353-home Ranchos project clears hurdle
May 7, 2018
A Gardnerville Ranchos project that has been on the books for a dozen years is seeking several alterations to the original plan approved in 2006.
Rancho Sierra was originally approved for 307 homes on 80 acres off the south end of Tillman Lane in July 2006. While the original plan has since expired, the amendment that allowed single family residential remains in the master plan.
In order to build the 353 homes, the owner will have to obtain development rights from agricultural land.
On Tuesday, planning commissioners recommended county commissioners approve seven variances, including to the requirement for a full secondary access to the property after 20 lots are built.
The developer is proposing a graded gravel road until they build 103 homes, when they'll pave the on-site road, and then off-site roads after 199 homes are built.
Under the phasing plan, the road would go from Tillman Lane to Heritage Lane and then off-site from Heritage Lane to Dressler Lane.
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The property is zoned single family residential with a density of 8,000-square-foot lots, which would allow around five homes per acre.
The developer is required to provide a second access to the project running south from Tillman Lane to Heritage Lane to Dressler Lane. Dressler Lane intersects with Highway 88 south of Kimmerling Way.
Eight residents spoke in opposition to the project at Tuesday's meeting.
Ron Bush said he was concerned that the project would be more than three-quarters done before the second access was paved to county standards.
One Ranchos resident pointed out that she expected dust from the project.
"I'm definitely in the dust receiving area of this proposed development," Amy Jackson said. "Doesn't the master plan have a do-not-harm clause? When the wind blows it can get up to 70-80 mph. I have seen trees come down from a wind gust. Can they guarantee we're not going to have any dust in our yards?"
Resident Christine Coulter asked that planning commissioners delay their decision on the project until residents had more time to read through the packet.
"I use that area for bicycling and saw a sign at the end of Tillman on a big piece of plywood," she said. "I had to get off my bike to see what it was. Please give us a little more time to talk to our neighbors. It's 14 years of our lives you're planning here."
The land is owned by Ranchos Sierra Group, which was formed in 2013.
The property belonged to Frederick Dressler until it was sold in 2005, according to the Assessor's Office.
Lots on the property would include 5,000, 6,000 and 7,000 square feet in size.
Most of the variances relate to street and right of way widths and intersection separations. The Falk-Tillman Ditch passes through the property, which county code says should be given a 50-foot berth on either side.
The developer has a letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the ditch is not a water of the United States.
In 2006, the water conveyance advisory committee determined that abandonment of the ditch won't affect downstream users.
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