Winhaven residents object to ‘low-income’ houses | RecordCourier.com

Winhaven residents object to ‘low-income’ houses

by Sheila Gardner

Residents of Winhaven plan to meet with the developer of the 115-unit Village Green to express their concern that the single-family homes may lower their property values.

The housing development is located a quarter-mile from the homeowners, but they told the Minden Town Board Wednesday they still fear the homes will attract what they characterized as “low-income” residents.

“What will this look like in two years?” asked Don Civis, president of the Winhaven Homeowners Association. “We have homes priced at more than $200,000-plus. We consider ourselves a main asset to Minden. Is this going to be a low-income place?”

Scott Wickersham, representing developer Chip Hanly of Western Nevada Properties Inc. Syncom Homes, said the two-story homes will be priced from $115,000 to $170,000 and range from 1,100 to 1,700 square feet.

That drew snickers from some of the residents present at the Minden Town Board meeting on Wednesday. The homeowners also objected to the proposed 2,000- to 5,000-square-foot lots.

“I hope the board understands where we’re coming from,” Civis said. “For a lot of us, this is our last investment. A house at $115,000-$120,000, that’s a rental, that’s a low price. If our property goes down, Western Nevada Properties will have to bring it back up.”

Minden Town Board Chairman Ray Wilson advised the homeowners that Hanly, who has been the sole developer of Winhaven since the mid-1980s, has zoning to build apartments at the Village Green location at Lucerne and Ironwood drives.

“I understand your concern,” Wilson said. “We can disallow this. If we refused him (Hanly), he could turn around and put in 250 apartments without a public hearing.”

Town engineer Bruce Scott told the homeowners that “that zoning was in place before there was a house in Winhaven, before your houses were even built. In many respects, this is the best of a bad situation.”

Homeowner Earle Prescott asked Wickersham why the corner couldn’t be developed like the rest of the subdivision.

“It’s not financially feasible,” Wickersham said. “This is kind of the last gasp for this piece of property.”

“I paid $250,000 for my house and I don’t want to see a $115,000 house next to my property,” Prescott said.

Wickersham is scheduled to go before the county planning commission on July 14 and the county commission on Aug. 6. If the project receives approval, he said construction could begin in August.

At the suggestion of town counsel George Keele, Civis said he would set up a meeting between homeowners and Wickersham before the planning commission date.

“I did offer to do that before,” said Wickersham, who first appeared before the town board in April with the project.

Wilson, advising homeowners that duplexes were also zoned for the area, suggested they obtain a plot plan from the county to see what else is in the works.

“Shame on us for not checking on what had been approved,” said Marie Civis, “but shame on the developer for not telling us what was coming.”

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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