MEETING OF THE STOREY COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2007
Highlands Community Room
2610 Cartwright Road
Virginia City Highlands, Nevada
Reported by: STEPHANI L. LODER, CCR #862
COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT
DOUGLAS WALLING, CHAIRMAN
VIRGIL BUCCHIANERI, VICE-CHAIRMAN
LYDIA HAMMACK, COMMISSIONER
PETER MAHOLLAND, COMMISSIONER
AUSTIN OSBORNE, COMMISSIONER
LARRY PRATER, COMMISSIONER
BRET TYLER, COMMISSIONER
STOREY COUNTY STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT
DEAN HAYMORE, BUILDING AND PLANNING ADMINISTRATOR
PAT WHITTEN, COUNTY MANAGER
KATHLEEN EDWARDS, SITTING SECRETARY
ON BEHALF OF APPLICANT VIRGINIA HIGHLANDS,
SENATOR MARK AMODEI
JOSH FORTMANN, CERTIFIED ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGER
Call to Order
Presentation by Mr. Smith 8
Comments by Senator Amodei 38
Questions by the Commissioners 49
Public speakers 83
RENO, NEVADA, FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2007, 6:02
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Good evening, folks. Iíd like to call this meeting to order of the Storey County Planning Commission, Friday the 13th, 2007, Highland Community Room.
Madam Secretary, could we have a call of the roll to see if we have a quorum, please.
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Virgil Bucchianeri.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: Here.
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Lydia Hammack.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Here.
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Peter Maholland.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Here.
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Austin Osborne.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Here.
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Larry Prater.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Here.
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Bret Tyler.
COMMISSIONER TYLER: Here.
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Doug Walling.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Here. We do have a quorum.
At this time Iíd like to welcome Peter Maholland
representing Mark Twain to the Commission.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: At this time traditionally we have a pledge of allegiance. Weíve got a flag out on the staff. If you folks would bear with me, weíll have our pledge of allegiance, please.
(Pledge of Allegiance)
CHAIRMAN WALLING: The next item, planning commissioners, is the approval of this nightís agenda for April 13th, 2007.
MR. HAYMORE: Commissioners, weíve had one request to ask public comment be moved up Ė
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thatís been taken care of.
Thank you, Dean. We have a motion?
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Iíll make a motion to approve the agenda as published.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Second.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Opposed?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Could you talk a little louder? We canít hear you out here.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Next item is the approval of the unofficial minutes of March 15th.
Planning commissioners, any corrections or additions to those minutes?
MR. HAYMORE: Commissioners, Larry Prater called
our office and added two corrections to the minutes, that we need to make corrections. We made those corrections. Did you receive the amended minutes? We made two corrections on the item that Larry Prater made a motion on and on the budget as per Larry Praterís request.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Mr. Chairman, I can give you the corrections I made. One was in the wording.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Or the -- at the bottom of the first page relative to the motion to approve the setback request, just to make it a little clearer, And the second was a change in the pay from -- it was read $70 per meeting to 80, and it should have been 60 to 80. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Any more corrections or additions?
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Just one correction on the spelling of a name, not a big deal, but...
COMMISSIONER TYLER: Yeah. My name was spelled wrong.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Yeah, so was mine.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Everybody appreciates their name spelled correctly.
COMMISSIONER TYLER: Itís a four -- letter word, Doug.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: With those corrections and
additions, do we have a motion on the approval of the unofficial minutes?
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: With the corrections, Iíll move for approval for the change. With the changes, Iíll make the motion for the change.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: We have a motion. Do we have a second?
COMMISSIONER TYLER: Iíll second.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: We have a second. Any further discussion? All in favor?
CHAIRMAN WALLING: All opposed?
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: One abstention. I was not at the meeting.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: We have one abstention. We will send an approval of the unofficial minutes of March 15, 2007 on to the county commissioners.
At this juncture, Iíd like to read you a statement from the chair.
The agendized purpose of this meeting is a presentation of a master plan amended and zoning change by Virginia Highlands, LLC, before this Commission.
The Planning Commission will have the first opportunity to question the applicant. The chair during this time cannot respond to hands held up, during this time. At
the conclusion of that period of questioning by the Planning Commission, the floor will be opened to the public.
Your name will be called by the chair from the testimony you get -- declaration you have filled out. Each speaker is allotted three minutes. Letters of concern and petitions will be acknowledged by this board and become part of the record.
First item of business is exactly that. Master plan amendment 2007049 by Virginia Highlands, LLC.
Do we have a representative?
MR. SMITH: Yes. Mr. Chairman. My name is Blake Smith. Iím the managing partner of the Cordevista project or Virginia Highlands, LLC, here to present and answer any questions to the board and also any concerned citizens.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Weíd like a general presentation of the project.
MR. SMITH: Okay. Thank you.
Sir, we have -- and again, thank you. Iíd like to start by thanking again -- get this situated here. Is that it? Can everyone hear me now? Okay. Thank you.
Again, Mr. Chairman and members of the board, I want to thank you, also all the concerned citizens here. Weíve had, to date, two planning cannonball meetings, one in
Lockwood and one in Virginia City Highlands here. Some of this is, for those of you who have been here before, been in one of those town hall meetings, you might hear the same, but weíll go through the presentation for the Planning Commission here.
And so what I might do is if I can step over here and introduce the project as a whole as we go through here.
MR. HAYMORE: For everybody who testifies, please spell your name out. We have a court reporter. Pronounce your name and spell it for her, please.
MR. SMITH: Our company is Virginia Highlands, LLC, as weíve mentioned already. We are local people living here. Weíre native Nevadans.
And approximately two and a half years ago, we acquired a piece of property that is encompassed on three sides by the Tahoe Regional Industrial Park. We have been studying that property for the past two and a half years, understanding how the property itself works and also the demographics and issues within Storey County and also the regional issues of northern Nevada.
And what I might note here real quickly, Iíll go through these boards so that everyone can see.
Storey County, I believe everyone knows where Storey is. Storey County is really the center of northern
Nevada. You are encompassed by five different counties. But Storey County being the center of northern Nevada, it is very unique in that all the other counties are adjacent to it and surrounded here.
This leads into really looking at what Storey County has at this point. Storey County, approximately ten years ago, approved what is the largest industrial park in the world called the Tahoe Regional Industrial Park that everybody is aware of.
It is a park with 102,000 acres. 30,000 acres developable. It has potential within those 30,000 acres what developers are estimating that it could be up to 600 million square feet of buildings built within it. Within that, the potential of up to 180,000 jobs within that.
So Storey County, as the center of northern Nevada, could become one of the largest employers within the entire region. For reference, Reno and Sparks currently has about 225,000 jobs within it. The industrial park could create up to 180,000 jobs.
What we have done -- and stepping back and kind of blowing this up -- and again, Iím sorry, weíre trying to have those displayed both for the planning commissioners and also for the public.
What this display here shows, this is again northern Nevada. Youíve got the Reno/Sparks area, youíve got
the Carson City area, Fernley area, and the Silver Springs area, and Storey County area being in the center of it, Tahoe Regional Industrial Park being on the easterly side of the project.
Cordevista lies in the center, almost virtually in the center of Storey County. Itís encompassed on three sides by the industrial park. And Iíll get into some distances and some other items in here. But just the locations of it, the industrial park being here, and we are encompassed on three sides of it.
The fourth side of it is actually Lagomarsino Canyon, the property down to the waterline within the canyon at this point.
Cordevista, I might step back and say weíre asking for an amendment that weíre requesting is to take our project from what is currently special industrial, heavy industrial, and thereís small component of it thatís forestry.
And as you go through -- let me just step back. We kind of covered this. Again, this is a blowup of the industrial park. This is the industrial park within the county. This is the Virginia Highlands, Virginia City, Lockwood area, and the Painted Rock area in here. Cordevista being in this area, the center of the county.
And the reason I want to note the county as a
whole is because within the master plan that Storey County has right now, it has actually identified and speaks to the growth that is -- the potential growth that is occurring, that could occur and is occurring at this point. And it speaks to those lands that are developable.
And if you take a look at the county as a whole, this next map here, weíve done a TOPO of the entire Storey County. And what these colors depict in here are, the reason theyíre colored are actually areas that are slopes of 18 percent or less, meaning that in general terms is your development area. So your white areas are areas that are really are non-developable if you look at it.
So hereís the industrial park again. This is really the 30,000 acres it is describing in here. You have Virginia City down in this area. You have the Virginia Highlands in this area, the Mark Twain area over here, Lockwood and Painted Rock again out here.
So when you go through it and take a look at it and extrapolate how much land is left to be developed in Storey County, the Tahoe Regional Industrial Park is zoned entirely industrial manufacturing. So this is all already zoned for industrial manufacturing. Obviously Virginia City has developed out, some historical aspects in here.
You have the Virginia Highlands areas, which these are -- these parcels are all sold. They are sold and
are slated for single-family housing.
So you have some random areas over by Mark Twain that is developable still. You have a little bit along the Truckee River up here thatís developable. Painted Rock is developable and it was actually approved six months ago, approximately six months ago, for the same zoning weíre requesting for her, which is a mixed use of commercial and residential.
So if you take the darker areas, which are the remaining purple areas for development in here, Cordevista ends up having approximately 5400 acres of developable, and where this purple area is is 11,000 acres.
So if you take Storey County, there is only approximately 11,000 acres of land that is remaining that could be developed within the county. And so if you take our acreage and you come to a statistic that says we basically have 48 percent of the remaining property within Storey County that is available for development at this point.
And within those areas -- Iíve got another map back here. Weíve literally run out of some space, but Iíll try to get some of these other ones up here.
From the master plan itself, it speaks about the north and central areas of county as being designated for the future growth areas.
You take a look at it, the north being the Tahoe
Regional Industrial, the central area being our property. The master plan currently designates these areas for the future growth, and that happens to be industrial, residential, and commercial.
And so our application here is to come in and take this property and implement what the master plan was slated for -- well, 16 years ago it was implemented -- to designate this land to come in and handle the residential and mixed-use growths of the County.
We can talk about the zonings here. We currently, on the property itself, the majority of the property is zoned special industrial. And thereís been a lot of questions about special industrial, and itís a zoning that is very, very unique.
These are definitions that come right out of the master plan. It is actually a zoning that is -- I donít-- it is a zoning that I donít think is a very special zoning. I donít know of many places in the nation that has zoning like this. What I mean by that is the zoning that has been put in Storey County -- Iím just going to denote a couple of these things: ammunition manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, explosive propellants, igniters and ignition, research and developments.
It has hazardous material treatment and storage/disposal sites, hazardous waste, environmental
testing such as simulation, temperature, and fire explosion, including surfaces, office security-related functions, open air testing of materials developed of any of the uses above.
That really is a zoning that allows a lot of things that could be concerning within it. And so this is the zoning that weíre looking -- this gray zoning here.
Weíre looking to take this zoning in front of us and go to mixed use, which is commercial, looking to complement the industrial park. The industrial park again is all industrial and itís all manufacturing.
Weíre looking to come in and develop the office, the retail, and the residential that would complement the industrial park area. And how we would do that is, again, through the development of a road. There are a lot of questions and weíll answer them as we go forward here. But a lot of the concern that weíve heard as weíve gone through these meetings is how do you get into the project and what impacts may be on other communities.
We have pledged that the road to Lockwood, there is a current access road, that it would be gated and emergency access only at this point so thereís no daily traffic or any type of traffic on that road.
Weíve actually developed -- itís going to be difficult. Iím just going to use this one.
What weíre looking to do is develop a road from
Cordevista. Currently there is an interchange here theyíre developing. Itís called USA Parkway. It is a major freeway designed to come across the county, come over into the Stagecoach area in here. They developed it about six miles into the park. We are looking to develop it.
Currently thereís a dirt road that comes straight through our property, USA Parkway. Weíre looking to develop that road, and that would be your access to the project here.
Weíre also pledging -- there are many concerns about the roads that could potentially come down in the Highlands from Virginia City. Weíre pledging and actually requesting the Commission to bring more comfort to everyone that no roads would be developed southerly on towards Virginia City Highlands not to impact any of the neighborhoods here.
To give reference again -- oh, this board right here. I want to note this because weíve heard several times about how weíre building on top of people and itís right here, next to it.
Cordevista, from this building to our closest contact point, is 4.3 miles to the north. And to give you some reference how far 4.3 miles -- well, 4.3 miles, that is from the Virginia Highlands Fire Station. We are at 3.9 miles from the Lockwood area. It really is an island in the
center of the county that is unique in its own right. It isnít a very developable piece of property.
As noted on some of these pictures over here, Storey County weíre talking about has a lot of rolling hills topography here. This is a very unique valley that is located in the center of the county. Iím just pointing to these pictures over here so that you can look at what is the actual property there.
But talking about distances, this is something that I really wanted to note the distance here because people -- I want to alleviate the concerns of how far or close we are to it.
