Planners reject change for apartments | RecordCourier.com

Planners reject change for apartments

While an 81-unit apartment complex south of Gardnerville was approved by planning commissioners on Tuesday, it didn't have the votes for a master plan amendment that would have saved the owners around $5,000 a unit.

The owners of Crestmore Drive Residence 1861 were permitted to put their apartment complex on the five acre parcel off of Stodick Drive under their current land use.

But they had to obtain development rights, which they estimated to cost $5,000-$6,000 per unit for most of the apartments in the complex, which could increase their costs by up to a third of a million dollars.

Opposing the master plan change from receiving area to multi-family housing was one of the architects of the transfer development rights program, former planning and county commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen.

In a statement to planning commissioners, he pointed out that the program had preserved thousands of acres of agricultural land.

"The very backbone of our plan is that new development compensate farmers and ranchers to stay open space, keep the water on the land, and keep our beautiful valley … well beautiful," he said. "For every home and apartment built in a receiving area here roughly one-acre of ranch land is protected."

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While several planning commissioners argued in favor of the change, they required five to recommend the change and only got four votes.

The issue will be heard by county commissioners, who only require three votes for a master plan amendment.