Debating a road called Heybourne |

Debating a road called Heybourne

Last week, planning commissioners denied a proposal to allow driveways on a collector road called Heybourne in Gardnerville.

Right now there really isn’t a Heybourne that skims along the northern boundary of Carson Valley’s second town. The only one people are familiar with stretches from Airport Road to Johnson Lane. But this Gardnerville Heybourne may one day become far more familiar and far better traveled.

The question before planning commissioners last week was more important than whether to allow driveways to back into the road. Proponents have an excellent case and their backs are against the wall. Construction has begun on The Ranch at Gardnerville after seven years, but there’s a big problem.

The original plan called for the homes to open onto alleys but that got nixed by the fire marshal, who said he could not guarantee that fire apparatus could make it into the alleys should they need to respond. Developers redesigned the project to get rid of the alleys, but that left some 41 driveways backing onto that new collector road called Heybourne.

The county’s issue is that Heybourne is expected to someday connect with Ironwood. That means it will probably someday become an alternative route around downtown Gardnerville, and county planners and engineers don’t want people’s driveways to open onto it. The problem, according to the developer’s engineer, is that there is a loophole in county code that allows driveways onto collectors.

A majority of the planning commission disagreed, but it’s likely that a majority of the county commission will take the opposite position.

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard an issue like this debated. People are willing to pay engineers to battle over the Valley’s future. That’s a good sign the Valley has a future worth fighting over.