Work begins on north Douglas County plan |

Work begins on north Douglas County plan

Christy Chalmers, Record-Courier staff writer

Douglas County planners began fine-tuning a land use plan for more than 600 acres near the Carson City line Tuesday.

Possible uses for the land include a mix of churches, stores, schools, hotel-casinos, apartments, single-family homes and open space. The 624 acres under consideration include 440 that are owned by the Bureau of Land Management and slated for disposal.

The Douglas County planning commission spent Tuesday reviewing a tentative land use map for the area, located north of Sunridge Drive on either side of Highway 395. Though many residents voiced concerns about changes to the area during workshops in May and June, the planners indicated they want to proceed.

“We have an opportunity to solve a lot of our headaches if we move ahead and have a little bit of intestinal fortitude,” said planning commissioner Valida McMichael.

“We can’t solve everybody’s problems, but we need to pay attention to their concerns,” said planning commissioner Jay Lather.

Some residents have objected to changing the land, while others indicated they don’t want a specific designation attached. Doug Hone, a developer, alluded to significant changes for the land west of Highway 395 but wouldn’t say what’s in store.

“We’d prefer you didn’t lock us into anything,” he said.

Robert Pohlman said he’s asking Carson-Tahoe Hospital officials to scout the area for a possible second hospital.

Revisions suggested Tuesday included increasing a buffer zone between Haystack Drive and the land north to 200 feet wide from 40 feet and including a place for apartments north of North Sunridge Drive.

Under the draft map, nearly 19 percent of the acreage is reserved as open space. Another 97 acres is set aside for public facilities, such as churches and schools. A 186-acre chunk on either side of Highway 395 could be designated for commercial use, and 33 acres on the east side of the highway against the Carson City line is marked tourist-commercial, the zoning that allows hotels and casinos.

The plan will be reviewed again in August, when master plan changes and associated zoning designations could be adopted.

After the land uses are determined, more work will be done mapping roads, water and sewer lines and other infrastructure necessary for development.

Once the county finishes the land use plan, the BLM still needs to decide what to do with the 440 acres. Though it has been slated for disposal since 1983, BLM planner Mike McQueen said the agency could take no action or leave the property as it is. But if the land is disposed of, McQueen said the land use plan will benefit tax payers by raising the value of the property because the zoning and appropriate designations will be in place.