Changes come to Elges Lane |

Changes come to Elges Lane

by Linda Hiller

Before the end of July, Elges Lane will become a cul-de-sac, leaving some residents relieved and at least one other concerned.

Neighbors in this Gardnerville neighborhood have been embroiled in a two-year fight to stop a so-called affordable housing project from going in on Elges Lane, and the move to make the street a dead end is considered by some a small bone thrown to these beleaguered homeowners.

“Most of us can’t wait until this road is a dead end,” said Toni Markle, who has owned her home on Elges Lane since 1993. “The traffic is horrendous, especially since the Bently building went in. I get up early, and one morning between 5:30 and 6 a.m., I counted 62 cars. It’s bad enough we have to put up with this housing project, at least we can cut down on the traffic when they make the dead end.”

Markle said she thought most of her neighbors were in favor of the road closure, but next door, Mable Havens, 87, who has lived in her home for two decades, isn’t so sure.

“I’m not in favor of the closure,” she said from her front porch facing Elges Lane Thursday. “I’m worried that if the sheriff or fire department has to get here, they’ll have a harder time of it. This whole thing has me upset, anyway.”

n Response time same for fires. Steve Eisele, East Fork deputy fire chief/fire marshall, said the closure of Elges Lane would have only a minimal effect on his department’s response time.

“On a first alarm structure fire, we’ll have trucks coming out of Gardnerville and Minden, and they’d come in on Waterloo Lane anyway,” he said. “For a second alarm fire, we’ll need more people, so they’ll come from Fish Springs and the Ranchos. They might have gone up Elges, and then again, maybe not – maybe they’d come up Centerville to Waterloo.”

Eisele said the ambulance service that supports the Elges Lane area comes from County Road in Minden, which would also bring them in on Waterloo Lane rather than Elges Lane.

“Elges is a two-lane, 25 mph road with no shoulders, so we shouldn’t be racing down that street, anyway,” Eisele said. “Our timeliness will be same as it is right now.”

Lance Modispacher, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office information officer, said his office, as of Friday noon, hadn’t received formal notice of the Elges closure.

“We definitely need to know the details of this for emergency purposes,” he said.

n Developer cooperative. Mike Grant is the project superintendent for Picerne Development Corp., the Florida company that owns, and is building, Crestmore Village Apartments. Grant said he officially notified several county offices Thursday that the closure would take place sometime in the next 8 to 10 days.

Grant said a permit to close Elges Lane was obtained from the county as soon as he was notified of its necessity.

“We’re trying to do everything by the book,” he said. “I think the closing of Elges Lane was driven mostly by requests from the neighbors.”

After Elges Lane is closed within the next few weeks, according to project engineer R.O. Anderson, a new street, Stodieck Parkway, will curve around the Crestmore Village Apartments complex, eventually reaching Toler Avenue to the north and Highway 395 to the (roughly) south.

“We are in the process of getting the final permits through for Stodieck Parkway,” Anderson said. “That road should be through sometime in the fall.”

Chris New, vice president of Picerne Development Corp., said both phases of the affordable housing project will cost just over $5 million, with the roadwork adding another $500,000.

Phase one of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2000, with phase two completed by March 2001, New said from Florida Thursday.

Tenants for the housing project will be working people whose income falls below the 50 percent income level for Douglas County, he said.

“This is not a HUD project,” New said. “Typically, people with Section 8 certificates through HUD don’t qualify for our projects. We do background checks for police records and drug use and don’t have to rent to people who come up positive. We are vigilant about our projects. This is a family-owned business and we will be managing Crestmore Village Apartments after they’re built.”

Rick Kester, business services administrator for the Douglas County School District, said he was unsure if the Elges Lane closing would change the way school buses deliver students to nearby Gardnerville Elementary School.

“We are constantly adding stops and looking at routes with new developments,” he said. “Since we don’t stop within one mile of a school, I think this isn’t really going to impact us.”

School is out at GES until Aug. 14, Kester said. Before that opening, transportation officials will look at the Elges Lane closure.

“It may cause us to slightly modify some routes, but I don’t think it will be a big problem,” Kester said.