North Douglas redevelopment sparks call for resignations

Expansion of redevelopment in north Douglas County is an ill-conceived idea that should cost Commission Chairman Kelly Kite and County Manager Dan Holler their jobs, according to a Lila Lane resident.

Jerry Vaccarro called for the resignation of Kite and dismissal of Holler before an audience of about 100 people at a recent meeting of the Good Government Group of Douglas County.

"If I can wake up at least five or 10 people in this room, make you aware of the injustices the commission and county manager have perpetrated to help the developers and the Bureau of Land Management, I'll be happy," said Vaccarro.

Kite could not be reached for comment, and Holler declined to respond to Vaccarro's allegation, Holler chose instead to explain the county's redevelopment policy.

About 144 acres of the redevelopment area were under BLM management. That parcel was sold to Carson City businessmen Michael Hohl and Dink Cryer in December 2003. BLM officials are getting ready to sell an adjacent parcel.

The county's actions are intended to fund the revitalization of blighted urban areas, and redevelopment pays for improvements through tax-increment financing.

Rather than directly taxing property owners within the affected area, a portion of the local tax revenues beyond a base level are siphoned off for improvements, modernization, reconstruction or rehabilitation.

Vaccarro said the way officials hopscotched around north Douglas County to amend Douglas County's redevelopment area made no sense.

"Sunridge Golf Course is 230 acres, an existing planned development with few buildings and all the water they need," he said. "Why were they included?"

Holler said the golf course has a water shortage and is economically depressed.

"That's not good for the county, the golf course or nearby residents," Holler said.

More development is expected in north Douglas County. The area will need infrastructure, and redevelopment can help facilitate that process, Holler said.

It's a tool Douglas officials have already used to facilitate development. Genoa once had an open septic system that would have cost millions to replace, without the help of redevelopment.

Holler said redevelopment dollars are created only after a redevelopment area increases in value, and that comes only with the improvements.

"We have to have growth in property values and investment by the private sector before redevelopment is a success," he said. "The existing debt for the redevelopment agency is being paid by existing revenues."

Vaccarro said the county has spent $3.7 million for new sewer and water lines in north Douglas County.

"Douglas County is so anxious for north-end development, they spent this kind of money," he said. "The people of Douglas County have been played for fools."

Vaccarro admitted he is not registered to vote in Douglas County.


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