Commission approves Corley Ranch project 4-1 |

Commission approves Corley Ranch project 4-1

by Aurora Sain
The Corley Ranch from Pine Nut Road.
Kurt Hildebrand |

Douglas County commissioners approved an amendment to the master plan and a special plan for a development on the northern part of the Corley Ranch.

The commissioners met on Thursday, and voted 4-1 in favor of both, with only Doug Johnson voting in opposition each time.

The amendment would change the land use designation from agriculture to receiving area and would amend the Ruhenstroth community plan to create a transition area that would allow increased residential density and commercial development.

“I think it enhances our master plan,” said Commissioner Nancy McDermid. “Given the situation, given the project, I do support this master plan amendment.”

The area involved is about 130 acres of the Corley’s 288 acres, just south of Pinenut Road.

The proposal would include 37 acres of a working ranch farm, which would not be developed, 42 acres of active living units and 136 cottage homes for people 55 and older.

“I appreciate the rural character of the area,” said resident Richard Holstein. “It is against the collective interest of the Ruhenstroth community.”

The Gardnerville Town Water Co. and Minden-Gardnerville Sanitation District would serve the project with water and sewer. Access would be off Pinenut Road.

Residents were concerned that the amendment to the Ruhenstroth community plan, which limits residential development to large lots and prohibits commercial development, could lead to additional projects.

“What’s going to stop future exceptions,” said 17-year Ruhenstroth resident Rose Swift. “I like being able to step out and see the stars.”

The people for and against the project were about split down the middle, with many people coming to defend the Corleys.

“I didn’t want change, but we can’t escape it,” said Dr. Thomas Lund. “I think this project is very reasonable.”

The meeting lasted several hours, and finished after 7 p.m.

Most of the commissioners liked the idea of the proposed project, and agreed that it could potentially be beneficial to the county.

“I think the concept of farmstead is really interesting,” said Commissioner Barry Penzel. “This proposal provides a lot of advantages for the community.”

People who were there to voice their opposition left the meeting as soon as the third commissioner said he was in favor of it, not waiting to hear the end.

“I think it’s very unique,” said Commissioner Steve Thaler. “Only time will tell.”

The special plan will go before the county commissioners one more time for a final reading.

The decision did not alter the zoning on property beyond the Corley Ranch.

Residents in the community located at the base of the Pine Nut Mountains are served by wells and septic tanks. Many have experienced drops in their wells due to the drought.