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A lot of homes in Gardnerville’s future

Exercising his gift for understatement, Gardnerville Town Manager Tom Dallaire called a plan to put more than 4,000 homes on Park property north of town, “eye opening.”

While that proposal has yet to be presented, Dallaire said that the town will have to consider along with the other projects, including 1,020 homes in Virginia Ranch that are already approved.

Just those two projects alone, could triple the size of Gardnerville, which according to the U.S. Census has fewer than 3,000 homes now. At build-out, the town would be larger than the Gardnerville Ranchos.

Town board members discussed the future of Gardnerville at their meeting on Tuesday to explore providing comments to Douglas County as part of the 20-year master plan update.

Board member Cassandra Jones asked where the services for the 1,400 homes already on the books will come from.

“I see 1,400 new homes, yet where are the schools, the parks, the supermarkets to serve all these people?” she said. “I see the master plan as an agreement between the board and residents on what the town will look like.”

Under the master plan, Minden and Gardnerville are dealt with under the same chapter, but Gardnerville felt it was time to have its own chapter.

They discussed the effect of the county’s growth ordinance on future expansion.

Community Development Director Mimi Moss said that projects already on the books have building permits reserved.

However, because building has been far lower than the building permit cap, there’s quite a few permits available.

In the decade since the cap was approved, the annual limit has gone from 280 to 380 homes a year.

According to the county, only 851 building permits have been approved in the decade since the growth cap was implemented.

Board member Linda Slater said the town should be prepared for an increase in the number of houses.

“I see an uptick,” she said. “Look at what’s going on in Reno.”

Moss said that one limit to the town’s boundaries is the ability of utilities to provide urban services.

Gardnerville water and sewer services are provided by other entities.

One service that the town does supply, trash collection, was a concern.

When talking about whether the Corley Ranch project should be annexed, Board member Ken Miller asked about the town’s ability to collect trash there.

Dallaire said that with Gardnerville taking its trash to Carson City’s landfill, that would be a problem.

However, if the town could work out a deal to use the transfer station at Gardnerville, it could reduce the turnaround time necessary to pick up garbage.

Board members decided they would supply Dallaire with comments on the master plan, which would be transmitted to the county after the board approved them in open session.

Master Plan Consultant Candace Stowell said the online portion of the master plan survey closed on Sunday with 898 responses, 154 of which were from Gardnerville residents.

She said most were concerned with land use, growth management and housing.