Owners of the largest industrial park in Storey County are considering a different venture for an area known for its warehouses and power plants.
Lance Gilman, co-owner of the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, said his planners are processing maps for a possible multimillion dollar residential development west of the center, starting at Chalk Bluffs and extending along the Truckee River toward Mustang.
"This is not a huge land play," he said Monday. "We're looking at doing a select, higher-end, river-orientated housing community that we can potentially put on the market during the next year."
The industrial center is a master-planned community, which means it would process the parcel maps and then sell the land to a housing developer.
The potential development is small, 30 to 40 lots, compared with booming development in such places as Fernley or Dayton.
Storey County isn't looking to become a bedroom community because of the high cost of providing utilities. A county building official said the growth of the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center has compelled the county commission to consider allowing a small residential development to support the center.
"Storey County commissioners don't really want a bunch of residential in Storey County, but they have identified McCarran Ranch, which is along the Truckee River, by the industrial park for some residential and they're starting to consider the Painted Rock area," said county building official Dean Haymore.
A Wal-Mart distribution center, located in the industrial park, will have about 600 employees by the time it opens on May 1. Employees who work at the existing businesses at the industrial center commute from the Reno/Sparks area or Lyon County.
Haymore said this small development wouldn't be an open door for other residential builders.
"We're not letting it be pushed down our throats," he said. "We're managing it so that it doesn't become a strain on our fire, police or our schools."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Storey County had a population of 3,700 in 2004 and 1,600 housing units as of 2002.
Haymore said the county would require the home developer to pay for extending sewer and water lines from Wild Horse Adult Resort & Spa to the new homes. The Wild Horse is off Interstate 80. The county would also like the area to have natural gas lines.
Only three homes are in that area, and they are on wells and septic systems, he said. The area is difficult for firefighters and police to access, which would have to be improved for a larger development.
The Nature Conservancy would have to agree on easements to allow the lines to reach the new homes, Haymore said.
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