come, first served”. That does not sound like proper, realistic planning. Given the city and county’s penchant for new development, it is more likely to be “first come, last served”.
- Fire Protection: the City of Reno is already understaffed. How will they provide coverage this far from the city center? Reno has a history of grossly diluting services for existing residents. There is no confidence that their coverage of Stonegate would be better.
- Smog: the Washoe County Health Air Quality Management Division has concluded that adding so many homes in a valley like Cold Springs will hurt air quality. We can already see the smog in the Reno vicinity on days with an inversion layer or little wind.
- Flood Control: the plan would place the town center in a flood zone.
- Building here would not only subject the center to flooding, but would also reduce the percolation capacity causing worse flooding than seen historically.
- Route 395 blocks obvious routes for drainage channels.
- White Lake is a FEMA designated flood zone. The developers’ plan to dig out White Lake to increase the volume available has not been approved.
- Police Services: the developers plan for a police station adjoining the fire station. But, the Reno Police Department is understaffed. There’s a risk that the new police station will not be manned at all.
- Schools: the developer will set aside land for schools. But WCSD will need to buy the land, build the schools and staff them. This will be a problem for a district that struggles to be solvent.
- Sewage Treatment: the report submitted by the developers seriously underestimates the sewage volume.
- The geology of the basin will not handle a lot more effluent.
- There is no plan to protect the two area aquifers from contamination.
- Wildlife: NDOW’s concerns over the disruption of animal habitat are not addressed. Animals affected are Mule Deer, Pronghorn Antelope, Mountain Lion, Black Bear, Eagles (bald and golden).
Status: The final approval has come before the Reno City Commissioners twice and a decision was delayed for 30 days on January 10, 2018 to allow the developers to improve their plan. This is actually favors the developers since the likely alternative was to have the project denied.
Developer: Local principals including Michael Barnes of Ascente notoriety. Also, Don Pattalock, Dean Pearson, Tillio Lagata, Bill Wells, and Bill Scott.
- The development plan was approved by the Reno City Council on February 14, 2018
- The development approval was appealed on January 10, 2019. The appeal was denied.