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Strip mall may get another hearing

by Christy Chalmers

A bid to develop 30 acres of pasture land in Gardnerville may get another hearing if Douglas County leaders will grant the request.

The commission voted 3-2 Sept. 2 to grant Roger Falcke’s request to change the master plan designation for the land, but master plan amendments require super majority counts of 4-1 or 5-0, so the proposal failed.

Falcke wanted to change 22.87 acres of the land, located south of Waterloo Lane and west of Highway 395, from agricultural to community facilities, with the remaining land to become commercial. A strip mall was proposed for seven acres along Highway 395, and the rest could have been used to expand Lampe Park.

Commissioners Bernie Curtis and Jacques Etchegoyhen voted against the change, citing fears about flooding by the Carson River, whose east fork borders the southern edge of the land.

The commission is scheduled Thursday to decide whether to reconsider the request. If reconsideration is approved, a new hearing would be held in October and both sides could present more information bolstering their arguments.

Etchegoyhen said Monday he hasn’t changed his mind, and thinks the request to reconsider the decision is based on a desire for more information about why the change was denied.

“It never hurts anyone to have more information, and I know I’ll be looking through the master plan with a fine-toothed comb in the next couple of days,” said Etchegoyhen. “I’ll keep an open mind, but you never know. We may find more reasons to turn it down (if a new hearing is granted).”

Commissioner Don Miner, who voted for the change, said a new hearing could benefit the county even if the current decision is upheld by defining the commission’s reasons for rejecting the change.

“We should really understand what the ramifications could be when we turn down an amendment like this,” he said. “From my own standpoint, I’d like to have better knowledge of what the ramifications could be. I think the objective is to get information on the record, and if the request is turned down, it will be based on more complete information.”

The commission is scheduled to meet Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the Stateline administration building, 175 Highway 50.