Oppose Increase in DUs Allowed Per Acre
NEWS FLASH!!!!!! December 1 -- I just received notice from the Washoe County Planner assigned to the application that DR Horton has withdrawn their application to amend the Master Plan!!!! This is great news! However, we cannot put this issue behind us. We must now determine if DR Horton will stick to their word and NOT purchase the land as the representative stated at the last neighborhood meeting.
I am also currently working on determining the legitimacy of the front lot retaining its LDU zoning despite LDU not being an allowed regulatory zone per our Master Plan. It would have either required an exception in the Master Plan to have been allowed or it was an oversight that should have been caught and changed by Washoe County. That then applies to the extensions on the "approved" development plan that calls for 46 dwelling units/23 duplexes on the smallest parcels possible. Which is in direct opposition to our Master Plan character statement.
Anyone living directly adjacent to these lots, on Jeppson or Zolezzi - please email me at email@example.com ASAP!
NEW INFORMATION - November 17:The last neighborhood meeting was well attended despite John Krmpotic hoping it wouldn't be since they only notified the most minimal number of properties. They only mailed to the properties within 750 sf of the MDS lot on Jeppson when they should have been required to notify all properties within 750 sf of ANY vacant MDS lot - since that is who this amendment would actually affect. This minimal notification was approved by the DA. John Krmpotic showed an example photo for 5 du/acre that was basically offensive since it wasn't even close to what they want to develop on this lot - it was a photo of Marsh Ave. in old Reno where the houses are barely 1,200 sf, single story on appropriate parcel size. What they will want to build is single-family attached two-story townhomes on minimal parcels with all open space utilizing the flood plain abutting Whites Creek.
When we asked the rep for DR Horton why they can't just build within the limitations of the policy he retorted by asking if I owned my own business. Thankfully almost half the room responded for me; he said they will not purchase the land if they cannot increase the density - it's all about money!! However, they seem to be rerouting water from the ditch that runs along Zolezzi to Whites Creek for Autumn Wood Phase 1 - if they don't buy the back lot, they can't reroute water thru that property, nor would they have any open space as a selling point (Phase 2 puts all the open space abutting Whites Creek, which is a huge environmental concern).
Here are some key contacts you can / should write, email and call to let know you oppose the application to amend the Thomas Creek Master Plan. Bob Lucey is the elected official for our District 2: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yRHWK4mjGswdb6r2-FQ149F39PWD43nhIzQuF-83zIo/edit?usp=sharing
Mountain View Montessori has completed a letter and supplemental information package expressing their opposition to the application. As an adjacent property this should have a huge impact!
In addition to opposing the application to amend the master plan there is a secondary issue with the lot zoned LDU/closest to Zolezzi - which is Autumn Wood Phase 1. A development plan approved in 2006 has received 11 years worth of development extensions despite the approval of our master plan in which LDU is not an allowed regulatory zone. D.R. Horton plans to build 46 du/23 duplexes on 4.75 acres. Per the Washoe County Design Review Committee meeting minutes a Summit Engineering engineer, representing D.R. Horton, indicated they want to have the FEMA Flood Zone A lifted. They also want to redirect water from the ditch along Zolezzi to White's Creek, they can't do this unless they complete the purchase of the back lot. Which the rep for DR Horton said they would NOT buy if their application doesn't get approved.
Design Review Committee - Meeting Minutes: https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_development/board_commission/design_review_committee/2017/files/June%208,%202017%20Draft%20Minutes.pdf
John Krmpotic (the planner that submitted the application to amend the master plan) sits on this committee and recused himself from voting b/c he represents D.R. Horton. However, he did comment during the review process; indicating his awareness of how busy Zolezzi is in terms of traffic and stating that landscape should reflect the neighborhood, etc.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IMPORTANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We will need to make sure we fill the Washoe County Planning & Development Commission;we must hold the commission accountable and present all the evidence that this change should not be allowed/approved. Planning Commission Meeting: meets the 1st Tuesday of each month -- December 5th at 6:30 p.m. in the Washoe County Commission Chambers, 1001 E. 9th Street, Building A, First Floor, Reno, NV -- while the December agenda is still not posted, if you go to: https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_devel..., scroll down and find: Case Number: WMPA17-0011 Autumn Wood - Phase 2 - it shows that the application is "tentatively scheduled" for the above date.
