Update: Gardnerville project seeks changes

Developers of a 1,020-home subdivision located behind the Gardnerville WalMart want to modify the Virginia Ranch Specific Plan.

A hearing on changes to the Virginia Ranch Specific Plan has been delayed at the request of the developer’s representatives.

By far the biggest change would be the elimination of an 11-acre elementary school site.

Douglas County School Board trustees approved allowing the site to revert back to the developer after determining that there is neither demand nor funding to build a new school.

Abandoning the site won’t increase the number of homes allowed on the property, Gardnerville Town Manager Erik Nilssen said in his report.

There were more than 6,200 students when the plan was approved in 2004. As of this year there are just over 5,000 students.

Under an agreement with the school district, developers will provide eight homes to the district for employee housing.

Nilssen said the district never recommended having a school site, since Gardnerville Elementary School is around a mile away.

“Although the housing proposal seems fraught with potential issues, town staff does not believe the proposal should be part of the consideration by the town board,” Nilssen said. “Enrollment numbers and an aging demographic seems to support the elimination of a potential elementary school.”

Developers are also seeking to eliminate the requirement that parcels less than 60 feet wide have their garages open onto an alleyway in the back and adding a section for private streets.

Nilssen said there are both good and bad accompanying the design, which is currently used in Arbor Gardens, including maintaining more roadway per lot.

“Even though the rear loaded lots do provide an enhanced street scape and pedestrian comfort, town staff agrees to save on pavement maintenance costs the elimination of the requirement for rear-loaded lots should be approved.”

Having segments of the project’s roads converted to private maintenance would also reduce the burden of maintaining them.

There are other projects in the town with similar requirements.

Nilssen is recommending the board take no action on the elimination of the school site and approval of the other two modifications.

It has been a year since Lucas Automotive Engineering owner Stan Lucas purchased the property from Carson Valley Inn owner Mike Pegram for $27 million.

The Virginia Ranch Project was approved for 1,020 homes on the former Jacobsen Ranch in December 2004. The Gardnerville Walmart was built on the site of the commercial area under the approval obtained by Sierra Nevada SW Enterprises.

The property was the subject of a legal settlement that memorialized the specific plan.

The 203-acre project is located along the eastern boundary of the town stretching from Toler Lane south to Charlotte.

“It is anticipated the town board will hear numerous applications over the next four years,” Nilssen wrote.

The project is required to build Muller Lane Parkway along its western edge.


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