Commission to look at Crestmore denial |

Commission to look at Crestmore denial

by Sharon Carter

When county commissioners meet Thursday, they will examine the planning staff’s findings for denying the application of Crestmore Village Apartments, an affordable housing complex slated for Elges Lane in Gardnerville.

Crestmore’s request for a multi-family residential overlay, which does not require a master plan amendment, was initially approved by the Douglas County Planning Commission Feb. 10. That finding, in favor of the three-building (which includes a one-story club house), 40-unit complex, was consistent with the recommendations of the county’s planning staff.

Two days later, the same request was denied by the Gardnerville Town Board. Although the project’s location is outside Gardnerville’s town limits, representatives of Picerne Development Corp. of Las Vegas, the project’s developer, had sought the town’s blessing in the endeavor.

On March 5, the county commission heard the request and also recommended denial. Commissioners remanded the project back to the planning staff to justify their denial using the county’s master plan.

Keith Ruben, a project engineer at R.O. Anderson Engineering who argued for the project at earlier hearings, said he may not attend Thursday’s meeting.

Ruben said his feeling is that county officials may not understand their own master plan.

“I think they (the commissioners) fell down, (because) the project is consistent with the master plan,” he said. “They’ve forced the developer into this position. And as I understand it, there’s no talk of compromise.

“There’s no point in us being there, though Picerne may send its lawyer. The county has drawn a line in the sand that carries this to the next level – it’s beyond the local engineer.”

Several Elges Lane residents who had vehemently opposed the project said they planned to attend the commission meeting.

“I know there’ll be public comment,” said Vic Bergstrom. “And I’m afraid we haven’t heard the last from these carpetbaggers (Picerne). I’ll make it a point to be there.”

If the county commission accepts the staff’s findings for denial and makes their March 5 vote official, Picerne has a 25-day period in which to contest the decision.

In other business, the commissioners will:

n Discuss and possibly approve a site for a public and law enforcement shooting range facility at the county’s former landfill.

n Restrict parking on the north side of Waterloo Lane adjacent to Smith’s Food and Drug Center.

n Discuss and possibly approve a letter to the California Legislature requesting that legislators approve additional funding to help control acid discharge from the Leviathan Mine property into Bryant Creek, a tributary to the East Fork of the Carson River.

n Discuss and possibly act on the wording of a ballot question regarding Douglas County’s proposed 1/4-cent sales tax increase. The increase, which would cost a family of four about $3.04 per month, is designed to replace room tax revenues which are being gradually shifted from parks, recreation, libraries, airport, and senior facilities and services uses to promote tourism.

n Discuss and possibly act to establish a quarantine area against agricultural crop infestation agents.

The board meeting begins at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Douglas County Administration Building (the old courthouse), at 1616 Eighth St, Minden.

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