Commissioners deny Klauber Ranch project
March 7, 2019
A 187-home project between Westwood Village and the Carson River was denied by county commissioners on Thursday.
Commissioners voted 5-0 to deny a request by Park Cattle Co. to transfer density from property in the south county to the Klauber Ranch.
"In order to protect our rural character the master plan encourages infill development," Commissioner Larry Walsh said. "In my estimation, this is outfill development."
Commissioner Dave Nelson said he'd seen video showing the property was inundated in floods.
"I believe my eyes more than I believe models," he said.
County Engineer Erik Nilssen said that the property does flood now, but that the applicant proposed bringing in up to 5 feet of fill to raise it above the flood plain.
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He said that would raise the level of water in the Carson by .6 feet in places. The limit is a foot.
While concerns for the flood plain were paramount in commissioners' minds, there were other issues.
The Minden-Gardnerville Sanitation District agreed to serve the project, but won't maintain the lift station required to get sewage to the plant.
While project proponent Susan Pansky said they were willing to pay their share for a traffic light at Muller and Highway 395, that intersection is controlled by the Nevada Department of Transportation, which is reluctant to install new signals.
Commissioners agreed with the planning commission, which also denied the project.
Rancher Russell Byington asked commissioners to ensure easements are in place around ditches serving irrigated farmland.
Hydrologist John Cobourn, who is one of the founders of the Carson River Coalition, said only 23 percent of the land along the river is protected from development.
"Protecting the natural flood plain is the most effective means of flood control," he said.