The Board of Supervisors approved Thursday a plan for a residential development at Lompa Ranch after a lengthy discussion about building in floodplains.
The tentative planned unit development (TPUD) is proposed on 41.6 acres east of Interstate 580 and includes 137 single-family homes, an apartment complex, and a 3-acre dog park.
The property is in a floodplain and a portion is wetlands. To build on it, the developer will have to go through a process with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to remove it from the floodplain and with the Army Corps of Engineers to mitigate, if necessary, the removal of wetlands. No building permits will be issued until that work is completed.
The Planning Commission last month voted 4-2 to recommend the board approve it with Commissioners Paul Esswein and Hope Tingle voting no. The board voted 4-1 to approve with Supervisor John Barrette voting no.
Carson City staff has been working for a year with the developer, The Red Ltd., and its design consultant, Rubicon Design Group, to address several issues and come up with a proposal that could pass muster.
“This is a difficult piece of land. There were three items we struggled with,” said Hope Sullivan, planning manager. “I don’t want anyone to believe we took this lightly.”
The sticking points were traffic, the location of the 3-acre park, and stormwater.
The supervisors focused on the last item, and asked for assurances flooding could be addressed and mitigated without affecting surrounding land and homes.
“I want to know from our folks what we’re doing in terms of flood control,” said Mayor Bob Crowell. “Are we just solving the problem for one piece of property?”
Public Works Director Darren Schulz talked about the issues in that part of town, where land is flat and water drains slowly.
“We’re making sure development doesn’t make the problem worse in the long run,” said Schulz.
Michael Bell, a nearby resident, spoke during public comment, worried about additional flow into Eagle Creek.
“The gentleman who spoke is right,” said Schulz. “We’re putting more water into the stream and how is that going to be mitigated?”
In addition to working with FEMA and the Army Corps, the developer, as part of the conditions of approval, will have to install a storm drainage system that will be maintained by a home owners association.
In all, there are 81 conditions for approval and the supervisors made several changes before voting to approve it.
One condition to protect downstream properties was expanded to include surrounding properties after Supervisor Brad Bonkowski voiced concerns about land to the east being negatively affected. Another condition now says the developer must comply with the Army Corps of Engineers recommendations, and another requires all streets in the development to meet collector street drainage standards.
“I’m going to vote for this but I want it on the record that staff has the ability to say ‘no,’” if flood mitigation or other issues cannot be resolved, said Supervisor Lori Bagwell.
The board also discussed at length a contract with a consultant to conduct a stormwater rate study, which will also include an assessment of the already redone water and sewer rates.
“One of the concerns that came out of the previous rate study, the place where we missed the mark, was conservation on the water side,” said Bonkowski. “Will we be looking at that?”
Crowell had similar concerns.
“I want to make sure we’re using the right methodology,” he said.
The board approved the $93,772 contract with Farr West Engineering. According to a proposed schedule, the consultant will present a draft of the study to the Utility Finance Oversight Committee and to the board in May, and a final report in October.
The board also approved a $332,233 contract with V&C Construction, Inc., to replace sewer lines on Ann Street; a $467,507.70 contract with Sierra Nevada Construction, Inc., for storm drain work near the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles; and a participation agreement in which the city will reimburse not more than $94,000 to Carson City Nissan RE LLC for water and sewer work it’s doing in conjunction with building the new car dealership on South Carson Street.