I was informed by a neighbor that they received notice from KLS for the next community meeting (they are required to host two meetings, this would be the second as the CAB was their first). The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 2 at 6 pm at Elizabeth Lenz Elementary school. Thank you to everyone that showed up to the CAB - we must pack this meeting to the same level, or more. Again, the CAB did their job and rejected the application. However, they have done that in the past and the commission has ignored their vote and approved items despite major opposition. This is an uphill battle and it will take all of us participating at whatever level we can. Please continue to share this petition and encourage your neighbors to attend the meeting. We will want to again pack this meeting, sticking to the master plan and housing documents that validate our argument that this change goes against the characteristics of our neighborhood and is not consistent with the Washoe County Master Plan. It is my understanding that Phase 1 is days away from closing which means they will be breaking ground shortly. With that plan approved for 47 DUs we must do everything we can to make it clear that the MDS zoned lot must stick to the master plan required 3 du per acre.
The Citizens Advisory Board voted against the application! That doesn't mean we're done opposing the change to our Southwest Character Management Master Plan. This page will be updated as more information is gathered. In the meantime sign up to receive notification from Washoe County here - we are District 2: https://www.washoecounty.us/county_news_subscripti...
Agenda's are posted here: https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_development/board_commission/planning_commission/index.php
I have had several requests for contact information for the Planning Commission and the Commissioners - please visit these links:
Planning Commission: https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_devel...
County Commissioners - Bob Lucey is our elected official - however they all vote: https://www.washoecounty.us/bcc/index.php
THE ISSUE: KLS Design Group is representing the owners (Reno Catholic Bishop of Reno under contract with developer D.R. Horton) of a 5.1-acre site (APN 162-010-31) in proposing a modification to the Vision and Character Management Policy SW.1.8(f) for the Thomas Creek Suburban Character Management Area of the SW Truckee Meadows Area Plan. They wish to remove language stating “MDS-Three units per 1 acre” as allowed per Table 110.406.05.01 of the Washoe County code. This change would allow residential density of 5 dwelling units (du) per acre for a townhouse project in the Medium Density Suburban (MDS) zone.
- (h) Medium Density Suburban Regulatory Zone. The Medium Density Suburban (MDS) Regulatory Zone is intended to create and preserve areas where the predominant dwelling type is single-family, detached units at three (3) units per acre. Small neighborhood commercial and civic uses may be permitted when they serve the needs of the residents and are compatible with the residential character of the area. The maximum number of dwelling units that may be located in this regulatory zone is three (3) units per one (1) acre. The minimum lot area in this regulatory zone is twelve thousand (12,000) square feet. -- Per the Washoe County Development Code, page 106-7 (link below)
Within Volume 1 of the Master Plan - Housing section: Appendix A - Housing Needs Assessment, Table A-38: Medium Density Suburban (MDS - 3 du/acre) / Sites: 869 / Acres: 1289.5 / Approximate Unit Capacity(3): 3,095 -- this is the umbrella document for all the area master plans. The Southwest area IS CONSISTENT with MDS zoning. Page A-47 : https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_devel...
Dwelling Unit -- means any building or portion thereof, including a fabricated home or portion thereof, which contains at a minimum permanent kitchen and bathroom (i.e. a toilet) facilities, but which may also include living, sleeping, and eating facilities as required by the Development Code, the International Building Code, and/or the National Manufactured Home and Safety Standards Act.
Single Family, Attached -- referred to two (2) or more dwelling units constructed with a common or abutting wall with each located on its own separate parcel. Without a definition for "townhouse" (which is referenced in the postcard) we must assume it falls under this definition.
Net Density -- the ratio of the total number of units to the site area minus the area of the streets, parking areas and undevelopable land.
We, the undersigned, OPPOSE the removal of the language in parenthetical (MDS - three units per 1 acre) from the Master Plan for the Thomas Creek Suburban Character Management Area.
An increase of DU's per acre diminishes the characteristics of the neighborhood and does not conform to reasonable zoning practices specifically developed and approved as the Master Plan for the Thomas Creek Suburban Character Management Area.
