by Sandy Deyo

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September 18, 2012
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No reason for taxpayers to contribute to The Ranch

I am a believer in a free enterprise system. If someone has an idea and wants to take the risks in bringing it to the market place they should reap the rewards. Having said that, I feel it has to be qualified in saying the laws, regulations and visions on the federal, state and local levels have to be met.

In considering the Ranch at Gardnerville project I have a number of concerns.

1) Heybourne Road

When Mr. Anderson of R.O. Anderson spoke to the Minden Town Board about the proposed Monterra development he said the design of the Heybourne section was to be the design for future extensions of the road. Per Mr. Anderson that design is not to be used at the Ranch as it does not make the project feasible. Too expensive?

2) Heybourne/Buckeye intersection

In his presentation to the Minden Town Board, Mr. Anderson mentioned the portion of the project at this intersection has not been finalized. He stated there was a need to resolve some drainage problems prior to finalizing the design. This intersection area also provides some interesting pedestrian/vehicle traffic challenges. I use the term intersection area as just north of the intersection Bougainvillea enters Heybourne and this route is used by many of the Buckeye/Heybourne users. Currently users are parents driving their children to school, school buses, workers in the GE area, students at the college, residents from the east valley area, commercial vehicles, hay trucks (semi-rigs with trailers), and grade school children walking or on bikes, skateboards, etc. When you add many of the residents from the 600 home proposed for the project to the existing traffic you can see the complications that will exist. This does not take into consideration any additional developments that may come into being or the possibility of emergency vehicles being located in the area.

There is a roundabout proposed for this intersection.

How do you position school crossing guards at a round-about?

I feel the county should want the design at this intersection finalized prior to approving any portion of the project.

3) At a presentation to the Minden Board, Mr. Anderson spoke of the graciousness of the developer in donating land to the Town. I feel in reality most of the donated land would not be suitable for residential development. By donating the land to the town the developer does not have to worry about any development, maintenance or liability costs.

I would like to point out that in Winhaven there are several drainage systems and an RV storage area that are maintained by the homeowner associations.

I feel the developer of the Ranch is not interested in establishing a homeowners association due to:

a) The high costs associated with developing such organizations due to the legal aspects.

b) Developers would rather deal with problems on an individual basis rather than face with a group in an association.

Why should all the taxpayers in Minden have to pay for the upkeep of land the developer does not want?

4) Having mentioned the RV storage area in Winhaven I wish to point out we are no longer a one- or two-car family society. We have become a society of multi- vehicle families, RVs, boats and trailers, campers, etc. Unless provisions are made for the storage of such units a problem of "on street" parking will develop. This will lead to problems of trash removal, street sweeping, snow removal, etc.

5) The problem of the development of Zerolene is primarily due to the proposed development of the Ranch at Gardnerville. If the development wasn't being proposed there would be no need to improve Zerolene. The cost has been estimated at $3.8 million plus $2.5 million for a bridge to span the Martin Slough. Why should the taxpayers have to pay for any of the $6.2 million in improvements needed for the project it?

Mr. Anderson has said costs to developers should be commensurate with how much traffic is generated by the new subdivision. Won't the vast majority of the traffic on Zerolene be generated by the new subdivision?

6) If Zerolene is improved it will create problems at the intersection with 395. Residents of, and visitors to, the Ranch will be using Zerolene to access 395. There will be vehicles making left hand turns from 395 on to Zerolene. What changes will NDOT want at this intersection, when would they have to be incorporated, and who will have to pay for them? Shouldn't these issues be resolved prior to any approval of the project?

Currently the only viable routes from the project to 395 are

a) via Gilman to 395.

b) via Buckeye to 395.

c) via Heybourne to Bougainvillea, to Lantana, to Ironwood to 395.

Considering the above routes it should be easy to understand the potential usage of Zerolene by residents of the project.

7) Transparency

Wealth Strategies Development is a "full service development company" so who is really the key in this development?

8) Risk

I can understand the developer's desire to minimize their risks by having the taxpayers accept some of the costs necessary for their program but I don't feel the county should accept these risks for the taxpayers.

The county has lately experienced the problems that can occur when a project is delayed or cancelled. This project is estimated to take over 20 years to complete. What would be the risks to the taxpayers for the completion of any unfinished infrastructure if the developer should decide to drop or put the project on hold at any time?

Sanford Deyo is a Minden resident.

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The Record Courier Updated Sep 18, 2012 05:42PM Published Sep 18, 2012 05:41PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.