If you take the distance from this fire station, so just the southerly corner, that is virtually the same distance as leaving from the front entrance of Virginia City Highlands all the way down to the Geiger Grade intersection or the new Summit Ridge shopping center.
If you took the entrance over here, and as the crow flies, go all the way to the shopping center, thatís how far away we are from this place right here.
Itís something that I really, really want to note because we keep hearing that itís development right on top of people, and it literally is miles away.
Iím going to go over here, take a look at this. If we can point this towards the commissioners. These are
some shots, these are three different shots from the property itself. This is a shot looking southeast and --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Folks, after what you feel that thereís a sufficient viewing from the commissioners, please share it with the public.
MR. SMITH: All right. Thank you.
What weíre showing here is this is the Cordevista Valley. It is encompassed and surrounded on three sides. These three sides here, these three sides of the Tahoe Regional Industrial Park is really a small mountain range here. This is the canyon itself. This is Long Valley Canyon as we discussed here.
But what youíre seeing on this map is the valley floor, and youíll see the mountain range coming around it. TRI is on the -- actually, TRI owns these mountains here. This is one of those corridors right here.
The Lockwood area, again, looking northwest. Lockwood is four miles over and down in this valley. Weíre approximately 500 feet above Lockwood.
And then looking to the south, you have two different contact points. Weíve heard consistently we can see you and other items. Cordevista sits here, and over two mountain peaks is the Highlands and Virginia City. You can see the Virginia City peak here is nine miles away.
So as far as our location, it truly is an island
in the middle of the county, and it is something that we do not look to try and impact any of the communities within the county. I think actually itís very unique.
Thereís two weaknesses here. This is one, to have a large piece of property that could be master planned. And when we talk about master planning, weíre talking about that we would record in a second step of this, this is the master plan and zone change. The second step of the entitlement process here would be the PUD.
We would come back to public forum and we would present what is called plan unit development at that point. It goes through an entire public forum again. And at that point we would develop the details of the plan. And we can actually show how the road systems work and how -- the wildlife management systems, where itís housing, where itís commercial, and all those things would sit within the canyon.
So whatís unique about it is to have a large piece of property and actually say that you can master plan all of it at once, typically, a lot of what happens in development is that you have smaller pieces of property that are developed.
Someone comes in and says Iím going to develop my 100 acres, and they develop it the way that they want. Then the next one comes in and itís another 50 acres. It may not be a match to the existing one, and it becomes a
hodgepodge of developments within.
The uniqueness of this, of having one parcel that you could look at -- and when we complete and go through the PUD process, what it does is that PUD is actually recorded against the property and it gets the zoning so that anyone that is involved with that project knows from day one what itís going to look like and how itís going to be developed over the next 20 to 50 years. At day one, everyone knows exactly what that project would be at that point. And again, it is unique from that standpoint.
I want to make sure Iím touching on -- talked about locations and other items. Some of the things that have been requested many times are: What are the benefits? Why would Storey County want a project like this?
Number one, I think the largest thing it comes with -- one of the largest things is Storey County is -- has a huge benefit. And ten years ago, as Iíve mentioned, the commissioners, the planning commissioners and the county commissioners, approved this park called Tahoe Regional Industrial Park. It is a fabulous success.
Today, as I mentioned, there is approximately three to four million feet developed out there currently. There are 3,000 jobs in the park.
At this exact moment, there is an additional five million feet of buildings that are in the building
department to be built in the next 12 months.
If you take the mixture of those buildings, it appears that there could be an additional 8,000 jobs coming in the next 12 months. And with the developer, speaking with them taking a look at what theyíve sold, it appears that in the next 12 months, that potentially another nine million feet of buildings could be coming.
I know that you folks as planning commissioners see this coming on a weekly or a biweekly basis through your meetings. Itís a ferocious -- itís mind boggling to really look at how fast this property is growing at that point.
From a regional standpoint, you have adjacent counties and cities that are looking to it and saying, Storey County, you have this fabulous park out here, but whereís your job/housing balance with that? And even in the master plan it talks about a balance between the jobs and housing.
If the park is successful to the extent that it could be in creating 180,000 jobs, that is beyond anything that even Storey County could handle.
In our proposal, we are proposing the master plan to go between one and two units per acre. If you multiply that out, it would be anywhere from eight to approximately 15,000 homes in there. Industry standards show that a job usually creates one home.
So if the park is successful, as it is,
theoretically you can have demand for 180,000 homes coming into that park. And ours are saying between eight and 15 thousand homes. We could be less than 10 percent of the demand to come out of that.
Our development would be driven by the demand of the park. People have asked us the timing of the development. It really is driven by how successful the park is and the growth within the area of that.
We estimate that this project would take several years of engineering and understanding, the development itself, and upon that, it would probably take 20 to 40 years to build this project out. So itís not a project that is overnight.
Again, it would be master planned so that everyone could understand exactly how it will look and what are the conditions of that approval and also how the control of the project would go. And that really goes back to a master-planned community is driven by CC&Rs.
And itís a standalone community. Itís a community that of such it allows itself to handle all the needs within it. It is one that we would pledge that this would be a net positive tax base to the County. Those type of studies would come on the next level, the PUD level, after we understand the land and what would be exactly built on it.
We would hire professional third-party economic
companies to come in and show to the County how it works, that it is a positive, and we would also negotiate and work with the County on how to do the infrastructure within that.
And infrastructure includes not only roads, but also includes public parks and includes public services such as fire and police and all those facilities that would be required for schools within the community. All of that is in the master plan of the PUD, and that would be the next level that we go through.
Some of the benefits. And so in speaking to that, Storey County at this point has a wonderful asset, but it really, from a regional standpoint, doesnít have a balance of the housing and the commercial that goes with it.
The surrounding counties and cities have some concerns about the fact that they would have all of the houses for the jobs but not necessarily the tax base that comes with the industrial park. And those are things that are talked about on a regional basis.
I really want to emphasize, regionally, this is a local county issue, but it does have regional impacts to it. And those impacts are why surrounding cities and counties are saying, you know, because of the fact of the magnitude of it and the jobs that are there, the amount of traffic and the impacts that would come to those adjacent counties and cities, it theoretically could gridlock on
Interstate 80, everyone having to travel to other areas. And what this does is localize it. It contains the development within our project so that its ingress and egress, its entrances and exits, are all into the business park so that people would not have to commute anywhere from 10 to 20 miles to the adjacent communities for their housing and retail needs.
Currently in the park, there is no retailing. For employees to even have sandwiches or whatever, they must travel to Fernley or Reno for their lunches and other needs. It is a regional issue, not only from the impacts, but also from the housing standpoint.
On the local level, what those benefits are, is Lockwood. I donít know how many people are actually here from Lockwood, but these are pictures from last January. This is Lockwood, what happened in the storm event last January. It flooded the community. It literally took out bridges. It took out their phone system.
These are some of the streets, these are some of the bridges that were wiped out. It impacted their sewer systems, their phone systems. I believe that they were without phones for six to seven days in some areas.
COMMISSIONER TYLER: Something like that.
MR. SMITH: And so these are impacts. These are local impacts. This water is coming down -- let me -- is
there another one?
What do you have there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Under your benefits map.
MR. SMITH: Yeah, behind this one. There we go.
What happens from a hydrology standpoint.
Let me express this to the commissioners also. I have many of our consultants here today to answer any type of technical aspects. So hydrology, wildlife, cultural, all of those questions, as you come up, thereís several professionals in the audience here that I might point to to answer some of your questions here.
But what happens is this is a watershed in this general area where the rains or snowstorms collect in these areas, starting all the way back in the highlands.
Long Valley Creek. Those of you that have ever seen it, itís a beautiful, beautiful asset. Itís also a huge water flow that all ends up in Lockwood. This is what happens in a storm.
What weíve come to find out through our hydrology studies -- and this is something that we accomplished in our existing project of Somersett. We are the developers of Somersett.
I believe people understand, but I want to make sure. We develop communities. We do not develop homes.
This is what weíre applying for here is to develop another community.
But what the hydrology shows is all this water collects and comes down and ends up going into the river at Lockwood, creating this problem here.
A lot of the water traverses across Cordevistaís property itself, whether it be through channels or the soils itself are not very permeable, so when water hits it, it basically flash floods into the channels and creates this problem down here.
But through retention and detention, what can be fixed in that is holding back -- the studies show that there are 17,000 cubic feet per second of water that comes down Long Valley in a flood period, And just for a reference, the Truckee River flowing right now is about 500 CFS or cubic feet per second. So the river right now is at 500. Youíre talking about 17,000 cubic feet per second coming down.
Approximately 10,000 feet of that water crosses across Cordevista, And through the development, what we can do is, through detention or retention, is to hold that water up on the property. About 60 percent of the water could be held here while the storm event goes through, and then it could slowly be released and stop the flooding of Lockwood. And itís a very important thing for us.
Our project at Somersett had the same occurrence
from the lower community below it called Mogul. Mogul used to flood, literally waterfalls of water coming out of the hills in there. And we developed -- in that project, we have 27 different detention and retention basins in it. It holds that water back, and as the storm passes over, it slowly releases it out so it prevents the flooding on that.
This is the summary and Iíll go down and speak to some of these items in here.
In our plan, we can pledge at this point, knowing how the land is -- and these are of the studies that weíve done over the past two and a half years. 40 to 45 percent of the land would stay in open space. Thatís a pledge that we can do at this point.
Now, within the other areas, we still havenít developed it out, but we can look at it, understand the topography and the other items within it. We pledge 40 to 45 percent of the space would be open.
We just addressed the Lockwood flooding areas.
One of the large -- and do you have the report -- yeah, itís right behind this one.
This -- and I know that to this audience, it is extremely important, and itís important to us, is water, meaning water that you folks are currently using.
What weíre looking to do -- just put it on here -- is to not use any of the groundwater in Storey
County. And itís a pledge that we will pledge to the planning commissioners here that we would not utilize any groundwater.
The Highlands area is on a groundwater system. Itís our understanding that wells are having to be redrilled to go to much deeper depths, anywhere from -- previously a hundred to 200 feet to as deep as 1800 feet some people are going. And thatís because of the development of the area.
The water basin in there has a limited amount of water. And so every time a home is developed, itís another straw into the ground basically thatís taking more of that water out. As the depth of it goes down, obviously attributable to the fact that the water table is diminishing and that there is not enough water.
From our studies, weíve done satellite fractualization, weíve done earthquake faulting and other items on the property, and it shows thereís a very limited amount of water left in this basin.
Cordevista shares part of the Virginia Highlandsí water basin. And thatís why we want to be very clear in saying we have no intention -- we pledge and we could be conditioned not to use any of the groundwater up there.
Our project would be all water importation. We would develop a very extensive importation series of pumps
and pipes to bring the water into the project.
And with that, a benefit that could be extended out to the Highlands, and we would truly want to extend it to them, is the fact that the water system is close enough here that as the Highlands develops out further, that they could possibly tap into that water system for the future development.
I want to show you what -- and this comes from the county assessorís office. If we take a look at the one-acre, ten-acre, and 40-acre parcels in the Virginia Highlands area -- and Iím going to add these up in summary instead of going through each one of them -- there is a total of 1876 parcels in the Highlands between the ones, 10s, and the 40s. There are 484 homes developed to date. There are 1392 lots still to be developed up here.
The point being is that if youíre at 1800 feet currently, just trying to service your water needs with the existing 500 homes, as these additional 1400 homes come online, it will most likely diminish -- from our studies that we see, it will probably diminish the water supply up here.
You would not have enough water to develop is what weíre seeing in our studies.
So this is a benefit that we want to extend. This water importation, it would cost us tens of millions of dollars to bring the piping, the pump systems into
Cordevista, but at least itís up on the plateau and the level that it could theoretically be extended to the Highlands to help them with future developments as we go forward here.
Improved fire access and areas. Obviously fire is a huge concern in Nevada. Brush fires, as they take off, they move immensely quickly. Theyíre very destructive.
We designed our communities to be fire resistant, and theyíre actually designed to handle fires and impacts. Weíve had fires come out to our projects. There are firewalls -- I mean fire breaks within them. Each of the homes are built with -- all exterior items are fire--retardant. There are fire breaks within the communities.
This is something that would be concerning to us up here. Weíve designed the community to handle such things as brush fires.
Diversification of the Storey County tax base. The County has operated over the decade, over the hundreds of years on a diverse tourist base or mining base, and itís currently turning into an industrial base. The housing or the retail and the housing bases would also diversify that and make it a more stable tax base.
Protection of wildlife and corridors. Again, concerns that weíve heard and ones that we want to address extensively, and in particular is the wild horse weíve heard
about. Weíve also heard about goats and other items that are up here.
