Somersett West Park

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.

11 thoughts on “Somersett West Park

  1. It should be noted that in 2010 the Developer and the HOA (board) were one and the same, i.e. Blake Smith and controlled by Blake Smith. If the approval was done in the first half of 2010 Ray Lee was not a member of the board.

  2. Community Garden? I see too many problems. Given the wildlife in the area I doubt that even fences would solve the problem of animal intrusion. Then, of course, there is the problem of human intrusion, after all it is a public park and how will access be controlled such that only authorized Somersett residents can gain entry. Also, given the short growing season, this section of the park would be unusable for most of the year. Then there is the maintenance issue, I have seen Community Gardens in the past that were an eyesore, used only by a few and abandoned by many. Bottom line, I do not believe a Community Garden represents best use of the property. Would prefer seeing a Sports Field approach, perhaps basketball courts and/or an open field for pick-up games.

    1. Folks in the Del Webb Community of Sierra Canyon have a Vegetable Gardening Club, and I am the coordinator of that club.

      You raised some issues about a community garden and animal intrusions. Issues with wild animals can be addressed. Vegetable plants in the nightshade family such as tomatoes and potatoes are generally not eaten by animals. Protecting plants from rabbits and other animals can be accomplished with a variety of fencing alternatives.

      As you mentioned, the community garden would not be used for part of the year, but most folks will not go to a park for any reason once the weather turns cold.

      Most community gardens have very strict rules about keeping the garden neat and tidy. If you do not keep your plot maintained, you lose your right to garden.

      I do not know why there would be a concern about folks entering the garden area who are not “authorized Somersett residents.” If someone wanted to take a look at the garden, I am sure the gardeners would not mind. And since this is a public park, the park use could not be limited to only Somersett residents.

    2. A community garden area could be a huge asset in Somersett! Why not allow the existing garden groups to develop the area identified by the Somersett West Park Master Plan starting NOW while more expensive parts are built incrementally? It would take a few years of committed effort to make the gardens fully functional anyway. More gardeners would inevitably appear (including flower enthusiasts), young parents and children, if the garden space(s) existed. Properly constructed, herbal hedges and other wildlife deterrent plants could line the inside of the fenced area, which fence might really be close to camoflaged onto the hillside. Maintenance and intrusion by “unauthorized” members of the public could be a general issues, no matter what is included in Somersett West Park. Outdoor sports season’s about the same as gardening — there’s more to gardening than planting!

  3. I would like to know who did the interview…so I can thank him or her. The Waggin Tails Group in Sierra Canyon has been proposing a Dog Park at West Park for quite some time now. I will be circulating the ‘Somersett West Park’ statement among Waggin Tails Group members and would like to give credit to the interviewer. 🙂

    1. Chris,

      The interview was performed by Jim Haar (Somersett resident) who forwarded results for posting. SU’s objective is to keep residents informed as to the status of the Park and hope that, whatever the outcome, it serves in the best interests of the community at large. Hence the request for community feedback and the survey poll.

  4. arrowcreeks 2 golf courses and 24,000 club house are for sale for $4 million—-must cost 20 million to build—-and arrowcreek is vibrant relative to somersett……prepare yourself for perpeptual subsidies of increasing size to fund somersett golf

    1. Please let’s focus on the Somersett West Park. While there are obvious issues in other areas, nothing will get done by mixing them into jointly approaching the Park as planned, and amending it if necessary to include other uses (i.e. dog park on the undeveloped end). The various neighbors can certainly work together if we can have input to the Developer-City discussions. Anyone ?

      1. I agree with Karen, the use of the west park and access to it has nothing to do with the SGCC.

        However, according to my understanding, the West Park will be a City Park and ANY resident of RENO can use it – so assuming the issues of access and protection of the “gardeners” hard work from assault by the wildlife and errant humans trespassing, can be worked out – a vegetable garden (sell at farmers market?) could be an interesting cooperative adventure. Bear in mind that the SOA (the residents) will be paying for the upkeep and water used by the city park!

        Actually there is a parallel with the SGCC in that their members do not have to live in Somersett.

        Maybe the City Park will draw in other Reno residents to use and enjoy our facilities…in that sense a dog run (if fenced, who picks up?) will be a useful adjunct to our City Park. There is already a dog run on N. McCarran near UNR.

  5. Based on the recent SU survey I’d say we need to devote about 60% of the available ground at West Park–once properly contoured/leveled by a D9 cat–to an enclosed, off-leash Dog Park and the remainder to a Community Garden. Residents in our immediate area need a dog park closer than the one over by UNR (Rancho San Rafael) because that’s too far to drive (or walk lol) on any sort of frequent basis.

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