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October 8, 2012
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Ranch rides to county approval

There was zero discussion about a Zerolene bridge over Martin Slough at Thursday's Douglas County Commission meeting.

County commissioners approved modifications to The Ranch at Gardnerville. Commissioners had already approved the modifications for the first phase, but told the project developer that they had to go back through the process for the rest of the project.

More than a dozen homes are under construction along the extension of Gilman Avenue in Gardnerville. In all 15 building permits for single family homes have been approved since work began in September 2011. According to the Assessor's Office, four homes have been sold, and are occupied.

The final phase of the 633-unit 208-acre project isn't expected to be completed until 2039. Work in Gardnerville is expected to be completed by 2024. After that, developers would start building near Buckeye Road in 2027, according to the phasing plan approved by the county. If the housing market improves, the project could be finished sooner, according to engineer Rob Anderson.

The project, originally known as Anker-Park, was first approved by the county in 2004 and stretches from Gilman in the south to Buckeye Road in the north. It is separated from the northern flank of Minden and Gardnerville by the Martin Slough.

The Ranch is also dedicating 44 acres of open space, including a portion of the Martin Slough Trail, and donating $100,000 to the effort to build the trail.

Modifications before commissioners on Thursday centered on variances sought by the developer, including the ability to reduce setbacks for the houses from the street without seeking a variance and reducing the speed limit on the yet to be built Heybourne Road, among others.

"With a wider main thoroughfare and lower speed limit, it turns it into a neighborhood," said Commissioner Greg Lynn.

Anderson raised the issue of a bridge across Martin Slough at the Douglas County Planning Commission on Sept. 11 while discussing the modifications to the subdivision.

Under the original plan, the developer is responsible for construction of the street from Highway 395 to the center of the development. Anderson said that as a main route between Heybourne and Highway 395, Zerolene would have to withstand a 100-year flood without water going over the roadway.

With the new flood maps, that would require a 135-foot bridge at an estimated cost of $2.5 million in addition to the anticipated $3.9 million to build the road, Anderson said.

However, county attorney Cynthea Gregory said the condition, which is in the original plan, should be addressed through formal modification of the planned development.

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The Record Courier Updated Oct 8, 2012 11:24AM Published Oct 8, 2012 11:22AM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.