But the wildlife habitat, the horses in particular, as we go to the next level, what we would do is design this to handle the wild horse habitat thatís out here. And that plays into open space that we would dedicate for it. Weíd also have corridors for the horses to travel through. So it wouldnít be just a wall of development that they couldnít traverse through or manage through. Itís one that we are very concerned about and itís one that we want to address as we go forward here.
The petroglyphs. I donít know if everyone is aware, but in Storey County, Storey County was dedicated, about 30 years ago, 80 acres of land. This is a national treasure that Storey County has possession of. There is 80 acres located right in this area of the property. We own all the property around it.
It is the highest concentration of petroglyphs that I believe is in northern Nevada -- I mean, excuse me, in North America potentially. It is currently be lawed by the Nevada Art Rock Foundation.
It is something that we want to be good stewards of the property, and weíre working with both the County and Nevada Rock Art Foundation to begin developing plans to protect this natural resource, this natural treasure, and
also weíre actually working towards doing additional donations.
Thereís land that we own that have additional petroglyphs on them, and weíre looking and starting to do the survey to work with that to identify additional lands that we would actually donate to the County to enlarge that petroglyph area and then develop a plan to try and protect it. It is something that is beautiful.
The problem is is that some people come to it to enjoy it, and some people come to destroy it. Thatís the difficult part in trying to develop a plan. Weíre trying to work jointly with the Rock Art Foundation of the County on that.
Thereís two more benefits I want to go through. The zone changes. Taking it from something that can be quite harmful, theoretically, bomb -- blasting/ammunition/hazardous waste zoning to a commercial/retail/residential zoning, we see as a benefit to the County.
It is something that -- this has the high potential of problems to occur within this type of zoning, zoning thatís customized for the previous owners. We do not see this as really a highest and best use for Storey County land at this point to have these type of zoning components on it.
The last one, and this is something that we do
in our communities and itís done in a lot of leading-edge development now. Itís something that we would introduce. We did this in our Somersett project.
This is something to help with all of Storey County. For the past two and a half years, weíve tried to listen carefully to find out what are the items that Storey County needs assistance with or that the citizens and the people are looking for.
And this is -- what weíve done in Somersett -- and we limited this mechanism to the community itself. The dollars stay within Somersett.
In this case, because of all the needs and seeing the County doesnít necessarily have the dollars at this point to do all the needs that it has is that weíd open this up to the County as a whole. And how we do is it would be called the Storey County Community Foundation.
What we do in Somersett and we would do it here in pledge and record it, is that every time that a home traded, and that would be the first time, when the first-time home buyer comes in, or the time that he or she sells it or the remaining times of it, is thereís a $250 transfer fee, and that would go into the foundation at that point.
These are the items that weíve seen or identified that need assistance from an economic standpoint, and we want to set this foundation up.
What happens with this -- and if we just took one and a half homes per acre, just assuming that we did the mid range of what weíre looking for to develop, it would create $3.2 million every seven years, or about $500,000 a year this would create in value.
An average home is owned for about seven years. So if we take the housing and multiply that, every seven years, it trades and puts $250 into this foundation, it creates about half a million dollars a year. And this would be not run by us, but we would actually let citizens run this.
And the items that weíve seen that need assistance that we want to pledge this to, and this is a major list, we did not want to really put this out until weíve heard all the items because all other items added to it, but cultural resources and preservation is taking care of the petroglyphs, taking care of the wild horses.
Virginia Cityís Convention and Tourism Authority, as far as preservation, this really goes back to not only the lands and open lands, but Virginia City as a whole. And those -- a couple of those items that are very evident are Piperís Opera House and the Fourth Ward School.
Weíve been involved with those lightly, but this would be something that would have a substantial amount of dollars that would help launch those forward and protect and
preserve those items.
From an infrastructure standpoint, Virginia City Highlands, again, with the development of our infrastructure structure up there, this would be a mechanism to develop that infrastructure over to the Highlands, build a pipe actually from our project to the Highlands, not a road -- I want to emphasize that -- but a pipe that could come over and help with the remaining 1300 or 1400 homes to be developed in the Virginia City Highlands area.
It could also assist with the flood control. Lockwood, in the last flood that happened in January, still has deficit from the repairs of -- repair of the bridges and the infrastructure thatís down there.
And also potential sewer connections. And this is one -- I donít know if the Highlands would ever reach a point, we havenít examined it to that level, but if there was a need for sewer connections, we would obviously have sewer within our project. We could also help with that infrastructure with the Highlands at that time.
This goes into the details of what weíre talking about. But in essence, it would create about $500,000 a year that could go to the citizens as a whole of Storey County. This is something the leading-edge developments and especially master-planned communities do. We want to pledge that to Storey County also.
I believe -- dark skies. Thereís another. This is -- these are several pictures of the Somersett project, and itís the best reference.
Weíve heard continuously about people concerned about, hey, youíre going to take away our darkness and our skies, we wonít be able to see the stars. We appreciate that.
We designed this community a decade ago. What weíve done with it, what this is is a daytime picture and a nighttime picture of three different areas within Somersett. And I took a picture.
We have dark skies development in Somersett. What that means is that we minimize any type of lights within the community. The main one that you typically see in the community is the streetlights. Thatís usually what you see that occurs within a development.
We have within our community, which is 2800 acres, or five and a half square miles, we have approximately 30 streetlights in the entire community. And thatís what allows it to stay dark and enjoyable in the evenings.
Weíve extended tours and we continue to extend tours to anyone that would enjoy coming. On the fliers, you have contact information for us. The best way to understand what we would like to do is to actually show you what we would do.
So in here, we designed Somersett to have -- there are no stoplights within the community. We use only roundabouts in there. And on those roundabouts in particular, or if there was another high traffic area, we put the streetlights at that point and they are all down. Thereís no light that comes up. It all beams down, just to denote for a driver that youíre coming into a roundabout.
All of the other streets within the community have no streetlights on them, and thatís what allows -- this is our community. Youíre looking at several hundred homes here, developed in here, and this is what it looks like in the evening.
Actually, the reason you have these two lit here is that these were model homes that were open that evening.
But this, again, is another picture of our community, and this is how much light comes out of it. And itís something that we want to pledge to this also is that we do a dark skies community.
And with that, I think Iíve touched on everything with our presentation.
I wanted to also, if I could for a couple minutes, Mark Amodei represents us. He also had a few comments for the Planning Commission if he could.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Are you still a senator?
SENATOR AMODEI: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners. For your record, Mark Amodei here on behalf of Virginia Highlands, LLC. Last name is A-M-O-D-E-I for your court reporter.
For payroll purposes, I think Iíve been off the payroll for about three days, but thank you for inquiring, Mr. Chairman.
I am mindful of your agenda tonight. Itís nice to see other folks that have to do tough votes for a change, and I donít envy you, so I will be quick and crisp, knowing that youíre going to have another meeting.
I want to touch on a few things that were master plan amendment-related, then Iíll get the heck out of the way and let the questioning start and the other discussions start.
First of all, I wanted to let you know, just by way of reminder, itís a pleasure to be in front of you again and your board. As youíll recall, I appeared in front of you with applicants over the last few years. Barrick Gold Strike for the Western 106 power plant development, Painted Rock Partners for the development that came through about six months ago, and also Bell Canyon, LLC, with some folks who appeared before you regarding some industrial zoning over near Highway 50 where the county line almost meets Highway 50.
Itís nice to be back again.
And let me tell you from that perspective, having appeared in front of this Commission, being familiar with your zoning ordinances and your master plans, to take a look at this -- and once again, Storey County is at a crossroads. Everybody knows the history of the County, and I wonít go back that far.
But this project is unique in several purposes. One is this represents, in my experience before this County, an unprecedented outreach effort. No doubt this is emotional. There are people that feel very strongly about it, but nobody can accuse somebody of coming in and trying to do something lickety-split. Town meetings up here. Iíve attended here for this, a healthy discussion, a lot of concerns that people up here have.
Similar thing in Lockwood. Healthy thing. Thatís the American way. I salute this Commission for devoting two meetings to it and making sure that you get all the information you can before you make a decision like this.
But letís talk about Storey County for a minute. Some of the discussions and from some of the commissioners in the meetings are, the bottom line here: Is this going to be good for Storey County. And we look at how the County has matriculated just in modern times.
You take a look at your own master plan which references a population of less than 600 in 1960. And what
that represents is a manyfold increase in population for Storey County in the last 40 years. Iím not saying thatís a good thing; Iím not saying thatís a bad thing. Thatís not much different than western Nevada. This is an area that people like, like many of us in this room, like to come to.
So once again, youíre faced with: Is this a good thing for Storey County? Is this a smart thing?
Youíve got an existing master plan thatís 13 years old. Under that existing master plan, your predecessors, or maybe some of you were on the board -- I know there are some newcomers -- you approved the Tahoe Regional Industrial Center. I salute you for it.
It was a phenomenal move for Storey County, a county that, before the approval of that, had a hard time passing a voter initiative to put three-tab 15-year shingles on the high school roof.
In the neighborhood I hang out in, we had to fight to keep the County separate because there were those folks in larger counties and folks in Las Vegas who thought, well, itís too small, canít generate the money, weíll just put it in another county. We fought that fight and won it, and we should have, and Iím proud of those results.
But you look at the matriculation of this county with the existing master plan, and you say, you know, we might have created in Storey County the largest industrial
center on the planet.
Now, I donít know how anybody in this room feels about that, but based on what was going on in the county, in the foothills, I salute those folks who were in leadership positions and in public service positions like you folks.
And so -- and by the way, that was eight years ago. Are we at the end of phase one yet? You folks would know better than I do because thatís going to tie into something. Weíre just starting phase two of potentially six.
So that took eight years for that. It was one of the most unprecedented real estate booms that western Nevada has ever seen. And you know what? Letís be honest, thatís done great things for our economy. Not just Storey County. Everybody. But thatís eight years for phase one.
One of the things we hear is if you do this, itís going to upset the political balance in Storey County. Well, I would submit to you that by swinging the big bat and creating the largest industrial center maybe on the planet, with the impacts that that creates in the region, and even though weíre as proud of muckers and the highlands and blue and white and all these other things as anybody else in any other area is, it is a region, folks, and let me remind you why it is a region.
When somebody starts driving up Six Mile Canyon Road from Lyon County to go to Reno, Commissioner Bob Hess
wants them to have to pay for it. Theyíre going to impact on Storey County roads. Thatís a regional impact.
But the folks in Washoe County get together and they say we want to do that Tahoe/Pyramid Lake and weíre going to send it through Storey County. Storey Countyís got a lot to say about that. You ought to consider other counties before you do that.
When the folks in Reno and Sparks want to do flood control and their first attempt at that is to get it through the Truckee Meadows quicker and say good luck in Lockwood, Storey County has something to say about that.
I say all that to say this: We are all as proud of our county and our homes as we can be, and we should be. But, like it or not, every single county in this region is part of a region. Itís part of a region for air quality, itís part of a region for traffic, itís part of a region for water. God help us the fights that are going to happen over water in the next 20 years.
But when you think about that regionally, my suggestion to you tonight and some facts I Ďm going to leave you with and Iím going to get out of the way and let these folks talk, is you have to put your head on a 360-degree swivel.
If the people in the Highlands oppose this and they want unplaced status to remain in the Highlands, youíve
heard a presentation that will allow that. If the people in the Highlands want no impacts to their groundwater, youíve heard a presentation that says no impacts to your groundwater.
If the people in the Highlands say I donít want to know that those people are five miles over there, I donít know what to tell you about that. I donít know what to tell you about that.
But if you want to talk about wild horses or you want to talk about petroglyphs or you want to talk about traffic flows, the presentation youíve seen tonight directs almost all the population impacts if this master plan amendment and zone change, which is what TRI asked for eight or nine years ago and what Painted Rock got six months ago. All those impacts are being directed into the industrial center.
Nobody stood in front of you and said to hell with the wild horses. Nobody stood in front of you and said weíd like you to look the other way while we pump your aquifer dry.
I mean, come on. This is the new millennium. Nobody gets away with that, especially not with the way Iíve seen this Commission work.
So I would ask you, when you hear these concerns and if thereís new ones, then itís that applicantís job to
deal with it. But as you hear those and you hear water and you have a proposal in front of you that says we will not touch the groundwater in Storey County, and that proposal continues to say we will size infrastructure so that if the Highlands needs water, then it will be within five miles or four-point whatever. I donít want how fast a bird flies, but anyhow, it will be that close.
When you hear a proposal that says a foundation that will create every time a house in this community starts -- every time a house in this community sells, we will create a foundation. One of those benefits can be helping pay those infrastructure costs.
Or you talk about fire protection in the pinion-juniper areas. Weíre standing in a firehouse. This is the first time Iíve been here where there wasnít something to eat, but Iíll get over that.
SENATOR AMODEI: Anyhow, you talk about those sorts of infrastructure, the potential ability of services which allow, for instance, this area to continue as an enclave; and with the traffic, dark skies, all that, that tells me this is responsive.
