50 master plan amendments considered with update | RecordCourier.com

50 master plan amendments considered with update

A dozen Carson Valley landowners are seeking more than 50 master plan amendments as part of the plan's 20-year update.

The amendments affecting 1,985 acres of land were detailed during a Douglas County Planning Commission workshop conducted during two days last week.

Most landowners are seeking conversion of their land to receiving area, which could allow any form of development, but would require that density be transferred from other parts of the Carson Valley.

Those requests affect 1,237 acres of land, 824 acres of which is presently forest and range or irrigated agriculture. Land owners are seeking to change 402 acres of rural residential to receiving area.

"We don't have a plan," Ranch 1 owner J.B. Lekumberry said of the request to convert 427 acres south of Genoa to receiving area. "The last spot for Genoa to grow is coming south. This is an opportunity for Genoa to grow a different way, if the community is interested in seeing something else."

Planning commissioner Frank Godecke recused himself from discussions on the amendments involving receiving area because he is seeking one to convert 373 acres on the family ranch to receiving area.

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The county allowed landowners to submit master plan amendments for free as part of the update process.

The second most popular request was to convert 358 acres of agricultural and range land to rural residential zoning.

Owners also sought to convert agricultural land to industrial and multi-family residential land uses.

County watchdog Jim Slade spoke on each of the 14 requests during public comment.

"There's only one reason to apply for an amendment and that's to make more money on the property they have," he said, likening the master plan to the Constitution. "That's not a good reason to approve any of these requests."

Slade pointed out that receiving area has the county's highest density, allowing up to 16 units per acre.

That density was the objection that Minden Town Board Chairman William Souligny gave for opposing conversion of 24 acres at the intersection of Highway 395 and 88 to multifamily residential. That request from Mike Pegram would convert the approved casino site into multi-family housing.

In a letter to planning commissioners, county commission Larry Walsh said he believes that if all the existing receiving areas were built out, the county's population could reach 94,744. Walsh pointed out that exceeds the current population projection of 70,376 by 2040.

"If we were to add in requested (receiving areas) at a reasonable zoning density, the population would reach 115,141."

He said receiving areas are an absolute property right and that the county shouldn't approve any new receiving areas unless owners relinquish that right voluntarily.

Of the more than two dozen letters received by the planning commission, most regarded the East Valley land use plan.

That prompted master plan consultant Candace Stowell to propose a policy prohibiting any new industrial or commercial use in that portion of the county.

"The message is coming through loud and clear that East Valley residents do not want expansion of any industrial and commercial land uses," Stowell said.

A proposal to mine gravel to subsidize construction of a sewer pond prompted the outpouring, Stowell said.

Community Development Director Mimi Moss said the policy would encourage projects to use the existing business parks in the area now.

Planning commissioners are scheduled to meet July 18-19 on the master plan amendments, with final action on Aug. 8. County commissioners won't consider the issue until September. The Douglas County Master Plan was completed in 1997 after years of workshops and meetings.

Proposed Master Plan Amendments

■ Bently Gardnerville Ranchos commercial to receiving area

■ Bently Johnson Lane Rural residential to single family estates

■ Curtis East Valley Irrigated agriculture to receiving area

■ Deverill Minden Commercial to multi-family residential

■ Godecke East Valley Agriculture to receiving area

■ Gregory Topaz Lake Commercial to multi-family residential

■ Hellwinkel Minden Commercial to multi-family residential

■ Holstein Gardnerville Ranchos Single family estates to single family residential

■ Lekumberry Genoa Agriculture to receiving area

■ Pegram Minden Commercial to multi-family residential

■ Peri Gardnerville Agriculture to multi-family residential, and commercial to industrial

■ Shaw Minden Tourist commercial to mulit-family residential

■ Williams Johnson Lane Forest and range to rural residential

A more complete list and description of the amendments is located at http://www.douglascountynv.gov/DocumentCenter/View/5678