Ranchos variances head for county
if you go
What: Douglas County Board of Commissioners
When: Meeting starts 1 p.m. Thursday, Ranchos Sierra won’t be heard until after 5 p.m.
Where: Douglas County Community & Senior Center, Gardnerville
Residents concerned about a 353-home project southwest of the Gardnerville Ranchos are planning to protest several variances at Thursday’s county commission meeting.
The request for Rancho Sierra is scheduled to be heard after 5 p.m. at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center, 1329 Waterloo Lane.
The largest request is to modify the requirement for a full secondary access after 20 lots. That access is planned to be south from Tillman Lane to Mud Lake Road and down to Dressler Lane, which empties out on Highway 88.
Property owner Rancho Sierra Group is proposing a graded and aggregate base surface for secondary access after 20 lots, with complete on-site improvements after 103 lots and complete off-site improvements after 199 lots.
The developer would also like to propose an alternate secondary access to the east should he be able to work out a deal with the owner of the neighboring 80 acre parcel. That would allow a connection to Blue Rock Road.
The county received emails from Ranchos residents, who purchased property backing up on vacant land, are facing the prospect of neighbors to the south and west.
“There needs to be more time and consideration on many subjects of concern before the start of this project, please,” Joette resident Deirdre Eustis wrote the county. “More rules and regulations need to be placed on this developer.”
Bluerock Road resident Lauretta Cantua said she moved here five years ago to retire.
“I moved to this area because it was close enough to town, but far enough to the south end of the Ranchos where the traffic was low,” she said.
Joette homeowner Jennifer Diets argued the project will affect schools, open space and dust.
“Our roads on Tillman are in deplorable condition as it is,” she said.
Sunnyside resident William Hines said he moved to Carson Valley from California to escape crowded conditions.
“I moved to California to get away from these poorly thought-out land developments,” he said. “I and my numerous neighbors strongly urge you to fight this proposed development for what it is.”
The land where Rancho Sierra is located has been designated for development since the approval of the 1996 master plan. A previous project was approved in 2006, which zoned the land single family residential.
According to the Community Development Department, the average lot size is 6,223 square feet.
According to the county, the base zoning of SFR-8,000 permits 5.45 units per acre. The developer is proposing 4.43 units per acre. The developer will have to purchase development rights for 349 of the 353 proposed units.
Because more than half of the density is the result of transferred development rights, the developer is exempt from the requirement that a quarter of the land be retained as common space, according to the county.