County commission will study Quality of life |

County commission will study Quality of life

Lorna McDaniel

Changes made by the planning commission to the “quality of life issues,” which are outlined in the county’s master plan, will be presented to the county board of commissioners in the annual review of the master plan implementation, said John Doughty of community development during Thursday’s planning commission meeting.

Changes in the issues include the removal of the following items, according to a report prepared for county commissioners:

n Availability of affordable housing.

“Although this is an important issue and measurement of this would be invaluable, a full-time housing coordinator to follow and measure these issues is needed before we could make any commitment to develop and provide base data on affordable housing,” the report says. “Without the data, all statements would be empirical only not supported by factual data.”

n The ability to provide services at established adequate service levels.

“In order to provide measurements for this, a substantial amount of background data needs to be established as part of a capital improvement plan,” the report says. “Without a CIP, no meaningful service level measurements can occur.”

n Actions taken to protect natural resources such as, steep slopes, wetlands or ridgelines.

The report says, “This would be a misleading indicator since it is based on specific regulatory actions.”

The report explains that without an open space acquisition program the regulations cannot be easily quantified.

n The design standards issue was identified as a regulatory issue that cannot be quantified.

“Quality of life issues” retained include population growth, economic growth and diversification, county fiscal conditions, air quality, surface and groundwater, traffic, cultural resources, education and retention of agricultural lands.

All these issues will go before the board of commissioners at 1 p.m. May 1 at the County Administrative Building. 1616 Eighth St., Minden.

Doughty said one of the major issues of the master plan implementation is the new design manual.

The manual will provide design standards for infrastructure and a “set of rules that all players can play by,” he said of development in Douglas County.

However, he said there is no time frame for moving forward with the manual because of loss of staff working on the project and other staff tied up in water, sewer and transportation issues as well as trying to keep up with regular development review.

“We are burning the candle at all ends,” he said.

He said the development code portion of the manual needs technical revisions and clarification.

However, “we do not have the bodies to make the changes,” he said.

Planning commission member Michael Hayes called the design manual very beneficial, providing adopted standards to ensure development complies with the development plans.

In other business, the planning commission approved a special-use permit for Q-Lube, to go in the Ironwood Center under construction in Minden off of Highway 395, if approved by the town of Minden.

It will be reviewed by Minden May 7 at the CVIC Hall on Esmeralda Road in Minden.

A land division application for the Pleasantview, Phase VI, was approved creating 21 single-family residential lots in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

The final subdivision map for the Jewel Commercial Park was approved to allow for the creation of seven commercial lots.