All information provided below is from the Master Plan:
Page 3 Desired residential uses range from low density rural, at one dwelling unit per 10 acres, to medium density suburban, at one dwelling unit per third acre. Clustering residential uses, without increasing density, is encouraged for the few remaining developable parcels in this area. This would serve to reduce the visual impact of development, preserve as much open space as possible, and decrease the cost of building and maintaining required infrastructure.
Page 4 - The Southwest Truckee Meadows defines itself as an area characterized by mature communities, evoking a pastoral sensibility in a suburban setting. As evidenced by their dedication to and interest in their neighborhoods, residents of the Southwest Truckee Meadows are proud of their communities and the rural lifestyle they are afforded. This plan aims to support the ongoing investment made by the residents of the Southwest Truckee Meadows in the preservation of this area’s rural residential character. For the most part, the area is, or is planned to be, built out. The potential for any change in land use is limited. Therefore, the focus of this plan is not on growth, but on maintenance and support of already mature communities. -- The overriding objective of this plan is the maintenance and preservation of the rural residential character of the Southwest Truckee Meadows.
SW 1.1 The Southwest Truckee Meadows Character Management Plan map shall identify the West Truckee Meadows Wildland Transition Suburban Character Management Area, ArrowCreek Wildland Transition Suburban Character Management Area, Timberline Wildland Transition Suburban Character Management Area, Lakeside/Holcomb Suburban Character Management Area, Foothill Suburban Character Management Area, Thomas Creek Suburban Character Management Area, Lower Galena Suburban Character Management Area, and the Mt. Rose Wildland Open Space Rural Character Management Area.
SW 1.2 - Policy Growth Level: In order to manage the conservation of the Southwest Truckee Meadows distinctive character, future amendments to this plan which seek to intensify growth opportunities should be limited. All requests to intensify existing land uses will be carefully reviewed for their potential impact to the sustainable management of the area’s natural resources, including but not limited to water and wildlife habitat. The resource management policies and procedures articulated in this plan are intended to ensure that all growth in the Southwest Truckee Meadows planning area occurs within the limits of sustainable resource management.
Then each SCMA is presented with the permitted regulatory zones - each of the SCMA's that permits MDS includes the language: (MDS – Three units per 1 acre). The SCMAs permitting MDS are: West Truckee Meadows, Foothill Suburban, Thomas Creek (ours), Lower Galena,
Page 11: SW 2.15 Clustering of density to facilitate the efficient use of infrastructure and maintenance of habitat and open space is appropriate. Land owners who seek to create new parcels but choose not to cluster should be able to demonstrate how habitat, recharge areas, and open space will be preserved.
Page 14 - This applies if we can prove that there are/were Native American Artifacts on the lots... Goal Seven: Public and private development will respect the value of cultural and historic resources in the community.
- The lot is listed as Phase 2 of the Autumn Wood development — Phase 1 is the lot closest to Zolezzi at 4.75 acres — for a total of 10 acres. The proposed change to 5 du per acre for Phase 2 would allow 21 single family attached units (which is indicated in the plan map provided in the application for the change).
- If this proposed change is allowed then all vacant 1+ acre lots with MDS zoning would be allowed to increase from 3 du to 5 du per acre; thereby further harming the characteristics of the neighborhood
- This could also set a frightening precedent for MDS zoning within the Southwest Character Management Plan to then be increased. That would include the following zones which allow for MDS zoning: West Truckee Meadows Wildland Transition, Foothill & Lower Galena
- Proximity to a school; directly adjacent to Mountain View Montessori - in regards to the character of the neighborhood, allowing an increase in DUs greatly increases the number of townhomes (per application) within a direct sight line of school property / overlooking the school's outdoor environment. As an adjacent property the Master Plan states the following:
- SW 2.10: The impact of development on adjacent land uses will be mitigated. The appropriate form of mitigation should be determined through a process of community consultation and cooperation. Applicants should be prepared to demonstrate how the project conforms to this policy.
- JEPPSON HOME OWNERS - this applies to you as well
Policies in regards to an alteration of the Master Plan:
SW.7.1 Prior to the approval of master plan amendments, tentative maps, or public- initiated capital improvements in the Southwest Truckee Meadows planning area, the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will be contacted and, if the department requests, an appropriate archaeological investigation will be conducted.