Now, if you just donít want to grow, then thatís fine. Itís America, You can say that. I donít want to grow. I donít want the county to get any bigger.
Let me just give you a couple facts about that and then Iím going to get out of your way and weíll talk some more at the next meeting.
Not wanting the county to grow is perfectly fine. Itís kind of an interesting thing when in some months this very Commission approves projects in the industrial center that create more jobs than the existing population of the county.
And when you create those jobs and you talk about impacts on Storey County from other counties, to sit there and say but we want -- and you look at the map over there, hey, folks, for all practical purposes, itís Washoe County and Lyon County. And Washoe County is somewhere north of 400,000 people, and Lyon County is, hellbent for leather, theyíre trying to be the number two population county in western Nevada.
I happen to live in Carson City. Douglas County, Churchill, forget it. Those folks, if they can solve the water problem, are going to be the number two population county. You will be surrounded by the two highest population counties in western Nevada.
And so when you create impacts that send police, fire, schools, social services into those counties but you donít want to grow, in the game that I play every other year for 120 days, which Iím almost done with, which Iím sure that
comes as good news to some of you here tonight, when it comes time to go talk about those impacts, youíll want somewhat of a voice.
That doesnít mean Storey County needs to go condo and timeshare and high-rise and all that other sort of stuff. But when you look over at that map talking about topography, you only have three areas in the county. I mean, you donít want people to build on hillsides, which youíd have to grandfather existing hillside stuff, but thatís fine.
Youíve only have three areas. Painted Rock which you dealt with six months ago in a responsible fashion, and we hope you deal with this one in the same responsible fashion. Youíve got this piece and youíve got that other piece west of it, I think. Thatís it.
So if youíre worried about where are we going to end up when this is all over, itís like, if youíre going to do something responsible and talk about relatively level pieces of ground that are -- and by the way, some people would consider this a down-zone from open burn/open detonation.
And I know that was done because the Aerojet folks, the TRW folks, at the time it was a responsible thing to do.
I would suggest to you that the way that stuff reads right now, if anybody thinks thatís a good thing for
Storey County, then, you know, we should go to a different firehouse and have a different meeting.
This represents a responsible change in zoning for whatís presently allowed there. I donít think anybody, especially from what I heard in those meetings, one here and the other one, thinks that we ought to do open burn/open detonation. And I work on some military bases where the folks have something to say about that.
But let me just tell you, when you focus on those facts and youíre trying to raise the bar for Storey County -- and you should. When youíre trying to raise the bar for Storey County, think back of when you had a presentation at this stage that doesnít think that this does for infrastructure, for consideration of existing residents, but also, I would submit to you, back to that regional level, takes a big stick out of your neighborís hands when they say nice job on the industrial park.
But you have had opportunities -- not that youíre going to have many. Youíve had opportunities to address some of the housing issues and you said no when the context of those things was like this.
I would suggest to you that to maintain a viable and effective plan and to preserve the quality of life for folks in Storey County, and thatís all the four areas that you say thatís fine, If you can do this responsibly and this
allows us to go to our neighbors and say weíve done what we can in housing, so take your requests for whatever in terms of in lieu of fees and taxes -- which, by the way, it helps if you have a little population when it comes time for that reapportionment stuff because thatís kind of how they set up districts.
And as the guy who represented you in the last one that had to give back more people from Carson City to keep part of Storey County in my district so that youíd have somebody that wasnít -- no offense to Maurice Washington because Iím standing in his district right now -- but whose primary district included Sparks.
Those are things you need to think about. Iím not suggesting you should agree with me or not, but you should think about those things. We need to think globally.
And I would suggest to you, Mr. Chairman, and board members and people of this county, if you think globally and you say, okay, can I take a few sticks out of some other folksí hands? I want my lifestyle to remain the way it is. I donít want this impacting on me negatively.
And you know what? Thereís nothing wrong with saying that. But when you look at how it potentially can, and thereís things they missed, then tell them about it. But what you have before you is the presentation of somebody coming in whoís trying to say: What are your concerns? And
if your concern is simply I donít want you there, then you can say that too, but that doesnít leave them much to deal with.
So I would suggest to you that -- and I want to thank Jesus thereís nothing going on in northern Nevada on a Friday. I want to thank everybody --
SENATOR AMODEI: -- everybody for coming out, and, Mr. Chairman --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Show night on television.
SENATOR AMODEI: Iím going to shut up and let you folks get on with your questions. And I look forward to talking to you folks again at your next meeting. I hope Saturday is better than Friday for everybody.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you, Senator.
At this juncture, Iíd like to turn the questioning over to the Planning Commission for the applicant.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Go down the row or how do you want to do this?
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Whoever would like.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Iíll start.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: State your name for the record, sir.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Larry Prater.
The question is -- you may want to defer to part of your technical staff.
MR. HAYMORE: Larry, talk into -- thereís about a hundred people outside.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: You may want to refer this question to your technical staff. Itís regarding the hydrology studies and the -- looking at figure three under tab two of the book that weíve been given. Thereís been lot of discussion about aiding the Lockwood area as far as flood control.
According to this map, Cordevista development is about a third of the total drainage basin. The other two major basins are the Long Valley basin and the Lousetown basin that weíre in right now.
The Lousetown and Long Valley basins both converge near your northwest corner of your development, and the Long Valley Creek continues on down and is the west boundary of the development.
My question is: Are you in a position to do flood control in that little reach of the Long Valley Creek that would actually have a fairly significant impact on the potential flooding of the Lockwood area?
MR. SMITH: Well, and I believe I understand your question, but if I donít address it exactly, get back to me.
Is Joe -- are you here this evening? No.
Let me answer. You were pointing to Long Valley Creek itself. And just within the commissionersí books, there is a book that shows all of the tributaries and other items, how they come together and collect down into the Long Valley area.
Our proposal -- and what youíre seeing on that, this is actually the retention of it. The U.S. Corps of Engineers actually designed a dam some ten years to be developed in between our property and Lockwood. Iím just going to point here. That was designed and it was never developed and it still sits out there as a potential.
Our proposal would be to actually retain the property (sic) up on the property, on the Cordevista property before it even reaches Long Valley. So you wouldnít be in the valley itself retaining up the dams. Youíd be retaining up on the property.
You can see all the fingers, Iíll call them, the tributaries in here. You trap the water up in these areas and then slowly let it come down. These areas could still continue on or you could do detentions on this. This is not our property, but there is -- 60 percent of the water that comes down in this valley crosses across this property where you retain it.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: According to this map,
thatís only roughly a third of the whole drainage basin.
MR. SMITH: Sizewise, yes, but water flowwise, coming through here, 60 percent of it comes across here, 40 percent of the water comes this way. Itís not necessarily size; itís where the water itself is coming. Itís collecting in these hills around us and coming down. Itís actually off of our property but traverses across the property.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Okay.
MR. SMITH: And does that answer that?
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Yes. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Further questions? Peter.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Yeah, Iíve got several actually.
Iíve got a number of questions and comments, some of them based off some things Iíve read from the public and just some general questions in the proposal itself, so Iíll just go down my list.
Teeing off of Larryís question regarding the retention basins, who would bear the maintenance responsibility of those retention basins once theyíre constructed?
MR. SMITH: Those would all go into the homeowners association. In a master-planned community, again, we didnít go into lot of detail on it, but what happens is you can create a CC&Rs, covenants, conditions, and
restrictions, to record it across all of the property, and that creates a large homeowners association.
The CC&Rs is really the critical -- in the Highlands, you have CC&Rs when you create a homeowners association. This is -- in this style, you create even a larger homeowners association here, similar to what we do in Somersett. All those retention basins, all 27 of them are on homeowners association property and they are maintained by the homeowners association. That comes from the dues that each homeowner pays into that association.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: So if somebody blows out, the homeowners association would cover that.
MR. SMITH: Correct.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: In terms of where the water is coming from, without asking who -- where youíre getting the water exactly from --
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Ask him.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Where are you getting the water from?
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: I wonít put you on that spot. Iíll let somebody else do that.
Assuming itís coming from outside Storey County, what are the impacts to wherever itís coming from in terms of
of the other county that might want to develop?
MR. SMITH: Itís a great question, and weíve been asked that many times. Do you have the water? Where are you going to get the water?
There is not ample water within Storey County to do this development. I think weíve gone through that clearly, and we donít want to tap into those aquifers.
But there is ample water within northern Nevada. We do have -- we actually have six different alternatives that weíre looking at.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: What are they?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: What are they? Where?
MR. SMITH: I want to answer. Iím going to defer to some of the staff, if I could, on this.
The reason why is weíre in negotiations to acquire this property -- these water rights at this point. Having it go out into the public forum may not be most beneficial for those negotiations now. So thatís Ė
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Itís beneficial to us.
MR. SMITH: I think the condition that you folks would have for comfort from the Planning Commission or the County Commission, that if we were never able to source the property -- or the water and bring it here, we would never be
able to record a tentative map to do any development.
So whether we have the water today or whether we have it later, thereís a safety mechanism in here that says if we donít bring the water or have the water, the planning department or the county commissioners will never approve it. So thatís your safety valve at that point, that if you were to approve this, that no development would occur unless we did have the water at that point at tentative map status.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: So why is it so hard just to give us the six locations?
SECRETARY EDWARDS: The chairman will be back in a minute.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: The chair has left. Iím the vice-chairman. I guess Iíll have to take over. Our chairman got scared and left.
MR. SMITH: You need to tell him that when he comes back.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: So I think we were going through the questioning by the Planning Commission. Whoís the next one down the line here?
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Iíve still got a few.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: Okay.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Still related to the water.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: I was wrong. Heís back.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Do you feel there is not only ample water for the proposed development but also enough water to import for the Virginia Highlands as well --Virginia Highlands.
MR. SMITH: Yes, there is a substantial amount of water still unused within northern Nevada that has different locations that is useable. It will be used throughout northern Nevada. Part of it will be used in Storey County.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: I guess relative to the alternative that youíre looking into, would that amount of water that youíre looking into also cover that, the Virginia Highlands as well?
MR. SMITH: Depending on -- theoretically, yes. Depending on how much the Highlands would need would be a question. And thatís to be determined.
As I say, you could have a potential 1400 more homes coming into the Highlands as it stands currently, and how many of those would actually be developed or not developed, I couldnít answer that.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Still related to that drainage but moving on to horses. If you create detention
basins within the community, one of my concerns would be that, of course being the desert, wildlife is always looking for water. If you create detention basins, then probably creating a situation where horses will be drawn to those detention basins.
Is that an issue that youíve looked at?
MR. SMITH: Well, again, the total wildlife plan, Iíll call it, has not been developed, but that is a very valid point. And it occurs in our current community, Somersett, where, when you do create those detention basins, you do create an opportunity for additional wildlife, not only horses, but youíll see other wildlife. Youíll see ducks starting to come. Youíll see raccoons and other things that -- itís an occurrence that happened with our project.
It was basically barren desert. As those detention basins were built, we actually have nine lakes within the community. Theyíre vibrant with wildlife, And we would have that occurring here also.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: It sounded like your drainage person, your engineer person, is not here tonight; is that --
MR. SMITH: Yeah. I thought Joe was trying to get here, and Iím not sure he did. RCI Consultants has done the drainage studies for us.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Okay. Feel free to
defer my questions then for later if you need to.
MR. SMITH: Okay.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: In terms of creating detention basins that will hold flood types of events, how will those detention basins impact base flow for the creeks? My concern being that if thereís detention basins to hold back base flows from the creeks, weíre actually losing water for wildlife through the Long Valley Creek.
MR. SMITH: Well, Long Valley Creek is -- has a slow -- from what weíve seen over the past couple years, has a slow water flow through it almost constantly. What weíre trying to address here -- and water flow can come through the detention basins. They can be engineered so that those can continue to flow through. Itís when itís a flash flood series that they actually fill up and have pipes that retain it and hold it back at that point so that itís a restricted flow.
It would not stop all flows. What it does is it basically slows it down at a flash flood event period. Thatís how the hydrological engineers design all those at that point through the dams and retention areas.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Something that I noticed in one of the letters from the public is related to transportation. Someone mentioned that there might be alternative roads or alternate roads that could be built in
addition to the proposed road that would go to the USA Highway, but I didnít necessarily see that in the proposal.
MR. SMITH: We have looked at -- again, over the years we have studied this and tried to listen to the populace about where -- some of the questions coming to us is do you want roads to certain areas. And weíve heard both. Some people say do bring a road and weíve heard some that say donít bring road.
So from our standpoint, we have limited all of our road system to go into the industrial park, and so that the impacts that the industrial park is creating and those jobs and housing needs would be addressed and taken care of from that.
Your alternative routes, weíve also looked at some other alternatives, and weíre not proposing to develop them. But there is some alternative route that you can take to Mustang that could be designed and engineered. Weíre not intending to build that. And the other one is a westerly road, and no roads to the south.
