Virginia Ranch stalls at planning commission

Plans for the first phase of the 105-home Virginia Ranch development south of Toler Lane stalled at Tuesday's planning commission meeting after engineer R.O. Anderson charged that county requirements were not acceptable.

The issue was continued to next month's planning commission meeting, following a fairly contentious debate over details in the plan.

To make his point, Anderson cited a number of examples, including requirements dealing with everything from roads to drainage and sewage systems.

"Some of the language is troublesome. Redesign with respect to arterial roadways is inconsistent with previous approvals," Anderson said. "It's unfortunate, that we find ourselves dealing with these types of problems at this level."

A planned development on 43.6 acres, this first phase of the 226-acre project includes open space, an RV storage area and school site. Traditional alleys with rear garages, pedestrian and open space connections and a variety of residential designs are all part of the plan.

The development, which is located south of Toler Lane and east of Highway 395, was approved by Gardnerville's town board April 4.

"Our staff reviewed this project extensively and it's been a pleasure to work with the developers and their representatives," said Jim Park, Gardnerville's town manager. "In the Virginia specific plan, it's news to me that a change was proposed to delete the bikeway on Lexington. We didn't receive a staff report from Douglas (County)."

Community Development Director Mitch Dion said his department is working to ensure adherence to the Virginia Ranch Specific Plan, an overarching document in addition to the more detailed subdivision plan.

"What we have to do is look out for the welfare of these regional facilities for the benefit of the public and the devil is in the details," Dion said. "It's like building a bridge from two shorelines. In the (Virginia Ranch) specific plan there will be different builders and developers. We make sure the bridge meets in the middle."

R.O. Anderson Engineering participated in the drafting of this document and now, they don't want to adhere to the published goals and guidelines, Dion said.

He cited one of Anderson's objections, the distances between intersections on Muller Parkway, which is specified in the transportation section, as an example.

"Limited access to arterial streets and specific distances between intersections are policies set in the specific plan," he said "We object to their proposed (intersection) spacing, because it will cause congestion on Muller. They didn't fulfill the requirements."

Virginia Ranch will be developed over time. The complete development includes an estimated 715 single-family homes on 134 acres, 305 multi-family townhomes on 54 acres, a school site, a 22-acre commercial area and the RV park.

In other business:

• The public is invited to a meeting from 3-5 p.m. April 26 at the Donegal Room at the Carson Valley Inn to discuss the growth management element of the master plan.

The meeting is sponsored by the Douglas County Planning Commission and will cover a number of topics including the clustering of development, transfer development rights and the timing, location and financing of growth.

Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.


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