Gate open to rescind Park vote
Even the attorney for Park Holdings agrees it’s in both his clients’ and the county’s best interests to rescind the Aug. 6 decision to move receiving area from the south county to Carson Valley.
“The district attorney’s office, on behalf of Douglas County in conjunction with Mark Forsberg, counsel of Park Ranch Holdings, reviewed the procedures followed in introducing and adopting (the ordinance adopting the development agreement with the Parks),” Deputy District Attorney Cynthea Gregory wrote. “Based on that review, counsel acknowledges it is in the best interests of both parties to have the board of county commissioners re-agendize (the ordinance), thus allowing the time to be heard again by the … commissioners.”
Several questions involving notices for the meeting were raised by opponents, including whether all the residents within 1,340 feet of the project were property noticed.
The noticing requirement is in county code for large land use changes, which would include the 1,044 acres located north of Minden and Gardnerville.
Review of the planning commission report on the commission’s Aug. 6 decision offers a gateway for commissioners to rescind the motion and the concurrence of Park’s counsel means the gate has been left unlocked.
Rescinding the Park decisions would result in the receiving area maps going back to the planning commission, which voted against moving the receiving area in July.
When planning commissioners met in August and offered comments on the county commissioners’ action to approve the maps with the receiving area, three were more supportive of commissioners’ action than their previous votes would indicate.
Two planning commissioners, Chairwoman JoEtta Brown and DeVere Henderson were absent from the August planning commission meeting.
Henderson, who crafted the July motion approving the maps without the receiving area, has since told The Record-Courier he was opposed to commissioners’ action.
Brown told The Record-Courier that she is standing by her original vote on the issue.
Should commissioners voted to rescind their action and re-agendize it, it would return for first reading in October and then be set for a public hearing in November.
In Douglas County, receiving area is used to preserve sensitive agricultural land in sending areas. Under county code, owners of land in receiving areas may purchase the development rights off land in sending areas. In the case of Park Holdings, those development rights would be transferred off property the family already owns. One of the first sources for development rights would be Klauber Ranch, where commissioners refused to approve development and the Parks subsequently sued the county.
Two years ago, the county denied requests for receiving area on two large ranches, saying there was already 6,200 acres of land available. At that time, less than a quarter of the total 3,926 homes that could be built in receiving areas had been constructed.
Under the agreement, the county would receive the right of way to build four lanes of Muller Parkway and would be required to construct two lanes of the road within six years. That project is estimated to cost $12-14 million.
The question about Muller Parkway is whether the county ever received the right of way for the route under a 2007 revision of a development agreement that widened the right of way.
Forsberg announced in June that the county was in default of the agreement because it hadn’t built the road within the allotted time. However, county attorneys on more than one occasion reassured commissioners that because the right of way wasn’t dedicated, the clock to build the road hadn’t started.
The county also would receive right of way for culverts under Highway 88 that would remove portions of Minden from the flood plain.