The Schulz Ranch housing development along Carson City's southern border won approval from the Planning Commission Tuesday.
Of the dozen area residents who testified, all but one opposed the project saying they recognize the need for more housing in the capital but don't think their neighborhood of one-acre lots is the right place for 521 homes on just 126 acres.
Member Bill Vance made a last-minute attempt to cut out four homes to expand the proposed park, joined by Connie Bisbee. But Vice Chairman Mark Kimbrough objected saying the project has been through some two years of staff work and numerous public meetings. He said it was improper to be "negotiating on details at the last second." The other five members of the commission joined him in defeating the amendment, then approved the project as proposed.
Area resident Dee Dee Foremaster said the city would bar her from opening a stable downtown because it doesn't belong there.
"If you wouldn't let me put a riding stable in the middle of Carson City, why are you allowing these developers to put medium-density housing in a rural setting?" she asked.
Her husband, Jay Foremaster, said he is worried the project would suck dry area wells and increase nitrate pollution, forcing him to spend thousands to hook up to city sewer and water.
But Mark Rotter, engineer for developers Reynen & Bardis, said the homes will be entirely on city sewer and water so they won't dry up wells or add nitrates to the groundwater.
Tim Seward, representing the Washoe Tribe said Stewart residents, was most concerned about traffic down Center Drive, which could endanger children heading for play fields and the Headstart center there. He was joined by chairwoman Wanda Batchelor and several other tribe members.
Seward said the tribe hasn't had any contact with the commission or Carson City Board of Supervisors, and urged that they all get together to study tribal concerns before final approval of the project.
Community Development Director Walt Sullivan told commissioners the tribe was sent packets detailing the plans and invited to all meetings held on the Schulz project, but never showed up to present their side.
Commissioners approved the plan with two additions: Developers will add a fence along the north boundary adjacent to tribal land and do an archaeological study to make sure no historic or prehistoric artifacts are in the area.
If approved by the Board of Supervisors Oct. 20, the project will provide homes starting around $200,000 on lots from less than 3,000 square feet to a half-acre in size. It includes three parks and a greenbelt as well as neighborhood road improvements to handle increased traffic.
n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.