Those are ones that weíve looked at, but thereís actually a litany of ways that you can build the roads, but we want to limit ourselves to the Tahoe Regional Industrial roads.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: If it was something that was desirable, would you be interested in also
developing roads that would go to places, to Virginia City, down through Lockwood to Reno, to other places?
MR. SMITH: Again, we are pledging not to because of the impacts. So if the Planning Commission or the county commissioners chose to do that, meaning if they requested that of us, we would look at putting those stub outs to it for those. Thatís part of the planning process that goes through. But by no means are we looking to try and develop those roads.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Also from schools, I have a another study thing related to comments from the Storey County School District on how they might view the proposed development, And I understand that if the development was put in, there would be schools within the community that would service the needs of the people who live there, of course.
Might you be able to also offer opportunities to service the needs of children from the Lockwood community?
MR. SMITH: Yes. And, again, thatís really when you come to the PUD level and you start to lay out the land and look at where the locations of schools would be and how much needs for schools would be. That comes in the detail at the next level, at the planned unit development when we actually bring the detail of the land plan.
Those type of needs of children outside of the
community could be addressed and incorporated into the development.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: In terms of jobs --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Peter, speak up just a little bit.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Thank you.
This came to us just recently. I notice one of my questions was in here that Iím going to ask you regardless. In terms of jobs that are anticipated at TRI, which I would anticipate would be generally lower-wage-earning types of jobs that are not high-tech jobs necessarily, how would that relate to the proposed housing and whatís going to be there?
In other words, is there going to be affordable housing if the major need is going to be affordable housing?
MR. SMITH: Itís a great question. The park is not developed and it will evolve and grow. Youíre seeing a lot of potential high-tech people coming into it.
Something that Storey County should be very proud of right now is Storey County has the highest per-hourly pay scale in all of northern Nevada. It is a pay scale thatís beyond Washoe, Lyon and everyone else.
But I think your question is is if a person is on an hourly basis, can he afford a home. And that is something within the master-planned community that we would
do is size the development and tailor it to accommodate all levels of housing. That would be affordable all the way up to custom homes and luxury homes.
Within a park, youíll see itís not going to be just big distribution and boxes. It is everything thatís coming into that park from manufacturing to businesses to high-tech companies. Youíll have all of those scale of people involved.
From our standpoint, we would design the community to handle all levels of the pay scale within the business park. Industrial park, I should say.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Peter.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Yes, sir?
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Letís just pass this on to the next man and then we can go back to you.
COMMISSIONER MAHOLLAND: Fair enough, as I flip my page.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: I just have several questions. Youíve addressed --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Your name, sir?
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Oh, Austin Osborne, O-S-B-O-R-N-E.
So basically what Iím seeing here is, right now, I understand you donít know exactly where the waterís coming
from and how much water youíre getting, but you could not pledge at this point that you could acquire enough water rights to build your project and share it with the Virginia Highlands in the future.
MR. SMITH: Oh, I think we can pledge that we can acquire water rights.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: For Cordevista.
MR. SMITH: Correct, yes. I think we can pledge to that.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: The reason I ask is one of your incentives here is that day the people here in this county could one day benefit from the water that youíre pumping into your development.
MR. SMITH: Mm-hmm.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: But if you canít acquire enough rights to make that happen, I donít see where really that is going to be anything thatís a possibility in the future.
MR. SMITH: Well, I think what the benefit that we are trying to extend here, Commissioner, is the fact that, right now, there is not a water -- there is a water system, a delivery system to the Virginia City area from the Marlette Lake area, but thereís not a physical delivery system that comes into the Highlands area.
So we would be developing a system that could be
sized to handle the Highlands if we were -- if they needed the water to come across at that point.
The infrastructure itself, the pipe sizing is extremely expensive but itís something -- you would have pumps that would be required. And that could be sized in order to handle the future development of the Highlands.
But as far as the acquisition of the water rights and all that, we would see the people that were actually building the home would be the person to actually acquire the water right and then put it into our pipe, basically, to bring it here.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: So the possibility of a pledge, even though you canít acquire the rights at this time for the Highlands, that you could build the infrastructure enough to accommodate Cordevista and supply the possible build-out of the Highlands.
MR. SMITH: Correct.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Meaning pipes and retention basins and all that.
MR. SMITH: Well, it wouldnít be the retention basins, but it would be the pipes.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Okay. Just another question I had was --
MR. HAYMORE: Austin, Iím sorry. I want to make sure itís clear.
Mr. Smith, youíre not saying youíll build the pipes into the Highlands. Youíll build your system so they can continue.
MR. SMITH: Thatís correct. And I think thatís what comes back to -- some of the funding mechanisms that we would see would come out of this here. It would create millions of dollars of transactions and fees coming into this mechanism so that those things could be either paid for out of the foundation or citizens or the owners of Virginia Highlands area could pay for it.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: That is how I understood what you were saying, that youíre not building pipes into the Highlands, but youíll build up to your project and it would be enough extra room to accommodate possible further development.
MR. SMITH: Right.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Just another question. With the petroglyphs, what plans -- you kind of explained before that you have an interest in protecting the petroglyphs. What are some specific things you would be able to do as far protecting that?
MR. SMITH: Well, I think first of all would be identifying some of the lands owned by us privately and putting them into the Countyís hands. I think thatís one of the simplest ones, that we work and try to identify that
those lands that we do own that could go into it.
Second of all would be working to develop a plan both with the County and the volunteer group from the Nevada Rock Art Foundation and other citizens as to try and find the best plan. I think one of the things that has been interesting and presented is to actually create a preserve over that area.
And again, access to it would be a public access to the area. And I have to say, public access brings both good and bad. And thatís really where a management plan would need to be developed and do that.
We have done extensive cultural studies. And I have some -- Dr. Kautz is here to express anything or any technical answers, a gentleman who has done all the cultural studies on our property to identify all those areas.
But I think in simplistic forms would be donating some lands to the County and also working with the County and citizens groups to develop a plan to allow access but also protect the national treasure that is out there.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Just one more question for now. Youíve talked about with the fire, the police, and the schools, providing accommodations for those.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Speak up.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Iím sorry.
Youíve talked about with the schools, the fire,
the police stations and all of that or any other community centers. Kind of focus on that, how much youíre willing to put in for that. Are you actually going to build the building or are you going to provide the land?
MR. SMITH: I think itís a combination of all of the above. And thatís really when we come to the PUD level, you will have economic models that come in and show what type of tax basis is created, what it can support. If there are shortfalls in regards to that, thatís where we, the development, would step in and assist with those.
As far as the development of those facilities, the main infrastructure would be developed by us: roads, water pipes, sewers. If thereís assistance thatís necessary from the Countyís standpoint to build fire stations, public parks, police, schools, thatís where we would step in and assist from those standpoints.
Itís something that we were doing in our current community. Weíre building a fire station right now. Itís a three-and-a-half-million-dollar structure that, when we complete it this summer, weíll donate it to the City of Reno. Weíve also acquired the pumper trucks and have donated those to the City of Reno.
So something that, step two, when you go through and actually analyze what your needs are, that you sit down with staff and work through what the needs are and what the
developer needs to do. Typically we would be the ones that would be developing and assisting so that itís not a burden to the County or the citizens.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Next?
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Iíd like to take a quote here from our master plan on page 31 where it says: Implications for future development.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Louder.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Okay. Now can you hear me?
A quote from our master plan, on page 31, it says: Implications for future development. It talks about water on this page. And it says that water is essential to any land uses. It follows that before a development is allowed within the Virginia range, availability of water should be the primary consideration. All the stuff that weíre talking about right now about water, and all these pages it talks about the low availability of water throughout the Virginia range.
So itís -- the water has to be imported for any new developments. So thatís very critical that we find out how many acre feet youíre going to have, things like that. I donít know, are we too early in the process?
MR. SMITH: It really is the second step. Itís the PUD where we come in and say weíre going to build one
house per acre or two houses per acre because itís a material difference of -- itís times two, the water amount and how -- within that PUD, also talk about the landscaping standards and how much water will be required for that, any type of commercial thatís developed, retail stores, creates some type of a rule.
And it is in concept true, and it is a large number, but until we actually do step two, which is the PUD, we would be unable to identify it at this point.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Okay. Mr. Chairman, I have one more question. Itís not basically a question. Itís reading from the master plan again.
The great interior, it talks about southwest of Lockwood, between Lockwood and Hidden Valley, On the east side of the Truckee Meadows is an area of rolling hills which would could be residentially developed in the future. And Iím reading that to be the area that weíre discussing, the Cordevista area.
MR. SMITH: I believe so.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Okay. It says it could be. It doesnít say it has to be.
MR. SMITH: Understood.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Okay. I just wanted to have that read on the record. Thank you.
I donít have any questions. I just wanted to
MR. SMITH: And Iíll also answer with that, though, the master plan also speaks about balancing jobs and housing growths and other items in there.
And so when it says these are areas that could be, thereís also an overriding aspect. It says that the County should look at job housing balances also. And thatís where I think weíve discussed some -- really only three general areas that you could work to do that job/housing balance, us being one. We control about half of that area.
MR. SHUPE: The reason the master plan calls that out is because itís one of the few that exist within the entire area. The master plan simply stated this is one of the few areas that could.
MR. SMITH: Cory, the gentleman who works with us, is stating that in the contents of that, itís calling out that it could be because it also notes that thereís only a select few areas that could be developed, this being one of them.
MR. SHUPE: Right, and they should be aware of it.
This is a primary. Council should be aware, this is one of the areas that could.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Sir, questions go to the --
MR. SHUPE: Iím with his team.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Okay. Mr. Chairman, Iíd
like to read one more thing on the master plan on that same page but before. It says that access from Lagomarsino Canyon would be need to be provided and any planned projects would probably require the importation of water. While development in this area is probably beyond the time frame of the present plan, county officials should be aware of the areaís development potential.
So itís a neutral statement, and I just want it read into the record from our master plan.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: You indicated you were building a firehouse in Reno. Do you have a project?
MR. SMITH: We have a project in Reno. Itís called the Somersett project.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: Okay. Thatís in Reno itself?
MR. SMITH: Itís located on the west side of -- itís in Washoe County within the city of Reno city limits.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: Whatís the size of that project?
MR. SMITH: That is approximately 2,800 acres, and it contains 3,300 dwelling units.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: Have they been all pretty well developed? Do you know? Is that pretty well built out or are you still selling the houses there?
MR. SMITH: The community is still developing now. Out of the 3,300 homes, there are approximately 1400 that are built. Thereís approximately 1800 still to be built.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: All right. So theoretically, people working in our industrial park could also buy houses there, right?
COMMISSIONER TYLER: Mr. Smith, I have one question for you. Most of my questions have already been answered, but why donít you lay out your plans for your retail. Tell me what you have planned for shopping centers, et cetera.
MR. SMITH: Well, I think that -- and again, as far as the detail, I donít have it. But in generalities, when we do go to the land and look at what the land can actually handle from a housing standpoint and also the demands of the business park, in our planning, we would look to the fact, as I mentioned, in the business park, thereís not a restaurant or a grocery store or anything.
So all services in the park currently are having to diverse either to -- and Lockwood has light services, but the real services as far as restaurants or any shopping are located in the Fernley or Reno/Sparks area.
So as we go through that land planning exercise,
we would look at it and say thereís a demand from the park of this amount and thereís a demand within the community of this amount, and we would designate those lands areas to go in and develop the development office and also the commercial. And that would be -- itís a needs study really.
And I couldnít give you the detail of how much retail it would be, but it would be strategically located within the community to service that.
One of the best planning that you can do is to make sure that the commute or the travel times are as small as you can. And thatís really a key part of what weíre looking here is to try and minimize any type of commute time or distances for all the employees in the park to traverse directly into their housing area and the retailers at that point and be self-contained.
Did I answer?
COMMISSIONER TYLER: Yeah.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Any further questions by the commissioners?
COMMISSIONER PRATER: One more.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Mr. Prater.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: One of the primary criteria for a master plan amendment -- and this is right out of our planning book too, says: Any person seeking issuance of a master plan amendment shall file a request and shall
present evidence to the Planning Commission as defined by all the following.
And the very first item is that the use is necessary to the public health, convenience, safety, and welfare to the promotion of the general good of the community.
Now, all of us commissioners have received letters from the mayors of Reno and Sparks and from the chairman of the Washoe County Commission, and weíve heard from Senator Amodei tonight that Storey County, in order to be a good regional citizen, should provide this kind of housing as a balance to the commercial development here.
Historically, I believe, despite this guilt trip thatís been -- theyíre trying to lay on us, Storey County has been a good citizen. We have accepted a regional landfill when no other county wanted it. We have three power plants in the county that no other county wanted with a fourth in the works. All of the Truckee Meadows sewage effluent flows into the Truckee River right at the Storey County line and then travels down along our northern boundary.
