County mails out 8,000 Park notices |

County mails out 8,000 Park notices


What: Park Agreement first reading

When: 1 p.m. Nov. 7

Where: Douglas County Courthouse

Note: Douglas County commissioners don’t take public comment on first readings

Upwards 8,000 Carson Valley residents received personal invitations regarding a proposed master plan change and development agreement that would allow up to 2,500 homes north of Minden-Gardnerville this week.

Easily more than 250 people attended the first two master plan workshops where the county presented a proposed receiving area swap that would move density from land south of Topaz Ranch Estates to Carson Valley.

A third master plan workshop was scheduled to take place in Indian Hills on Wednesday after The R-C’s deadline.

A key part of the swap is a development agreement with Park Holdings that would limit any development on 1,044 acres north of Gardnerville-Minden to 2,500 homes. Because receiving area is the Swiss Army knife of Douglas County zoning, it allows any density permitted under the master plan, including up to 16 units per acre multi-family housing. Receiving area is half of the equation that is the county’s transfer of development rights program.

“Our receiving areas need to be updated to reinvigorate the TDR program,” County Manager Patrick Cates said Tuesday. “That is an essential tool to preserve critical agricultural land in the county.”

Implementing the agreement requires two readings, with the first scheduled for Nov. 7. The county won’t take public comment there, but residents will get to weigh in at the Nov. 12 planning commission meeting at the CVIC Hall in Minden.

County commissioners will return to the CVIC Hall on Dec. 3 to hear the second reading of the agreement and the master plan update.

On Monday, scores of Topaz Ranch Estates residents crowded into the community center there to hear a presentation and make their feelings about the plan known.

The Sleeping Elephant Ranch has been slated for some sort of development since before the master plan was first approved in 1996.

On the other end of the pipeline, the Park property north of Minden and Gardnerville that would be converted into receiving area was purchased by the family in 1995 after an attempt was made by the county to buy it.

That land has been subject to several development requests over the past quarter century, including a request to build 8,500 homes that was made while the property’s owner was in bankruptcy back in 1993.

The property was part of the 9,900 acre Slash Bar H, the last remnant of the old Dangberg property. That proposal was denied, but it spurred commissioners to vote to purchase the property in July 1995.

That proposal fell through two months later and it was purchased and divided by Bruce Park and Don Bently.

In 2008, Park Cattle proposed a 5,000-unit project on 1,372 acres of the property, which also faced significant public opposition.