The following questions were submitted to the Reno Parks and Recreation Department regarding status of the Somersett West Park (not yet constructed) that was promised under the Somersett PUD. Responses provided by Jeff Mann (Reno Parks Manager) are included.
Question: Have any funds been set aside (escrow or other dedicated account) for construction of the Somersett West Park?
Response: Yes, Construction Tax Funds are kept in a separate fund. By law, they are restricted for park development within the District from which they are generated. Currently, there is less than $100,000 available for park construction in Somersett.
Question: If future funds (e.g., the $1,000 from new home construction) in the Park District are required, how many new home building permits are still required to initiate park construction?
Response: The estimated construction cost is $575,000 for Somersett West Park and the last trailhead (which is north of the park). Under the development agreement, 52% of future residential construction tax fees go specifically towards the Somersett Park and trailhead and 48% goes toward other parks within the Park District, which includes all of northwest Reno. So that means about 914 more building permits need to be issued before the City has money to start construction of the park, assuming $100,000 is now available.
Question: Is there a projected timetable for construction of the Somersett West Park
Response: No; the City will not begin construction until we have collected sufficient funds. However, either the Developer or the HOA may advance the construction at their expense and then request reimbursement by the City as park district revenues become available.
Question: Is the land to be set aside for the Somersett West Park still in the hands of the Developer (Somersett Development Company), if so, what are the conditions for transfer to the City?
Response: Yes, City is currently working with Developer to transfer clear title of the two properties (park and trailhead).
Question: Has functionality for the Somersett West Park been established? Will a hearing be held whereby Somersett homeowner preferences can be considered?
Response: The park conceptual plan is attached (click to view). This plan was approved by the Developer, the HOA and the City in 2010.
Question: At a recent SOA Board meeting, homeowners were told that once the park was built it would be maintained by SOA funds even though it would be a public park. Is this a correct assessment?
Response: Maintenance responsibility will be shared between HOA and City similar to Somersett East Park, except that HOA is fully responsible for maintenance and operation of the community garden.
Note that the conceptual plan calls for a “Community Garden” theme in addition to child play and picnic areas. Does the Community Garden represent the best use of the Park for the majority of Sommersett residents, or should other avenues be considered? Please provide your comments and participate in the following survey to indicate your preference.