The TRI development is creating jobs that generally produce revenues for the -- or wages, salaries for the workers out there that are well above what the gaming industry provides, which is a very significant part of Washoe Countyís income. And to me, this seems to be the basic
argument as far as the necessity of this development. Iím just curious, am I kind of missing the point that there are other necessities for it?
MR. SMITH: Sir, I donít think -- I canít speak for other people, but I donít think that anyone has ever claimed that Storey County has not been a good citizen from a regional aspect.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Thank you.
MR. SMITH: I think the point on a regional basis that is being stated is the industrial park creates a lot of jobs. And in all of the regional plans, including in your regional or master plan, it talks about balancing the housing to go with the jobs.
And that being said, that is where I think the other counties and cities are saying is that literally you canít just create the largest industrial park in the world and create all these jobs and have all of them travel 20 miles to our community and use the fire, police, and the school systems without balancing it with some type of tax base that goes with it.
So itís really a discussion of balance on a regional basis that these people are, I believe, presenting to you, which states, you know, you have done a wonderful job, but there also comes some responsibilities of trying to balance what youíve created out of this industrial park.
Itís not a criticism. Itís really more of an encouragement to say eight years ago you created this, it is creating new issues that the Planning Commission and the commissioners need to review and examine. We are here as a landowner to look at it and say the usage from what it is currently, we see a better usage for Storey County, for this to be a mixed use versus a special industrial potentially and hazardous waste detonation area, that this would be more conforming and better for the County than it would be in its current state.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Okay. I canít argue that. I donít think any of us have ever really liked the idea of TRW and, prior to that, Aerojet. They were effectively all grandfathered in, and I think all of us would prefer a better use for that.
The argument: Is kind of a dense development a better use?
My only other argument relative to the necessity along that line is that Storey County is effectively a bedroom community, and I donít see it changing all that much with this development, but probably, generally, 80 to 90 percent of the disposable income that we have is spent in Washoe County or adjoining counties for our needs, the sales taxes, things like that.
That wonít change with the employment in, as I
see it, from TRI. Those people live in adjacent counties, theyíre paying the property taxes in those counties, theyíre going to do all their expenditures in those counties.
To me, again, I still kind of need to be convinced that other than sort of an abstract idea that if you build commercial or industrial, you need to build housing adjacent to satisfy that is really a necessity in this case.
MR. SMITH: Well, again, Iím going to go back to the master plan. Storey Countyís master plan and all the other regional is to balance -- if you were creating jobs, is to work and strive towards creating a balance of it and not putting those impacts or putting just specific impacts into other counties.
And I think Senator Amodei discussed several of those examples where one county can impact the other one. And I think the adjacent counties and the cities are saying you have created an industrial park that creates a lot of issues. And granted, Storey County is enjoying the revenue stream of that, but itís not shouldering any type of the issues that come with it, i.e., the schools, the impacts of the roads, fire, police. And thatís from the regional standpoint of saying -- And Storey County only has a very select amount of land left to be developed, And for it to balance the job growth which is in the master plan and discussed there,
youíre going to have to look at some of these lands and say, to balance it, weíre going to have to put some type of housing in here to balance the jobs with.
The other counties look at it and say, in essence, youíre cherry-picking all the tax from the industrial, but youíre not assuming any of the responsibility for the police, fire, schools, all these impacts that come to the other cities.
Granted, they may have the taxes to go ahead and pay for some of the services or all services, but the influx of having to go in and start to condemn the neighborhoods to enlarge roads from four lanes to eight lanes to take all the employees that are within this park, those are the impacts that theyíre looking at and saying why do we have to condemn our neighborhoods to handle the housing needs that are being created from the industrial park.
Storey County should look to the fact of trying to balance itself to the extent that it can, is what their dialogue is up to.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Mr. Chairman?
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Yes, sir?
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Just to make a point on that. There is argument that the type of development youíre proposing, which is similar to Somersett, will only provide
homes for roughly five percent of the type of people that will be working in a place such as TRI.
MR. SMITH: Well, I think Iíve answered.
Somersett, so that everyone understands -- I hope that itís very clear.
Somersett is a mid- to high-end project. What weíre looking to do here is develop a project that starts with affordable housing and goes all the way to high-end. It would include other components.
I think Iím answering your question which is:
Can all the people within the park afford to buy a home in Somersett? I canít answer that because we are designing and implemented to be a mid- to high-price point home within our community.
This community, Cordevista, we would look to scale all the way down to affordable and come up to the high-end housing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Does that mean (inaudible) homes?
CHAIRMAN WALLING: We have one last question. And my apologies to the planning commissioners. After this question, I would like to open it up to the public for the vehicle of the testimonial declaration.
MR. SMITH: I might request a little break.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Okay. If you could further elaborate on the mid- to high-end housing.
I see a need for apartments or condominiums or some other type of housing to support the workers in TRI. Thatís the whole reason for wanting to put the development in place. Youíre saying mid to high. I need to know what you mean by mid range.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: No, no.
MR. SMITH: Iím saying Somersett is mid to high.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: So youíre talking low end here in Cordevista? Give some dollar figures is what Iím looking for.
MR. SMITH: Well, affordable has a whole bunch of definitions, and I canít tell you what affordable, quote, unquote, is. But I think what you -- look, we would go in and do market studies that would go and examine the park further in detail to say if a person worked in the park, what type of housing can they afford and what kind of housing do they need.
And again, there are different types of housing. Housing today is not just a home on a one-acre square parcel or a five-acre or a ten-acre parcel. It is -- actually works with clustering. It takes homes and puts them closer together so theyíre more affordable to people.
Housing can go down -- you know, a decade ago, a
home was $150,000. Now homes -- starting homes are still, if you can find them, are in the $100,000 range but most likely are in the 200,000- to 300,000-dollar range. I donít have that statistic with me today.
But you would want to accommodate those type of housing. That doesnít necessarily mean bad housing. It means that you design a product that is affordable in that manner. In todayís design and development, that doesnít mean that itís an apartment necessarily. It means you might attach the product so that you cluster them closer together so that youíre using the land and housing itself better to make it more affordable.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Okay. But are you considering any apartment complex areas in your development?
MR. SMITH: I would have to say at this point no. But the market study, when we go through the PUD, that is something that would come out. And thatís where you would review from the planning commissioners -- when we deliver a land plan, you would look at it and we would designate that it would be apartments in certain areas or not. And thatís when we could come back and say hereís what we see the demand to be for the park or Storey County as a whole, and this is what weíre delivering, But you at that point would have the ability to say we agree or we donít agree at the PUD level.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Okay.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: We have one more question here.
COMMISSIONER TYLER: This is more a statement I wanted to make. Weíre talking about, Larry, what was addressed about the State influence on Storey County. Well, one of the things Iíd like to bring up is that HUD is combined with Storey County and Washoe County, have combined the two.
And I think that as a first step as far as looking at the annexation or some sort of a financial gain from the industrial park as far as Washoe County is looking, and Iíd hate to have Washoe County have the excuse to do this.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you. Planning commissioners, Iíd like to open up to the --
MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman, if I could ask for a two-minute break.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Five-minute break. Folks, yeah. Itís time for a break.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Iíd like to call the end of the recess, please. Could he be supplied with a remote? Starting with Dave Abel. Could he be supplied with a remote?
All right. Go ahead and use this one.
A question came up during the break as to how
the Planning Commission works. Some planning commissions are directly related to the County Commission. This body has always been advisory only to the county commissioners. How that works is that our minutes, our unofficial minutes are sent back to the county commissioners, reviewed, and if they are approved, if our minutes are approved, then that is accepted that itís considered accepted by the County Commission. This board, again, is simply advisory to the county commissioners. Thank you.
Commissioner Bucchianeri just brought it up again, I think. If anyone in the public would like to testify at the county commissionersí level, thatís county commissionersí level, theyíre quite welcome.
Iíve got this testimonial declaration. First item is from Dave Abel. Dave.
MR. ABEL: Itís Dave Abel, A-B-E-L. Iím a 27-year resident of Virginia City Highlands. I was house number 24 up here. Iíve seen this place grow like crazy.
I have a petition here that was signed by 617 registered voters, your constituents, and I will read the verbiage on this if you donít mind. It says: Referendum on Storey County master plan. We, the people of Storey County, request that a referendum, quote, vote of the people, be conducted on the Storey County master plan. We seek this vote in order to confirm or deny the validity and ultimate
authority of the current Storey County master plan.
We desire that the countywide election be held before any further amendments, changes, or rezones are considered by the Storey County Planning Commission.
And then thereís 617 voters that I have.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you. As stated earlier, the policy this evening is going to be to acknowledge petitions and letters of concern, and it will become part of the record.
And, David, the proper thing to do this evening would be to pass this to the planning commissioners. Thank you, sir.
And I would like to reiterate again that we try to keep it to three minutes and try not to duplicate what your neighbor has previously said. Thank you.
MR. ABEL: First of all, this is a mandate for the Commission. It has nothing to do with Cordevista, not a pro or con against Cordevista. This is strictly for the amendments to the Planning Commission.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: So noted.
MR. ABEL: So noted. I do have a couple of questions here as far as Mr. Smith goes on here. He says itís 4.3 miles to Cordevista from the Highlands Fire Station, and yet the -- I believe the bottom southwest corner of Cordevista actually borders 40-acre parcels, which is
Virginia City Highlands.
Secondly, one thing that Larry brought up about money and us being sort of a bedroom community to Washoe County, so far most of you residents in the Highlands have been paying taxes, sales taxes, and itís ended up in Washoe County.
Washoe County owes us millions of dollars in sales taxes that go through the zip codes that we canít even get from Washoe County. And I donít know what the deal is with our Planning Commission, our commissioners, but somewhere around there, somebody is neglecting us terribly, and Washoe County doesnít seem to care about this money, and yet all of a sudden they want to house -- they donít want to house people for this particular event thatís going on just right over the hill here.
Another thing that Mr. Smith seems to do a lot of, and thatís pledge. I heard you say pledge more times in this meeting than I have ever heard. Why donít you, instead of pledging, why donít you write this down in agreements? Pledges are empty words. They really are. Thereís nothing to a pledge.
MR. SMITH: Let me address that. A pledge, a writing, I would ask the planning commissioners here to condition us. This takes it out of our workings and puts it
into the recommendation at that point. That, I believe, is even stronger than my pledge requesting them to legally require me to fulfill on those items.
MR. ABEL: And then one other thing here. You mentioned a real estate boom. Iím sorry, but itís a bust right now. The Highlands has had houses for sale for years if anything at all. There is no real estate boom up here. Itís a bust.
What is going to happen with all these extra homes that are built out in Cordevista?
MR. SMITH: Well, I believe Senator Amodei used that verbiage, but let me address it to you.
I think as everyone looks at it, there are cycles and you go up and down in the housing market and you go up and down in the commercial market. Youíre noting a point that, right now, that youíre in a lower part of the cycle. That does not mean that it will stay there.
And actually, as the growth of the park goes, I think that youíll see your housing market follow in tandem with that.
MR. ABEL: Okay. I want to say -- Iím just going to quit now, but Iíd like to add one little quote from a song from Joni Mitchell. And it goes something like this:
You donít know what you got till itís gone. They take paradise and put up a parking lot.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: All right.
MR. SMITH: Am I supposed to sing that?
CHAIRMAN WALLING: No, thank you. Next. Jed Margolin.
MR. MARGOLIN: Yeah, thatís me.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Jed. Three minutes, sir.
MR. MARGOLIN: My name is Jed Margolin, M-A-R-G-O-L-I-N. I live on Empire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Here, use this.
MR. MARGOLIN: Hello. My name is Jed Margolin, M-A-R-G-O-L-I-N. I live on Empire. Iím reading what appears to be the soil contamination report. And itís marked and received today, April 13th, by the Planning Commission. Itís from Kleinfelder West, Inc., and itís one page.
It says that they talked to the people from TRW, the former owner, and the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection and others. It doesnít say they talked to Aerojet. It doesnít say they actually did any testing themselves. They just talked to people and asked them nicely: Did you do anything bad on this property? And they all basically said no.
MR. MARGOLIN: Aerojet stands accused of contaminating one of the other areas with depleted uranium. Has any of that been tested for?
I donít think this one-page thing should be accepted as a soil contamination report. Some real testing should be done.
Also, weíve been threatened that if we donít provide housing for the industrial park, Washoe is going to annex it from us.
By Mr. Smithís own words, the most heís going to supply in housing is ten percent of the industrial park. So it seems like whether we allow him to build houses or not, the threat of being annexed by Washoe is the same.
Iíd also like to point out that of the documents that he submitted, that were posted on the Planning Commissionís website, theyíre not posted there anymore, and I am wondering what happened to them.
