Orchard Road residents sue county over Park agreement
The first lawsuit of the new year was filed Thursday against Douglas County for commissioners’ approval of a development agreement with Park Ranch Holdings.
Plaintiffs Keith and Elie Storey, who live at 1600 Orchard Road, say the realignment of Muller Parkway included in the agreement will take it right past their back fences.
The lawsuit was filed on their behalf by attorney Jamie Walker of the Stateline law firm of Alling & Jillson.
The lawsuit argues the development agreement locks in the right of way of Muller Lane Parkway along a line west of the Old Virginia Canal which runs along their back property line.
That will result in detriment to adjacent property owners.
In the filing, Walker says that the county’s argument that Muller Parkway will benefit the property owners is circular.
Under a previous 2007 agreement, Muller Parkway was pulled west away from the Orchard Road properties with five-acre lots between their back property line and the road.
Walker also cites Commission Chairman Barry Penzel as saying the Parks could have a buffer between whatever they build and the Orchard Road homes.
However, she said the development agreement locks in a new alignment for Muller because the location of the road is set in the agreement.
The lawsuit asks a judge to overturn the commissioners’ approval of the development agreement.
Legal action is not the only challenge to commissioners’ Dec. 3 approval of the development agreement.
A petition has been filed with the county seeking to overturn the ordinance that enacted the agreement.
Neither the lawsuit nor the petition will affect the transfer of 1,044 acres of receiving area from Topaz Ranch Estates to Carson Valley included in the update of the master plan.
The development agreement provides a 2,500-unit cap on the property, which would be removed should either the lawsuit or the petition succeed.
That would allow zoning of up to 16 units per acre on the property. Any development proposed for the property would have to be approved through a zoning map and would be subject to the county’s growth cap.
Muller Lane Parkway has been on the books since the late 1980s as an alternate route around the towns of Minden and Gardnerville.
Under the agreement, the county would receive the right of way to build the parkway. It is obligated to build two lanes of the route across the Park land and contribute to one lane across the former Ashland Park subdivision just north of Toler Lane.
Petitioners are seeking to have the county go back to a 2007 agreement with the Parks that traded right of way for rezoning of a portion of the property down to five-acre lots. The county would have to build two lanes of the road across the Park property under that agreement, too, at a cost of $12.6 million.
While the southern portion of the route will be built to four lanes by the developer of the Virginia Ranch project north and west of the Grant Avenue Walmart, there is no specific deadline for that work to be done under a court settlement.
Until that portion of the Parkway is complete, it would be ineffective at reducing traffic in downtown Minden and Gardnerville. When completed from Pinenut Road to Muller Lane, the route and residents living along it would still contribute to the traffic on Highway 395 between Minden and Carson City.
As recently as the 2018 approval of the Douglas County Transportation Plan, commissioners confirmed that truck traffic would not be permitted on the parkway.
No hearing date has been set in the case.