County rejects multi-family homes in Indian Hills |

County rejects multi-family homes in Indian Hills

by Susie Vasquez

Developer John Serpa and Syncon Homes faced a roomful of Indian Hills residents at Thursday’s county commissioners meeting.

The two factions argued over development of 100 homes on 11 acres of land near Vista Grande Boulevard and Mica Drive before county commissioners denied the request for higher density.

Located in what is largely a residential neighborhood, the land was originally designed for about 36 single-family homes. Congestion, traffic and water issues are just a few of the objections laid out by Indian Hills residents.

“Higher density and increased profits for developers are not in the best interest of Douglas County residents,” Indian Hills resident Mike Glucksman told the commissioners.

Glucksman and his wife Michelle moved to Indian Hills in March, when he was assured the property in question was zoned for residential homes. The decision was final, but he is concerned about future decisions.

“The big issue is the expectation of the people. We were told, this land would be single-family residential,” he said.

“It remains to be seen, if the system works. It bothers me, that the planning staff and planning commission are working for the developers.”

Located north of Mica Drive and west of Vista Grande Boulevard, the project would provide affordable homes, said Architect Don Clark.

“This type of product requires multi-family zoning,” he said.

“In the marketing studies John (Serpa) and I did, we found a need for homes in this affordable range. Larger homes with larger lots fall quickly outside the realm of what people can buy.

“This project has gone through the Planning Commission process twice and been approved twice,” he said.

“John Serpa is trying to find and build what the people here need.”

More than 1,600 homes in two development plans in the Minden-Gardnerville area were approved by the commission Thursday and none included affordable housing, Glucksman said.

“Why wasn’t some affordable housing set aside there,” he said.

Indian Hills resident Beverly Palmer said the project sounds like a tidy package to solve the affordable housing problem, but given the added density and existing traffic on Vista Grande Boulevard, this project will create more problems.

“I’ve listened to a lot of very good presentations from people employed by the developers,” she said.

“We elected this board. You represent the people. I’m asking you to please deny this request.”

Following this decision, a report will go back to planning commissioners where they have the option to respond, said Mimi Moss, planning and economic development manager for the Douglas County Community Development department.

In other business:

— Commissioners approved the development for Park Cattle Company and the Anker family, for 603 single-family homes and 30 multi-family units at 1178 Zerolene Road south of Buckey Road.

— Commissioners approved development of 1,020 units on 226 acres south of Toler Lane and northwest of Virginia Ranch Road, known as the Virginia Ranch specific plan.

— Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.