Planning commission denies Park change
A proposed change in the master plan that would move 1,044 acres of receiving area from Topaz Ranch Estates to Carson Valley was denied 4-3 on Tuesday.
Planning Commission Chairwoman JoEtta Brown joined DeVere Henderson, David Akola and Maureen Casey in voting to deny the amendment. Planning Commissioners Kirk Walder, Mark Neddenriep and Brian Oland voted in favor.
Planning staffers presented four portions of a master plan update on Tuesday, but the most controversial was the proposed receiving area swap from Topaz Ranch Estates to Carson Valley.
The speakers, who included commissioner candidate Mark Gardner, were mostly against the change.
A realignment of Muller Lane Parkway closer to Orchard Road is opposed by homeowners. The previous alignment gave residents more of a buffer between them and the highway.
Walder made an impassioned plea in his effort to get the change approved, but failed.
“The plan examines the state of the county and plan for the future, we need to plan not just for the next year, but for the next 5, 10 and 15 years,” he said.
He cited excess room in the schools, which have been seeing declining enrollment and Minden’s contention that if the county fails to show beneficial use of its water that could be claimed by another user.
“Given the possibility the state could revoke our water rights, this plan showing beneficial use of our water protects this valuable resource,” he said.
Henderson countered that most residents moved to the Valley for the rural environment.
He said he doubted that construction of Muller Parkway will result in maintaining the county’s service level with the increased density.
“The vast majority of us moved from California or Colorado or Virginia where I moved from eight years ago primarily because of this rural lifestyle we enjoy so much,” Henderson said. “It’s not prudent to take a sanguine approach that we don’t have a water problem.”
Akola said he felt the Parks should have to build Muller Lane Parkway if they want to develop.
Casey said she didn’t doubt that the land north of Minden and Gardnerville will eventually develop.
She said she felt that a master plan amendment for the Park property should be separated from the master plan update.
County commissioners are scheduled to discuss the transfer of receiving area from Topaz Ranch Estates to Carson Valley at a Dec. 3 meeting where they also will hear the second reading of a development agreement.
While the planning commission is in charge of the master plan, it is advisory to the county board of commissioners.
County commissioners voted 3-2 last week to introduce an ordinance involving the development agreement with Park Ranch Holdings.
The agreement caps any project the Parks propose at 2,500 homes. Because the receiving area includes the potential for any of the county’s zoning, it doesn’t require that all of the development be homes.
Under the agreement, the Parks would drop a lawsuit over the denial of Klauber Ranch, dedicate the right of way for Muller Lane Parkway, dedicate right of way for culverts under Highway 88 that would remove portions of Minden from the flood plain and transfer development rights from other agricultural property to the site north of Minden.
The property is a portion of the old Dangberg Ranch property, which once covered much of the Valley. It was purchased in 1995 by Brooks Park and Don Bently after the county tried and failed to buy it.
Meanwhile, the Sleeping Elephant Ranch across Highway 208 from Topaz Ranch Estates will keep the hard zoning that’s been in place for more than a decade.
Planner Sam Booth said it would require some form of municipal sewer plant to develop the property to full density.