Letters for Aug. 2, 2018
August 9, 2018
Lions seeking help
The property where the Lions Club has been storing its sheds and trailer (the one where you buy See's Candy) has been sold and the new owner is requiring them to move out.
They are looking for a place to store two 8'x16' sheds and that trailer. They are under the gun to relocate, so if you have a spot for them or even an idea of who might, please reach out to Lion Ron Santi at Chlionron@aol.com.
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Against Ranchos Sierra variances
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners will discuss seven variances requested by the Rancho Sierra Group at the CVIC Hall on Thursday. This new subdivision will be built at the south end of Tillman Lane. The public will be given time to address their concerns when this issue comes up at this meeting. I contest these requested variances for the reasons below.
We are property owners in the Ranchos. Our property does not include the sidewalk and our garage is more the 20 feet back from the street. Our street is wide enough for homeowners on both sides of the street to park along the curb; while not creating obstructions for school buses or emergency vehicles. This subdivision does not meet any of these standards.
Our area has always had superb service from the Douglas County Sheriff's office and the East Fork Fire Department. We will always need their service for the safety of our children, our property and to reduce speeding and crime in our area. No additional emergency services are planned for this new subdivision which will slow public response time for all of us.
Water is a big problem. The Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District Wellhead Protection Program Report dated November 2017, states that our water supply is lacking functionally; which means, we are barely able to support our current residents, not 353 more homes. The GRGID has nine wells. Two are off line due to poor production; another is only used at a much slower pumping rate due to too much sand and air and is in the process of being replaced. We have another well that is not being used because the arsenic concentration; which is nearly twice the limit maximum for EPA Safe Drinking Water. It gets worse. We still have two additional wells that cannot be run at full capacity at the same time which gives us three (3) good working wells. New wells or storage tanks are not planned for this new subdivision. Why would we want to approve the requested variances for another 353 homes in the Ranchos until our present infrastructure is corrected?
Water, public safety, streets, traffic, schools and other services all need to be addressed before our Commissioners should consider the Rancho Sierra's requested seven variances.
We say no to all the variance requests. Rancho Sierra Group, LLC have the approved right to develop their property, but they must stay within the guidelines of the Original Master Plan.
Please attend our Board of Commissioners Meeting on Thursday. This Agenda Item No. 8, will not be heard before 5 p.m.
John & Suzanne Tsoutsouvas
Ranchos Sierra threat to quality of life
I am just one of many Douglas County residents and taxpayers urging the BOCC to stop the Rancho Sierra Homes Development (PD 18-001) submitted by Ranchos Sierra Group, LLC to the Planning Commission. My opinion is this project development plan for stuffing 353 new dwellings into just 80 acres poses a major threat to the quality of life for current Douglas County residents, violates no less than seven Douglas County design criteria & the Master Plan, and could, if approved by the BOCC, set a dangerous precedent for future similar high density, poorly planned, congested, high crime, low quality, fire trap developments throughout Douglas County. I am among those that believe this is a ludicrous project which would adversely impact, if not totally destroy, the neighborhood character of the current Ranchos community.
My perception is that examples of some of the concerns identified by many Douglas residents who are actually aware of and oppose this project include:
1. Isn't Tillman the only paved road for entry and egress? Aren't nearly 3500 daily trips estimated at project completion in addition to the major traffic volume of heavy construction vehicles? Isn't this more than double the current traffic volume? What happens to resident adults and children in the event of a fire, assuming they are not first killed in Tillman traffic accidents?
2. Doesn't the developer only initially include a crude secondary access gravel road from Tillman to Heritage to Dressler before construction begins? Doesn't the developer only offer to pave the gravel road after 274 housing units are built?
3. Can't this project include intrusive 2 story buildings on tiny lots of 5K to 7K square feet if the developer so chooses? Aren't some of the current residences adjacent to the project on much larger 10.5K lots?
4. Isn't the front setback for project houses a mere 10 feet including the width of any sidewalk, in comparison to 23 feet plus the width of a sidewalk for current residences adjacent to the project?
5. Won't this project have a major adverse impact on Douglas education, police, fire protection, EMT, road maintenance, water, sewer, electric, natural gas, and other resources?
6. Don't project specs include inadequate or no measures addressing construction dust pollution, Tillman rainwater drainage mitigation & speed controls, new street light pollution, guaranteed public access to recreational lands, and construction noise abatement?
7. Aren't project specs missing certified study verification of no adverse environmental impact? Wouldn't nearby BLM land require such verification?
If you would like to oppose this project you can participate in the next BOCC hearing on Thursday at the CVIC Hall, 1606 Esmeralda Ave, Minden, or call the BOCC office at 782-9821.
Maybe we need horses in the Pine Nuts
When grazers such as wild horses and livestock are removed from BLM and Forestry lands, wildfires destroy the range. Here are a few examples:
Basques used to graze sheep around Markleeville. Since they've been removed, there have been three huge fires across Monitor Pass and Slinkard Valley.
There have been at least six huge fires in the southern end of the Pine Nut mountains where wild horses and livestock do not graze.
Last Friday, July 20, 2018, two wild horses were struck and killed by lightening. There was a burn mark on the ground near where their bodies were found. That bolt of lightening would have started a wildfire in the Fish Springs Pine Nut range had the wild horses in that area not grazed upon the cheat grass and other combustibles.
When the Carson Valley BLM gathers the horses from the Fish Springs Pine Nut range in August, cheat grass will spread and thicken, making wildfire danger more eminent. This part of the wild horse and livestock presence on our BLM and Forestry lands is never addressed when gathers are scheduled and communities are told the grazers are either damaging the land or are starving because it is overgrazed.
I am very grateful that Douglas County has such a large and well-trained firefighting establishment because the BLM's actions will certainly increase the fire danger and the East Fork Fire District services will be in huge demand. This summer we have been lucky. After August, our luck will run out.
Birth of an American idiom
Our language contains a profusion of idiomatic expressions or phrases. Their meaning is known but their origin often comes from ambiguously developed ancestry.
"Shot your wad" probably came from old-fashioned muzzle loaders. When the weapon was loaded with black powder, a cloth wad to hold the powder, no ball then fired; it was said that "you shot your wad." Meaning you emitted a lot of noise and smoke with no substance. No ball was fired and what you did was ineffectual.
Others are "cry over spilt milk," "off one's rocker," "beat around the bush," "barking up the wrong tree," "not a spark of decency," "not playing with a full deck," "pull wool over other people's eyes," et al.
We are fortunate, or perhaps unfortunate, to be witnessing the huge expansion of the meaning of "trumped up" or should that simply be "Trumped."
Is this enough said? Or, should it be "fact checked"?