Letters for April 18
April 17, 2018
Home request a legal violation?
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners seems to have violated the letter and intent of a conservation easement in connection with a clustered development.
In 1992, the property in question was nearly 152 acres. It had A-19 zoning, which means one home per every 19 acres. In this case that equated to eight homes. The owners, ranchers who lived across the street on a separate parcel, decided to cluster the 8 allowed homes into one corner of the parcel, each on approximately one acre. This type of clustered development was fairly new to the county at that time, but was allowed. This permitted the owners to continue to own and ranch the remaining 141.56 acres, but with the requirement that it be put into a Conservation Easement. By doing so, any future right to put additional homes on that property was stripped away forever.
This type of agreement is clearly spelled out in Douglas County Code 20.714.020 (D), which states: "The remainder parcels with density removed are restricted to ranching, farming, or agricultural open space use as designated and cannot be developed for any other use. The remainder parcels shall be further restricted by including Douglas County in a deed restriction on the land … or an open space easement in favor of the county." Sounds pretty clear, doesn't it?
Two years ago, the original owners sold the 141.56 acre parcel, with the Conservation Easement still in force. The purchaser was aware of the easement, and should have understood exactly what that meant: that no homes could be built on the property because the development rights had been stripped off the land when the clustered development was put in place in 1992. He can ranch the property, but no homes can be built.
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The State of Nevada also addresses Conservation Easements in Nevada Revised Statute 111.420. It states: "An easement for conservation is unlimited in duration," which means it lasts forever. There are only two limited exceptions, neither of which applies in this case.
The new owner, however, asked the county to "amend" the Conservation Easement to allow him to build two homes on the property. There is nothing in state law or the County Code that allows him to do that. One would think that the Board would have no choice but to deny the request. That only makes sense, and complies with both the letter and intent of the law.
Unfortunately, with our current Community Development Department and County Commissioners, nearly all development is looked upon favorably. To make a long story short, Community Development recommended approval, and the Board approved it, conveniently ignoring the letter and intent of the law in the process.
At a time when the Board and county government are still reeling from the loss of public trust in the aftermath of Tire-gate and the Grand Jury report, you would like to think that they would go out of their way to display honesty, integrity and a strict adherence to the law. Sadly, that has not been so in this case. The public deserves better.
Backing Joe Duffy for Sheriff
I would like to add another voice in support of Joe Duffy for Douglas County Sheriff. I have known Joe and Teresa Duffy both personally and professionally for almost 25 years.
My wife was academy mates with both Joe and Teresa in Class 266 of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She served as a bridesmaid at their wedding and the Duffy's lived with her until their house in Gardnerville was ready after they moved here from Los Angeles.
Personally, I know Joe is devoted to his wife and son, his God and his community. Professionally, I got to know Joe when I served as a police officer for the City of South Lake Tahoe. Although we didn't serve at the same agency, as neighboring agencies, we sometimes worked together when the times called for it.
I really got to learn about Joe's amazing work ethic and dedication to his work when we were both K9 handlers for our respective agencies. Despite what the public may hear, there is nothing more difficult in police work than working with a dog. Not SWAT, not Motors, Detectives or any of the other ancillary assignments. While handling a dog, there are times that we are in the public eye more often than other patrol officers or deputies, due to public demonstrations, school visits and actual work situations. Everyday there is some type of constructive, meaningful training. Because the dog is the sharp end of the spear while conducting narcotics searches, building searches or tracking the bad guys, the dog and handler must train every day to keep sharp.
There is a saying in the K9 community in that "There are no bad dogs, just bad handlers." Both of us worked very hard not to be one of those "bad handlers." I know Joe succeeded as a handler, a deputy, a supervisor and as an administrator for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
He'll succeed as your Sheriff if you give him your vote. I know he has mine.
Thanks for supporting Trent
As lifetime members of this amazing community, we have seen and been a part of many of the amazing events that come together to help families in need, yet we never imagined we would be on the receiving end of that generosity. However, one year ago our son, Trent, was diagnosed with Leukemia and we found ourselves surrounded by so many great acts of kindness.
Whether you brought us a meal, visited us in the hospital, said a prayer for our family, sent us a card or blessed us financially, we are so grateful to you all. And, although I'm sure I will miss some names, please know that your kindness was appreciated and not taken for granted. Thank you so much to Intero Real Estate, Guild Mortgage, & Western Title Company for making and selling breakfast burritos; Hilltop Community Church for their ongoing prayers and encouragement; John Koerner with Brilliant Blinds for making sure our blinds were dust free when Trent came home from the hospital; Minden Meat & Deli & Super Burrito for placing dona on jars; Trinity Lutheran Church & the Hand-in-Hand club for hos ng a rummage sale; Nadine Chrzanowski for planning the dodgeball tournament and organizing t-shirt sales, Deputy Doug Midkiff for the use of his sound system and DJ services, Sierra Lutheran High School for donation of the facility, The Phillips family for the bake sale, and Carson Valley Little League for selling hot dogs and hamburgers, and to all the teams who came out to play dodgeball; Douglas County Sheriff's Office for its continual support of our family; Douglas County Sheriff's Office Citizen's Patrol; Douglas County Sheriff's Protective Association; East Fork Fire & Paramedics Grillin' & Chillin' donation, Candy Dance dona on, and stair-climb in Trent's name; Factory Ride & The Cummings Family for the dona on of shirts; Minden Fortnightly for their donation; Tuesday night bunko group; Northern Nevada Children's Cancer Foundation for their continued support. And to the numerous individuals who made donations to our family — we can't thank you enough.
We'd also like to thank our extended family for the many acts of kindness that are too many to mention, we appreciate you! We are happy to report that Trent is in remission and will continue to have chemotherapy for the next 2½ years to make sure he stays that way.
If you'd like to follow his journey, it's on Facebook at #trentstrong. We feel very blessed to be a part of this community and couldn't have gotten through the past year without all of you.
Nate, Jen, Josef, Trent & Amanda Almeida