I would also like to say I took the precaution of downloading them, and Iíll be happy to put them on one of my own websites. In fact, I put up a new website just last week.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you, sir.
MR. SMITH: Would you like us to address -- I donít know if thereís a question or comments.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Please.
MR. SMITH: As far as the website, I canít speak to that. Thatís the Countyís and I donít know if thereís a technical issue. But those documents are with the County. We sent them there for them, for public consumption. So Iíll let staff address that one.
As far as the soils and contamination, weíve done extensive studies on it. We thought that it would be the easiest way to do a summary letter to that.
Kleinfelder is a national firm that specializes in soils and geotechnical aspects. One of the gentlemen with -- Josh is here.
We have done extensive testing on the property. There are two letters that are out. One addresses -- and I believe it was from your concern in particular, is uranium, and the second was just overall contamination.
Weíve gone in -- within the project, there was a previous area that did have, was utilized for the testing when TRW had it. They did the propellants that go in your little airbags. And they had a little blasting area on that. We are cleaning that up, but out of the 8,600 acres, there is .18 acres that is contaminated. We are cleaning that up right now. That should be completed by the summer.
Itís actually double lined. They put two liners underneath it so that nothing could permeate into that
Weíre going into that area where -- above the liner and actually cleaning that area out. But I can defer to Josh on it if itís not answered well enough, but those studies are complete. Theyíre very extensive, very thick. And this was not an attempt to try and hide anything but it was to simplify it so that we could get it though the huddle.
MR. MARGOLIN: It didnít answer any of my questions which I brought up at the March 10th meeting. I asked about the soil contamination report at the March 10th meeting, and we still donít have it.
MR. SMITH: And again, the -- and please jump in here, Josh.
We do have those reports. We can supply them. Theyíre very extensive. We worked with staff on it, requesting, is this the time, do you want us to remediate and clean everything at this point, which weíre doing? And at the time that we come in with tentative maps, which is when you would standard -- or the regular time that you would do that, you would look at it at that point.
But I donít think that any other project in the county has had, at this level, which is just the master plan amendment, would go in and examine as far as the soil contamination. Weíre working on that and it is and will be cleaned at the appropriate time when there is a need for
that, i.e., that there would be development starting. We would have to prove that at that point also.
MR. MARGOLIN: Did you do any testing or did you just ask people what they had done?
MR. SMITH: Weíve done extensive testing. Itís called phase one, which is the dialogue level and the history level. Phase two is actually where you dig into the dirt and do those soil tests. Thatís what this firm has done extensively. And maybe you can address it.
MR. FORTMANN: Correct. There has been phase one done which is, as Blake indicated, is a literature review. Oh, excuse me. My name is Josh Fortmann. Itís spelled F, as in Frank, O-R-T-M-A-N-N. Iím a certified environmental manager. Iím with Kleinfelder West, Incorporated out of Reno.
Weíve been working out at the site for a couple years now. We looked at the phase one work that was done previously. Predominant use of the site historically has been as a propellant R&D and manufacturing facility. That did result in a -- some perchloride use on the site that did -- released at site soils.
The majority of that was cleaned up by the previous site tenant, TRW. They cleaned that up to industrial standards. It met all regulatory agency requirements.
We went in and assessed the effectiveness of their cleanup. They got almost everything. We found a little bit left that wasnít -- didnít meet residential standards. So what weíre doing now is cleaning the site from an industrial level to a residential level.
The question about uranium, there was no indication that uranium had ever been used on the site, so we went and talked to the previous site tenants. They indicated they did not use uranium.
MR. MARGOLIN: Was that Aerojet?
MR. FORTMANN: No, we did not discuss that with Aerojet. Based on the available documentation, I donít know that we can track down anyone who was available at the site on Aerojet. But Aerojet, to my knowledge, didnít do any uranium testing onsite either.
MR. MARGOLIN: Well, they didnít think they had any uranium work in Chino Hills, California either, which was contaminated. And youíve said a phase one study is a review of the literature, And if thatís all youíve done, so you havenít actually done any testing.
MR. FORTMANN: No. We started out with the phase one, a literature review, followed that up with a phase two, which involved testing of soil and groundwater and surface water at the site.
Based on that, we found limited perchloride that
was above residential levels but below industrial levels, and that was the .1 acres that Blake was referring to, and thatís currently being cleaned up, actively under remediation as we speak.
MR. MARGOLIN: Did you test for specific things or did you only test for things that people told you might be there?
MR. FORTMANN: We tested for perchloride, which is the main contaminate thatís associated with the use of propellants. In addition, based on some concerns that were raised, we also did some uranium testing out there. We contacted the previous site tenant. They stated they did not use uranium.
In order to assess that, we went out and we took 20 samples at the site at locations where testing of propellants had been done and locations that represented background of the site.
We found basically background concentrations of uranium. Uranium is a naturally occurring element sample.
Most soils will find uranium there. We found levels that were at or below the detection level. The detection level is one part per million. We did find concentrations at one part per million. The majority of the samples were below one part per million, One part per million represents full background concentrations.
MR. SMITH: Well, this was all natural uranium thatís just in dirt everywhere.
MR. FORTMANN: This is naturally occurring uranium. This is not a result of activities that occurred onsite. There was no association of uranium with areas that were used for open burn, open detonation, any of that.
Uranium is a naturally occurring element. Itís like arsenic. You know, we have a lot of these metals in our soil that we find.
What we want to look for when we test for them is determine whether theyíre elevated above background concentrations. If we do see that, then that may be an indication that weíve got a concern.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Gentlemen, thank you for your questions and your response.
Next, Cathylee James.
MS. JAMES: My name is Cathylee James.
C-A-T-H-Y-L-E-E, all one word, James, J-A-M-E-S.
My first question is for Mr. Smith and Senator Amodei if heís still here.
If Storey County declined your proposal, will you litigate it through the courts and/or follow up for -- on your goal along legislative channels?
MR. SMITH: Well, two things. On our goal of legislative, weíre not doing anything legislatively, and so I
donít know how to address that.
As far as litigation, thatís been asked a couple times. I know that thereís extensive history of approvals of subdivisions within Storey County that have been -- the Virginia Highlands was done through litigation. Lockwood, Rainbow Bend was done through litigation.
It is by no means our intent to do that. We are here to go through the public process, which we are, and we are hopeful that itís a continuum of all of the other types of processes. And at that point --
MS. JAMES: Thank you very much. I just want to clarify. Iím not asking your intent. Iím saying: Will you litigate it through the courts? Could you answer that?
MR. SMITH: Maíam, I donít know what the issues are yet to answer that.
MS. JAMES: Okay. So your answer is maybe. Thank you.
MS. JAMES: Could I also ask about special -- the -- this one right here.
MR. SMITH: The current zoning?
MS. JAMES: Yes, the zoning.
MR. SMITH: Special industrial.
MS. JAMES: If I could clarify from the commissioners, this is special industrial zoning, but is that
also not granted through a special permit?
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Correct.
MS. JAMES: So what we are being offered here, and the implication is that weíre either going to get lots and lots of houses or weíre going to have something really dangerous. And I donít think itís all or nothing here because it is by special permit. And there are pieces of the information that are not being imparted about this.
Next -- Iím not going to use up my three minutes, I have two more things real quick.
You mentioned early on, and I can quote you -- I donít know how many people are here from Lockwood, but I was wondering if there was anybody here from Lockwood.
One reason people may not be here from Lockwood is they all received a letter, just like residents here did. And in the letter it says there will be two Planning Commission meetings on the Cordevista project. First one is scheduled for April 5th, tonight, postponed, and the second one shall be -- second one shall be at the Lockwood Recreation Center on April 19th at 6:00 p.m.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Where is that from?
MS. JAMES: Iíve already --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Where is the letter from?
MR. SMITH: It was sent out from Cordevista.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Okay.
MS. JAMES: Iíve already --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: That has yet to be determined --
MS. JAMES: Thank you, Doug.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: -- this evening.
MS. JAMES: That has not even been broached, that topic, by our planning commissioners. That has not been broached at all.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Yeah, thatís a bit presumptuous.
MS. JAMES: I just would like everyone to know that all the people were apprised of a meeting in Lockwood after this meeting so that this -- which is now an action item tonight, this could be voted on tonight, and theyíre still expecting a meeting out there which was never even dreamed up by our commissioners yet.
Lastly, the other thing brought out is Painted Rock. Painted Rock is one reason that we should be considering this. But Iíd like to make it known -- and I donít know if everybody here knows -- there was not one complaint raised about Painted Rock. Not one.
One-sixth of this county and over half of the people who voted in the last election have raised their voices against this development.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you, Cathy.
MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman, I donít know if those were questions or comments.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Youíve got a comment certainly.
MR. SMITH: No. I donít know if those were questions or comments that weíre to address.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Yes, if you choose to, just person by person.
MR. SMITH: As far as when we initiated this process, we wanted to make sure that we were very open and transparent as we went through this. We decided to have multiple town hall meetings. In working with not only the staff but citizens, there was a suggestion that we go to the two adjoining communities that may have the impact or the impression of an impact. That being Lockwood and the Virginia City Highlands.
Our purpose within that was to get the facts out, let people express their concerns and issues so that we could either answer them and answer them for the Planning Commission in that.
So our intent was to request of the County Commission to hold two Planning Commission meetings so that those residents within those communities -- there is a long
distance between them. We have had town hall meetings between both of the communities, and it would be our request of this Planning Commission that we have two meetings so that those people in each of those areas could have the same attendance or question and answer that this does.
As far as Painted Rock, Painted Rock is a great example. Painted Rock has gone through in the past six months and it is addressing what the master plan is set out to do. The master plan was set. And as we cited some of the points in here, the master plan is a document that is to set and help guide issues of going forward. The master plan states there will be growth and it designated certain areas for growth to be.
Our area, Cordevista, happens to be the number one area designated for growth. And that talks about industrial, manufacturing, residential, and commercial areas. And it has designated this property of the master plan. So this is a compliance going through the master plan.
As far as other things and comments and questions in here, I know thereís been questions about water and other items, but none of the other projects within here, including TRI or Painted Rock, have ever been requested to try and deliver items at this level such as environmental. Weíre trying to answer those items for you at this level which is atypical and has not been conditioned on any
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Point of order.
MR. SMITH: -- as far as water or other items. None of those have ever been conditioned against the project.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Point of order.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Point of order.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Heís going beyond responding to the comments here I think.
MR. SMITH: No, I believe --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: The point of order will come from the chair.
MR. SMITH: And so we are trying to answer these questions and be in compliance and consistent with the other ones. But I believe that we have gone over extensively beyond what is required at this point for the master plan amendment to answer these questions within it.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you.
Next person, Nancy Russell.
MS. RUSSELL: My name is Nancy Russell,
R-U-S-S-E-L-L. And Iíve got --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Maíam, could you come up to the mike. Or could you bring her a mike. Thank you.
MS. RUSSELL: My name is Nancy Russell,
R-U-S-S-E-L-L, And I have three questions. One, it was brought up that -- I donít even know why weíre here because we donít have the water plan from your --
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: We canít hear you.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: We canít hear you.
MS. RUSSELL: I believe you said that we had to have water before this could even be brought up. We donít have that.
MR. SMITH: No. Well --
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: I was reading from the master plan, yes, that the water was a prime consideration and there has to be proof that there is water before we can go forward.
MS. RUSSELL: So why are we here? We do not have proof of water.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Itís purely informational, maĎam.
MS. RUSSELL: Okay. Second, Iíd like to ask you on your blackout areas, are there any shopping centers, retail, any in there, or are they just houses on your Somersett?
MR. SMITH: Iíll speak loudly. Yes, there is retail within the community, to answer your question on that. But to be fair, it is not located in here, in these pictures, but it provides you with the same standards which is the dark
sky standards. Everything is down lit within it to minimize the impact.
MS. RUSSELL: There is no picture of it?
MR. SMITH: No, itís being developed.
THE REPORTER: I canít hear them.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: We canít either.
MR. SMITH: Itís being developed right now (inaudible). Itís not even (inaudible).
MS. RUSSELL: (Inaudible) Painted Rock. Thereís going to be 28 to 32 homes, a casino, your shopping centers, and all this. Now, that is already planned.
Why do we need this? I donít.
MR. SMITH: Number one --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Blake, could you use the microphone. Nobody can hear.
MR. SMITH: Yes.
Number one -- hello? Is that working in the back?
Number one, we are not Painted Rock. That is a different developer located here. Theyíre local people within Storey County that have that project. Weíre not associated with Painted Rock. Painted Rock was approved six months ago. And within that, weíre asking for the same zoning that they are, which is mixed use, which includes commercial, retail, and residential.
To answer that -- and it is in the current stage that weíre at. They have been approved. Painted Rock has been approved, and it is designated to have approximately three to four thousand homes in there. That would bring another 10,000, approximately, residents to Storey County. That has already been approved by your county commissioners at this point.
