Work to extend Muller begins
September 1, 2004
Construction of Muller Lane Parkway just under a mile toward Winhaven has begun in north Minden, said Bob Nunes, Community Development Director for Douglas County.
The project was approved about two years ago and will include a commercial strip area and housing on the south side of the road, according to Douglas County planner Adam Gilbert.
The issues are not as simple at the road’s terminus, in south Gardnerville.
Arbor Gardens residents Jeanne Shizuru and David Nelson stood a stone’s throw away from their new home Wednesday, on the proposed Muller Parkway route. Shizuru said the road will draw heavy traffic.
“Hay trucks and other north-south trucks on 395 will be taking the new road. It’s going to be an expressway,” Shizuru said. “If you were driving a truck and had choice, which way would you go?”
She’s fighting the move, knocking on neighborhood doors with a petition objecting to the road that will back up against the east side of the Arbor Gardens development.
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“We have been told that the proposed change in location was recommended by the property owner and its engineers, R.O. Anderson, to optimize engineering considerations of the road,” the petition said. “We believe it optimizes the development of the adjoining property without considering the detrimental impact to real estate values and desirability of existing neighborhoods due to unwanted noise, dust, and poor esthetics.
“We purchased our properties with knowledge and good faith in our community’s Master Plan,” the petition said.
The couple had no idea the road could come so close when they purchased their home 11 months ago and they say their property values will be seriously impacted, even if the road is not built.
The quiet neighborhood of new Syncon homes lies just off Stodick Parkway. Based on Shizuru’s interviews, many of the residents were not notified of the altered route, even though they are less than 1,500 feet from the proposed road.
Nunes said by law, only those who own the property a road will be built on must be notified.
“It may be just a line on the map to Douglas County officials, but to me it’s property value,” Nelson said. “If we sell this property, we’d have to disclose the fact a road could be built here.”
Shizuru feels high density development rights are being traded away because county officials do not have the money to build the needed roads.
The proposed Muller Lane route would also back up to a group of high-end homes north of Arbor Gardens. H&S Construction is planning a high density development in the area, Shizuru said.
“It doesn’t take a genius to see the advantage for these landowners. It’s all about development,” she said. “Every time someone wants to develop land, they change the route, (of Muller Lane).”
Shizuru has taken a grass roots approach, gathering about 51 signatures in her small neighborhood. She said no one has turned her down.
Community Development Director Bob Nunes said the four-lane urban street can be expected to handle about 30,000 daily trips. The collector road won’t b completed for at least five years and traffic volumes are not expected to reach 10,000 cars for another 20 years.
Nelson said the move would bring noise, traffic and pollution to family neighborhoods.
“Why are they (Douglas County officials) working with developers to allow this to happen?” he said.
Shizuru said the plans are moving forward and she was skeptical, about the five-year timeline.
“The proposal is going to the Planning Commission Sept. 14 and if it’s approved, it’s going to the Board of Commissioners in October,” she said.
— Susie Vasquez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 782-5121, ext. 213.