Growth limit sessions continue

Growth limits in Douglas County will be discussed and debated at a special public meeting from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, at the Starbucks coffee plant, 2525 Starbucks Lane in Minden.

Community Development Director Mitch Dion said county officials will be focusing on the number of available lots approved and a potential growth management ordinance for Douglas County.

Participants will also be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the Carson City and Boulder City growth ordinances in an attempt to get a consensus on what elements could be integrated into a Douglas County ordinance.

"The Carson City ordinance was driven by wastewater capacity," Dion said. "That lead them to certain controls and conclusions that may or may not be appropriate in Douglas County."

Conducted by the Douglas County Planning Commission, this is the second in a series of meetings designed to address the topic during Douglas County's ongoing 10-year master plan review.

"We'll be there to listen," said Planning Commission Chairwoman Nancy McDermid. "We want everyone to feel comfortable about coming to the meeting. There will be a quorum of planning commissioners, but we won't be taking any action."

County officials have instigated a number of policies to curb growth here, including transfer development rights used to preserve environmentally sensitive land and cluster development to provide more open space, but the 2 to 3.5-percent growth limits specified in Douglas County's 1996 master plan have not been implemented.

The issues are intertwined with Sustainable Growth Initiative, a voter-mandated growth cap approved in 2002 that would limit building permits for homes to 280 a year.

Numerous entities, including Douglas County and Syncon Homes have challenged the Initiative both in and outside the Supreme Court, including an appeal by Syncon Homes. They recently appealed a Supreme Court decision that asked the high court to reconsider its earlier ruling that Douglas voters had the right to put strict limits on new development.

Syncon lawyers argued the ruling was invalid because less than four justices concurred in the opinion, but last week, the high court ruled only a majority concurrence is required.

John Garvin, cochair of the Sustainable Growth Initiative Committee said the Initiative could be subject to other appeals, but this decision adds impetus to growth management effort taken on by the county.

He would like to see a quick resolution to this issue.

"If the county has a program we can accept that's fine," he said."If not, we can move ahead with the lawsuit. We'll wait for the courts to decide if we get no agreement with the county."

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

What: Growth management element of the10-year mp review process,

When: 3-5 p.m. Thursday

Where: Conference room at Starbuck's coffee plant, 2525 Starbucks Lane in Minden


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