County rescinds Park approvals
With the rescinding of a master plan map change and a development agreement on Thursday, the question is what’s next?
The county had planned to do an extensive outreach on the master plan in September, but with Thursday’s decision, that may have been placed on the back burner.
With the Board’s action last night, we are re-evaluating the timeline for the 20 year master plan update,” County Manager Patrick Cates said Friday. “We are currently focused on the redo of the master plan maps and the Park agreement. This will extend the timeline for the complete plan update into the spring of next year. Workshops, outreach and public notices will be part of that process.”
The earliest the revised master plan maps could be placed before planning commissioners is the Oct. 8 meeting.
County Commissioner Dave Nelson said he felt the hurried schedule for completing the master plan update contributed to issues with the approval.
“I think it was unrealistic to get the master plan done by the end of the year,” he said. “We need to slow down and do things right.”
The original timeline was for the final draft of the master plan to be presented to planning commissioners on Nov. 1 and county commissioners on Dec. 5.
With the delay, it could be November before county commissioners see the master plan maps again.
On Aug. 6, county commissioners voted 3-2 to move receiving area off the Sleeping Elephant Ranch in Topaz Ranch Estates to Carson Valley. Receiving area designates those portions of the county where planners expect development. In order to build in receiving area, property owners must transfer development rights from parcels designated as sending areas, which are generally agricultural land the county wants to preserve.
Commissioners also approved an agreement that permitted Park Holdings to have up to 2,500 units on the 1,044-acre property.
The votes to rescind were 5-0.
Nelson is seeking discussion of the master plan maps to be divided between the update and the swap of receiving area from Park land in Topaz Ranch Estates to Carson Valley.
Under that proposal the receiving area swap would be a separate master plan amendment request that would go to the planning commission for a recommendation and then to commissioners.
On Thursday, commissioners were told that while they could have planning commissioners weigh in on the development agreement, entering a contract with a private party is really a function of the commission.
“This was an unfortunate situation,” Commissioner Larry Walsh said. “We relied on the DA’s office for procedure. Now we’re told that they believe the process may be incorrect. This is very frustrating for me and the public. I believe we owe it to the public and ourselves to re-agendize this.”
Park Holdings attorney Mark Forsberg said he agreed there were procedural concerns about commissioners Aug. 6 action on the receiving area swap and development agreement.
“Redoing this will insulate your decisions against future legal problems,” he said.