County OKs new multi-family land use
September 19, 2017
The approval of multi-family residential on property located near highways 88 and 395 eliminates one of the last big gaming overlays in Carson Valley.
With the removal of tourist commercial on property owned by Carson Valley Inn owner Mike Pegram, that leaves one approved casino off Sunridge in northern Carson Valley. The property is located north of Highway 395.
Douglas County commissioners approved a master plan amendment on Pegram's property and another on property a stone's throw away on Monday.
Commissioners overturned the planning commission's denial of the two projects. Both denials were because the planning commission failed to meet a super majority of five votes.
Pegram representative Keith Ruben said commissioners approved 65,000 square feet of casino space in 2001. Over the past 16 years, two casinos have been built elsewhere in the Valley, C.O.D. in Minden and the Wa-She-Shu south of Gardnerville.
"After 17 years, the casino-hotel complex is still undeveloped, and we don't think it ever will be," Ruben said.
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One access to the property would be from highways 88 and 395, along with Lucerne and Muller, according to Community Development Director Mimi Moss.
A half-dozen residents of La Costa spoke in opposition to the project, saying the 24.36-acre change would increase traffic in their neighborhood. At the maximum density of 16 units per acre, the amendment would allow more than 350 units on the property.
However, a community plan presented to the Minden Town Board showed 79 single-family units and 78 multi-family units.
The county is not permitted to place conditions on master plan amendments.
La Costa is the only development that has been built as a result of the county's 2001 approval of the Nevada Northwest Plan.
Pegram purchased the property a few years ago.
While confirming Douglas County needs multi-family housing, commissioner Dave Nelson opposed both Pegram's proposal and the Monte Vista request.
He said the Realtor he works for manages 450 units and has three open.
"I'd like to see some of these approved but not all of them," he said. "We do have demand for rental units. Do need a few more multi-family residential, but we can't condition these approvals. This is my dilemma."
Commissioner Larry Walsh said the project was a good example of transitional housing.
"We talk a lot about multi-family housing," he said. "This is a perfect area for workforce housing."
The proposal for Monte Vista converted mixed-use commercial to multi-family residential. That would increase the total number of units possible on the property from 80 to 96, but removed the requirement a quarter of the developed space be commercial.
Nelson pointed out that commissioners doubled the number of multi-family residential units in a mile and that the Monte Vista project no longer met the findings.
Commissioner Steve Thaler argued that the area is close to Douglas County's services and utilities.
Commissioners also approved multi-family residential on a 2-acre parcel owned by the Hellwinkel family in Minden and a quarter-acre owned by the Shaw family.