Posted by Geoffrey Brooks  – SOA Member

I attended the 1/9/18 NAB 5 meeting, primarily to find out about Ventana Ridge (166.8 acre site), 85 houses (SF9 lots) proposed within 700’ of the Painted River Trail/Peavine Creek Road. The ReImagine Reno plan calls for a moratorium on all tract development above 6000’. As there were no maps, no elevations for Ventana Ridge, I was curious to know how this would be “nestled” into the hillside and how high.

This part of the meeting was postponed as the builder is making revisions to his plan. On the 6000’ rule, I was told that the City cannot stop someone from developing his property above that elevation, if they choose to do so… However, the City can have a one dwelling/lot rule, and the owner is responsible for the infra-structure and has to pay to have it connected to the city! That is, no tract housing (like Ventana Ridge) up there! Another fact that came out is that developable land is in short supply and “dirt” is selling for $300/sq ft in the downtown area. This has to be added to the lack of construction workers…(who apparently can’t now live here due to the housing shortage).

At the NAB 5 meeting there was a fascinating presentation by the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation, where private financial support is solicited for new and existing park infra-structure. TM Parks sponsor Park-based educational and recreational programs and act as mechanism through which citizens can advocate for their parks. They raise funding by encouraging residents to join, and better still participate in their “Discover Your Parks Walks” (free interpretative one mile walks for the community at local parks). They run an invaluable “Student Stewards” Program where they use our parks as a “Learning Laboratory”, and a Junior Naturalist Program.

At the November Board Meeting, I recall Nancy Chontos saying that they were seeking additional funding for West Park to supplement the expected $ short-fall from the City of Reno.

I attended the 1/18/18 SOA “Communication Committee” meeting, as Nancy is also a member of this committee as well as the West Park Committee. I wanted to make sure that we were aligned with the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. We are. There is a Somersett West Park page on their web site , dedicated to help Somersett raise monies to ensure that it is completed in a timely fashion. (Somersett’s new West Park was not mentioned in the NAB5 presentation)
Toll Brothers, along with their massive excavation/terra-forming program in Village 6, are lending a hand.

Here is a link to the Somersett West Park page in the Truckee Meadows Park Foundation web site.


  1. In response to Mr. Brooks excellent comments on growth, I offer the following:


    I’ve attended numerous City and County meetings and they have never met a project they didn’t like. However if the land is properly zoned, there is not much anyone can do. It is the variances and waivers that upset us. They also sneak in projects by doing it piecemeal avoiding the restrictions of bigger projects with the same end result- something prohibited in many areas.

    But if property zoned, any prohibition (I a€™m not an attorney) seems to be a “taking” so not much we can do. The government can always place reasonable conditions on projects as allowed by code. The builders or governments also don’t seem to care about earthquake faults, adequate drainage, police; fire staffing and various other factors that will be dealt with down the road.

    My other observation on growth is “get used to it”. This is not the Reno many of us remember but it is booming and yes a labor shortage so some projects have to wait for the last one to finish. Bid requests often go unanswered. Why not somewhere else in the area? The whole area is booming and Spanish Springs simply can’t handle the traffic anymore. The rush hour commute is like major US cities.

    As for parks- sooner or later hang on to your wallets as under AB379 your taxes for parks will likely go up without any public vote over the 3% property cap. You heard it here first.

    Jeff Church

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