Clear Creek seeks help with water system
The owners of the Clear Creek subdivision are going before Douglas County commissioners on Thursday in an effort to reduce their upfront costs to build the project located along Highway 50 above Jacks Valley.
While a proposed change to the sewer services appears to work for both the county and the developer, planners are seeking direction from commissioners on the water system.
Under the original approval, Clear Creek’s owners were required to build the on-site water system and off-site improvements to connect to the county’s system.
According to Public Works Director Carl Ruschmeyer, those improvements, costing up to $2 million include a water tank, a production well, and other infrastructure.
Ruschmeyer said that the developer said they won’t go forward with the project if they have to complete the off-site infrastructure in the first phase.
In a memo to commissioners, Ruschmeyer said that the county will need to dig a well within three years at a cost of $1 million. Another option is for the county to split the cost of the water improvements with the developer, and then be paid back as homes connect to the system, or to allow the developer to build part of the improvements in the first phase.
The 366-home project was approved by the county in 2003. Alpine View residents sued to prevent the approval in a case that went to the Nevada Supreme Court.
■ A proposed East Valley bed-and-breakfast could win county approval now that the applicant has withdrawn a proposal to hold special events.
Planning commissioners denied Marie Soucie’s request on Oct. 8, citing the special events as one of the major reasons.
“Since the planning commission’s determination, the applicant has withdrawn the request to include special events with the special use permit,” according to the report prepared by Associate Planner Dirk Goering and Civil Engineer Natalia Moore.
Douglas County commissioners could overturn the planning commission’s decision based on the change.
At the planning commission, neighbors representing all but one of the homes in the Buckthorn Court cul-de-sac spoke at the planning commission meeting, expressing concern about traffic, noise and security.
They even voted to change the covenants, codes and restrictions for the neighborhood to prohibit any lodging after they heard of Soucie’s plans.
While a bed-and-breakfast is an allowed use under the five-acre residential zoning the lot sits in, county attorney Cynthea Gregory said it isn’t a use by right, as claimed by the applicant’s representatives.
According to a letter submitted by Soucie to the planning department, she is seeking a permit for a “high end, but small bed-and-breakfast.”
She said that she will not have a liquor license, won’t need additional parking, that her guests won’t need to use Buckthorn to turn around and that the property will be quiet.
Soucie bought the property in March and contacted the planning department to find out if it was an acceptable use.
She said she put more than $1 million in improvements into the property.
Neighbor Susan G. Allen asked that planning commissioners respect the CC&Rs on the property, even though the county does not enforce them.
“This project will bring noise and does not preserve the neighborhood,” she said.
Patti Graf told planning commissioners Soucie was not the only Buckthorn resident who invested large amounts of money in her property.
She said their property looks like a park with walkways through extensive landscaping that leads to two ponds, which are 6-feet deep. She said the lack of lights in the neighborhood could mean someone could wander onto her property and endanger themselves.
Bob Farnsworth told planning commissioners that he’d lived in Douglas County for 40 years, mostly at Lake Tahoe. He said the reason he moved to Buckthorn Court was because his neighbors at the Lake started renting their property out.