Park project back before county

The Park Ranch project comes back to the Douglas County commission sometime after 4 p.m. today, a year after company officials began efforts to win approval for a master plan amendment that significantly changes the Carson Valley landscape.

In addition to the master plan amendment, Park officials are seeking approval of a specific plan outlining the development that would add 4,500 residences to Minden and Gardnerville over the next 40 years.

County staff is recommending denial of the project as inconsistent with the master plan.

The planning commission recommended denial in September, and county commissioners voted 3-2 that month to continue the project until Thursday.

In a 19-page report prepared for commissioners, case planner Harmon Zuckerman and case engineer Barbara Resnik said the project is inconsistent with the master plan.

"The major issues that confront the master plan amendment are its inability to provide regional benefit regarding flooding and traffic, its proposal to add extraordinary amounts of new housing and commercial development at a time and in an environment when there is not a demonstrable need for either, and its negative impacts on transportation infrastructure ...," the report states.

"There has been a great deal of discussion about this application providing certainty and a 40-year planning horizon. The Park Ranch project has been lauded as an opportunity for Douglas County to program its growth, and to know where it is going to occur.

"But if the county had been charged with planning for a new area to accept growth, say, during the year of planning that resulted in the 2006 master plan update, would the area chosen have been the Park Ranch? In this area, which provides our rural towns a major piece of their character, which contains so much floodplain land, and which is a location of agricultural operations, the best place in Douglas County to accept growth on the scale that is proposed today? The answer is no."

Park Cattle Chairman Brad Nelson said Tuesday he hopes the board approves the project.

"We're looking forward to positive leadership from the commission," he said. "It's the right thing for long-term planning for the county."

Since the project was rejected by planning commissioners in July, Nelson said the county passed its airport master plan.

"That influenced certain parcels of the project," he said. "We had to go back and eliminate those parcels for the airport protection zones. In turn, that reduces water, sewer and traffic demands. We took over 10 percent of the units out and that has resulting diminished impacts."

Commissioners have three alternatives: Approval, denial or continuance.

If the board approves a master plan amendment, it must adopt a resolution containing the board's required finding in the affirmative.

Because of the planning commission and staff recommendations for denial, no resolution has been prepared, so the board would need to continue the vote pending preparation of the resolution.

The project covers 4,500 acres of Park Cattle Co. property.

At buildout, the Park Ranch would add 4,500 new homes primarily between the towns of Minden and Gardnerville.

The development would include public facilities, light industrial, mixed-use commercial, business parks, schools, Western Nevada College facilities, open space, parks, recreation and well sites and residential lots.

Rob Anderson, representing the Park Ranch, has said the project would mean 7,000 permanent jobs, 15,000 residual jobs, $125 million annually in taxes to Douglas County, $125 million in one-time fees, $1.8 million annually in Minden taxes and $62 million to Minden for water.


County commissioners are set to hear the Park Ranch master plan amendment and specific plan after 4 p.m. Thursday at commission chambers, 1616 8th St., Minden. Commissioners have allotted 90 minutes on the agenda for the hearing.


Park Cattle Co.


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