Residents delve into five-year master plan |

Residents delve into five-year master plan

by Jeff Munson

Douglas County residents want public access, utility service and lot sizes addressed in the master plan update that is now under way.

The county has been holding workshops with residents since December to discuss the five-year update for the plan, adopted in 1996.

“The biggest thing that has come up so far has been access to public land,” said planner Pete Wysocki of the workshops, which were held in January in the Genoa-Foothill, Ruhenstroth and Fish Springs/East Valley areas of the county.

The workshops have been well-attended and many of the questions regarding the master plan have been valid, Wysocki added.

The master plan is intended as a blueprint for growth through 2016. The plan covers land use, zoning and infrastructure needed as the county grows. Meetings will continue through May, with recommendations from the planning commission to the Douglas County commission expected sometime in August. Adoption of an update is expected in September.

As more developments surface, residents have stepped up efforts and voiced concerns to ensure that access to public lands is preserved, Wysocki said.

“They want to make sure the county is proactive in providing and maintaining access to public land,” he said.

Also gleaned from the meetings are concerns over septic service and ground water quality, particularly in the Genoa and Foothill areas, Wysocki said.

“There is a concern over water quality. They want the county to be cautious about the number of new septic systems that come in,” he said.

And with new developments comes issues over the size, density and scope of parcels. Concern has been raised over higher-density development in the Fish Springs, East Valley and Ruhenstroth areas.

“People are, overall, happy with the master plan, but they do have some questions over planned developments and parcel sizes and high density development,” Wysocki said.

Another issue that surfaced at the meetings is whether the county should pave some of the unpaved roads.

“There are some people who say they are tired of the washboard, dusty roads and there are others who don’t want the roads paved because people would be driving faster on them,” Wysocki said.

The next meeting will focus on north Douglas County and will be held Feb. 13 at Jacks Valley Elementary School beginning at 6 p.m.

One possible issue to arise in the meeting is how commercial development and traffic along Highway 395 will affect the rural landscape, Wysocki said.

The Bureau of Land Management is preparing an amendment to its master plan for the Jacks Valley area. Plans will likely include the exchange of public land to private ownership and there is concern over open space, high density and commercial development in the region.

Notices will be mailed to property owners as workshop dates around the county approach. Comments can be submitted by e-mail or letter. Maps showing the land use and capital improvement plans for each area are available for review at the Community Development Department, 1594 Esmeralda Ave. in Minden.


n What: Five-year Douglas County master plan workshop

n When: Tuesday, Feb. 13, 6-9 p.m.

n Where: Jacks Valley Elementary School, 701 Jacks Valley Road