We’ve been following the 1,020-unit Virginia Ranch development in Gardnerville pretty steadily but there are other projects that have been lurking in the background since the turn of the century.
A 116-unit townhome project on either side of Monte Vista Avenue was conditionally recommended for approval by the Minden Town Board last week. While around a tenth the size of Virginia Ranch, it was envisioned with the rest of the Nevada Northwest project, which at one time included a casino and a really big shopping mall.
Now there are homes being built at that location, with a little shopping mall proposed across Santa Anita Avenue.
The project at Monte Vista will fill in the vacant space left between the current homes north of Jake’s Wetlands.
The approvals of that development along the northwestern part of Minden coincided with the campaign and approval of the Sustainable Growth Initiative, which capped the number of building permits that can be issued in Douglas County.
Approved in 2002, it was enacted by the county in 2007 after a significant legal struggle was put to bed by the Nevada Supreme Court.
But like the projects approved at the beginning of the 21st Century and never built, the ordinance has never been tested.
With the large number of unused building permits gathering like lint in a drier screen, it may be a spell before it is seriously challenged.
On the other end of town, commissioners tossed the decision on a 10.5 acre school site at Virginia Ranch back over to the Douglas County School Board. Like a lot of things that seemed like a good idea at the beginning of the century, events on the ground seem to have bypassed the need for that site.
State law is pretty clear that the school district will have to pay for the land. The district would then have to pay to build a school there. Nye County approved spending $15 million on a new elementary school for an enrollment of 163 students in Tonopah.
Douglas County voters approved bonding to build Piñon Hills and Minden elementary schools in 1992 after at least three tries, demonstrating that it’s one thing having a site for a school, and quite another building a school.
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