SW.7.2 Washoe County will cooperate and participate with state, federal and Native American agencies in the planning and conservation activities of those agencies related to cultural and historic resources.
SW.7.3 Washoe County will pursue funding opportunities for the identification and conservation of cultural and historic resources.
The following issues are ones that we realize do not fall on the planning committees radar as they do not have control over them. However, they are factors in the dispute against allowing overdevelopment and should be considered by elected officials
- Proximity to an already congested intersection; Zolezzi and Arrowcreek Pkwy (see link below to the application submitted by shopping center developers siting the traffic issue associated with the merge lane)
- Three major apartment complexes have already been built within a mile of this site and have dramatically increased traffic accessing Damonte Ranch Pkwy and the freeway system
- Additional impact to the already over populated area schools, which the homeowners would be zoned for. Student to teacher ratio at Lenz Elementary is 21:1, significantly higher than the average for elementary schools in Nevada which is 18.5:1 (source: Public-school.startclass.com)
- Additional impact on county service providers such as Sheriff, and fire departments
Furthermore we ask the developer to take responsibility and provide for the maintenance of the Whites Creek area as a natural resource. This should be addressed as part of the application for the development rather than an after thought handled as part of the maintenance once the development is already in progress. This would be seen as a sign of good faith and commitment to the neighbors and community from which the land owners and developers hope to prosper.
- Washoe County Master Plan, page 2; White Creek is noted to be one of many creeks that "support riparian vegetation and provide habitat for various types of waterfowl and small mammals. Wildlife habitat and migratory routes are a key component of the area’s character." AND that "Careful stewardship of this rich natural environment is fundamental to maintaining and preserving the valuable character of the Southwest Truckee Meadows."
- The development encroaches within a designated FEMA Zone A (1 in 100 year ) for flooding, which could negatively impact adjacent properties
- This currently appears to be the only open space planned for the development, allowing them to build on all other acreage.
- The proposed plan for the land use acknowledges, but does not provide for any environmental impact in regards to the natural drainage feature of Whites Creek. Mountain View Montessori, adjacent to this land, has taken on an environmental stewardship responsibility for the area near the school and has put forth extensive effort to reduce flooding and maintain the environment for the past 17 years.
Washoe County Master Plan: https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_devel...
Washoe County Development Code: https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_devel...
Division Nine - General Provisions: Provides definitions and information on how commissions, Boards & Hearing Examiners are established, as well as committees. https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_devel...
Washoe Residents for Appropriate Planning: https://washoerap.com -- A group of Washoe County neighbors. The original group is from South Reno in the Steamboat Hills area. We have been fighting a development called Ascente that will destroy our rural lifestyle. The new plan is not in compliance with codes or safety requirements. It was nonetheless approved by the Planning Commission with little review despite the compliance problems being explored in detail. We have appealed their decision to the County Commission which voted against us unanimously. We have discovered that both the Planning Commission and the County Commission strongly favor the developers to the point that development plans will be approved despite glaring non-conformities. Beyond this, we see the county staff, the construction engineering firms, and the property attorneys are all supporting the developers. It is a self-supporting system that is immune to public outrage except at the ballot box. Since all five county commissioners vote on any new development, it is not sufficient to pressure or even replace a single county commissioner. Fighting bad development must be done at the county level.
Planning and Development Meeting Minutes: https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_development/board_commission/design_review_committee/2017/files/June%208,%202017%20Draft%20Minutes.pdf -- In these minutes the conflict of interest is brought to our attention: John Krmpotic of KLS Planning is on the Washoe County Design Review Committee and is also representing DR Horton in this matter, although he did recuse himself in the vote for Phase 1. It is still a conflict of interest with the wording in the Phase 2 document all in favor of the proposal.
ZOLEZZI-ARROWCREEK RIGHT TURN LANE ABANDONMENT APPLICATION: https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_development/applications/files-planning-development/comm_dist_two/AB15-005_appw.pdf -- in the application they outline their plans for adjusting traffic to allow multiple access points to a proposed shopping center. They also indicate in their application that they wanted to adjust the merge lane because drivers do not slow down enough before entering the residential neighborhood. This would back up the argument in regards to traffic congestion concerns.
Rural neighborhood fights to prevent special permit for rock quarry: http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Rural-neighborh...