So to answer your question, why would you need more or want more, is that the park is so large, it is difficult to fathom, but just the jobs that are going to go to the park this year would fill up Painted Rock. And so next year --
MS. RUSSELL: I would like to see Painted Rock developed before this is even discussed. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you, maíam.
MR. SMITH: Thank you.
MR. SMITH: I really want to go back to the water aspect of this. A condition of approval -- and the master plan speaks about the fact of water importation and other items being there, but I do not believe anywhere in the master plan where it says -- nor any other project has ever been conditioned to have the water prior to the approval of a master plan amendment.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you. Valerie LeBel.
MS. LeBEL-FLATLEY: My name is Valerie LeBel-Flatley, V-A-L-E-R-I-E, LE capital B-E-L, no space, hyphen, F-L-A-T-L-E-Y.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: That took a minute.
MS. LeBEL-FLATLEY: The Planning Commission says this is just for informational purposes only. I thought we were here to decide whether this master plan was going to be amended tonight or not, not just for information.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: There are two different directions it could go. It could be approved, it could be disapproved, and it could be continued. Itís informational to this board and further informational to the public.
MS. LeBEL-FLATLEY: Okay. Well, in the Chapter 5, conservation of natural resources in the master plan, requires new development to obtain water rights before land use permits are approved. So that doesnít apply to changing the master plan amendment, just to getting land use permits? Because I think the Planning Commission should be pretty firm and insist that Mr. Smith --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: As it always has been, maíam.
MS. LeBELóFLATLEY: Okay. That he declare that where all these water rights are possibly coming from. Iím not satisfied with that at all.
Chapter 6, public services, objective 1.2: Form local advisory boards as necessary within each community to
advise the county commissioners of any problems of concern to their community.
If this is just an informational meeting, do we have time to form an advisory board so our comments, our concerns can be addressed as a community before any changes are made to the master plan or the zoning?
CHAIRMAN WALLING: That is the purpose of this committee is to represent and protect all of Storey Countyís interests.
MS. LeBEL-FLATLEY: Well, the master plan suggests forming advisory boards to within the --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: May. It is shall or may.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Not must.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Not must form an advisory committee.
MS. LeBEL-FLATLEY: Well, it is suggested. It says form local advisory boards as necessary.
So if we wish to form one, why couldnít that be done?
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Could be.
MS. LeBEL-FLATLEY: Okay.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Could be done, certainly.
MS. LeBEL-FLATLEY: Okay. Land uses. The forestryís own purpose and intent are established to protect areas of important environmental qualities and Storey County
from unnecessary degradation and to provide very low-density residential uses. Very low-density residential uses.
Now, Mr. Smith, did you read the master plan before you purchased this land so you were aware of what the designation was before you did this? And why does Storey County owe you a zone change simply because you want one and you bought this land?
MS. LeBEL-FLATLEY: Some of my questions have been address. Nevada is the second in the nation in foreclosures, We have many homes in Reno that havenít been sold. Many homes are available.
Simply because people work in a certain area doesnít mean they choose to live in that area. I commuted 25 miles to work for 23 years. I wouldnít have lived near where I worked if you had paid me. I wanted to live here. Thatís where I wanted to live.
So to say that weíre going to provide these houses to these people here, theyíve got so many choices that, you know, you canít really predict where these people will choose to live.
And I think -- oh, I spoke with Carson -- a lady in the building department in Carson. They have a growth management plan. Storey County appears not to have one. Why not? How do we go about doing that?
The Board of Supervisors consistently has put a cap of three percent on growth, and their information is based on population figures provided by the Nevada state demographer.
The main question that we need to ask the County is if Cordevista is approved, does the County have the adequate services to provide to a community of that size?
Anyway, so thank you.
MR. SMITH: May I?
MR. SMITH: A lot of questions. Maybe if you could help me. There were five or six comments. If you could.
MS. LeBEL-FLATLEY: (Inaudible) applicable to the Planning Commission, but did you read the master plan before you bought the property?
MR. SMITH: Yes, we did. And the master plan, as I mentioned, denotes this area as the designated area for the growth to occur as the County evolves.
MS. LeBEL-FLATLEY: It also states low, low-density residential.
MR. SMITH: One to two homes per acre is considered low density. Yes, no, it is. High density is in the 20 to 80 units per acre.
MS. LeBEL-FLATLEY: I think if you had chosen
maybe one house on 40 acres, how many houses would that be for 600 acres? (Inaudible). Perhaps people would have not batted an eye, but why didnít you consider that or did you consider that?
MR. SMITH: Again, going back to your comment about the master plan, we did read the master plan and we looked at it, and what it said is as the County grows -- this is your growth area for residential. And so those are things that we did look at and looked at those park -- the industrial park and say look -- and people -- I think everyone really has to understand the impact of it.
If the park fully develops out, right now from what theyíve sold, it will create 15,000 jobs is what theyíre thinking about. 15,000 jobs. And Storey County only has 4,000 residents in it. And in your master plan, it says as the County grows, this is the area, this way up here is the area that we see residential to grow into.
So we Ďre basically fulfilling the master plan. And so, yes, we did read it and we do agree with it. Very much so.
This is the area. Itís adjacent to the park. Its impact will come from the park. The road will go into the park. Itís not impacting the other communities. Miles away from them.
So yes, we did read it extensively and we agree
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you. Next, Chuck Haynes (phonetic).
MR. HAYNES: Mr. Chairman, members of the Planning Commission, folks out in the audience. I see a lot of old faces, a lot of new faces.
Itís hard to debate a 90-minute program with three minutes up here, but I was a prime individual in writing the master plan, as were a couple of your folks that are still on the board. And some folks have put in a lot of hard work over a five-year period beginning the late 1980s.
The State of Nevada Legislature mandated that each and every county must form a planning commission, and that planning commission must develop a master plan. This is the result of that effort.
Iíve heard a lot of things tonight that I take personal affront to. We wonít go into that too much. Weíd like to keep it a little bit light.
I believe in our master plan as it was designed because it is a plan. Itís not a liquid document. Itís not something to be modified at the whim of any land developer. Itís a plan. And that plan cannot fulfill its obligation for the future and the responsibility to the residents that we took to our heart those years ago unless it remains a plan. Iíll leave it at that. Donít alter the master plan.
MR. SMITH: What Iíll address to that, I could not agree with you more on your comments about designing it and itís a plan and itís something to direct things.
But what has happened with that plan is the approval of the largest industrial park in the world occurred eight years ago under this master plan. It was altered and it designed and approved the largest industrial park in the world that is creating all these jobs and these impacts.
Recently youíve also changed the master plan. What weíre requesting, this is absolutely identical, which is mixed use, to the Painted Rock project. And that is -- our request is the identical to theirs at this point.
So I agree with your comments. However, that plan is such that it has been altered already, and this is a continuum of that.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: JoAnn Aldrich.
MS. ALDRICH: J-O-A-N-N, A-L-D-R-I-C-H. Iíd like to thank Senator Amodei for pointing out that Storey County has had 40 years of slow, steady, manageable growth up to 12 times its population in 1960. And now weíre looking at a developer who would like to ten times increase the population overnight.
And thatís why weíre all here, Mr. Smith,
because this is a huge mega development. This is not just a few homes. Youíre talking a city. You want to build a new city in our county.
And I am not for or against developing land. And this is not a stop-development movement here according to the people that signed the petition. We would just like to continue slow, steady, manageable growth here, regardless of TRI.
TRI has been approved. Your subdivision has not been approved, And that land, until tonight, I thought it was zoned forestry. When TRW left, it reverted to forestry, and there is a special industrial tag on that land, but it is not the current zoning. The current zoning is forestry. And our master plan, you know, if weíre going to follow it, means itís still forestry. Still for animals, still for the open space.
And we need open space even more because we have 102,00 acres of industrial going in there. We need the open space. Weíve already sold most of it.
So itís not you that Iím against. Itís not Cordevista that Iím against, But I would like to read a couple things into the record from the master plan. This is page two under land use master plan development. I didnít bring my glasses.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Maíam, we are aware of the
MS. ALDRICH: Okay. Well, it says -- just one or two sentences.
Since 90 percent of the county land is in private hands, the potential threat of change is perceived to come from large -- scale land subdivisions. This type of development could destroy historic land use patterns, unique social and architectural environment of the Virginia City/Gold Hill area and other values which residents want to protect.
And I think thatís great.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you.
MS. ALDRICH: And the other part is --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Time.
MS. ALDRICH: One more sentence.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Let her finish.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: All right. Weíve got a lot of people, a lot of your own neighbors that would like to have their time.
MS. ALDRICH: Okay. It says: The master plan is a statement of direction. The zoning ordinance should only be amended in conformity with the master plan. In fact, once a master plan is officially adopted, nonconformity with the master plan is a simple reason for rejecting an amendment to the zoning ordinance.
So this development is not conforming to the master plan. And I think that the Planning Commission should honor the master plan theyíre here to enforce. Thank you very much.
MS. ALDRICH: By the way, Senator Amodei got it half right. Weíre supposed to think globally but act locally.
MR. SMITH: Thank you. And let me, if I can, address a couple things.
The property is zoned special industrial. This is your master plan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Be sure you give him three minutes.
MR. SMITH: This is your master plan. This gray area is Cordevista and is special industrial. There is a part of it that is zoned heavy industrial and a very small part that is zoned forestry. Painted Rock was zoned entirely forestry which was approved, again, some six months ago.
And your comment of saying we want restricted, slow growth, but at the same time we want the industrial park to be unabated in growth, that doesnít work in balance, and I think thatís where the master plan, which weíre citing from certain parts of it, but if you look at the heart of it, it
talks about the fact that growth will come, and usually areas that we should go into. And again, that is the area that weíre looking at to minimize impact, but also allow growth that is understood and anticipated in the master plan.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you.
MR. WALDO: My questions concern water, but Mr. Smith is not even going to be able to answer them, so I donít have any questions for him.
MR. SMITH: Thank you for your concern. And let me state it again: We will deliver the water; otherwise, we will not have permits to build. And that is how all projects have been approved in Storey County, and thatís what we would move for also.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thatís correct.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: If youíre so trustworthy, we can trust you --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Sheís not up. Sheís not up. Sheís not up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: -- (inaudible).
CHAIRMAN WALLING: All right. Maíam, please.
But I understand your concerns.
All right. Next person, Gerrie Honea.
MS. HONEA: Thank you for having me.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Good evening.
MS. HONEA: G-E-R-R-I-E, H-O-N-E-A.
Fortunately for me, most of the issues that I had wanted to bring forward have already been brought forward. I did bring a copy of a resolution that I was going to pass out to all the Planning Commission when this was adopted because -- and Larry brought it up. It says itís a master plan adopted for Storey County and hereby declared to establish and concern and promote the public health, safety, general welfare of Storey County. And we are the residents of Storey County.
And also in the master plan, on one of the pages that I found, on page 5, it doesnít talk about having a balance between workers and housing. It talks about having a balance between residents and housing.
So all night long, Mr. Smith, you have referred to -- you know, you talked about jobs and housing, and thatís not what the master plan really talks about.
Anyway, thank you for your time.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Tom -- is it Thurman?
MR. TURMAN: Turman, T-U-R-M-A-N.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Turman. Yes, sir.
MR. TURMAN: Hello. This is short. My name is Tom Turman. I am a 23-year resident of Storey County. I built my home here. My former wife and I raised three fine sons here, and I feel strongly that we made a very wise
decision to become part of this community, to contribute to what it offers and to respect its historic and rural nature, as well as its oldófashioned traditions.
If the Commission will overlook my newcomer status, I would like to take this opportunity to express my opposition to the proposed Cordevista development. There are many reasons why I oppose this proposed urbanization of our rural county, but I will limit this letter to three points.
First, there is a question of who this development will benefit. Thousands of homes are proposed for this beautiful open-range land. Doubtless the people who would move into homes would benefit from this loss of Storey Countyís open range. But I would like to make the point that they do not live here now.
In truth, none of us know where these people will come from, but I am relatively sure that they are as concerned about my welfare as I am of theirs, which is to say not at all.
I feel very strongly that the Planning Commission must make land-use decisions based on benefit to or detriment to the citizens the commission represents. And that would be us, the residents and voters of this historic, stubborn, and increasingly rural environment.
I fail to see any obligation on the part of the
commission to those who are not interested in living here until this beautiful county looks like anywhere else in the suburban sprawl that spreads unabated across our limitless open space. There are literally thousands of sprawling suburban developments. Let these people live there.
But wait, there are others who would benefit from this reclassification from forestry to mixed use development: The developers.
This is not, after all, an altruistic endeavor. There is a fantastic amount of money to be made by subdividing our county and making it look like everywhere else. I would never say thereís anything wrong with making money, and that brings me to my second point.
As I mentioned, Iíve been here for 23 years now. I built my place on 11 acres in the Highland Ranches. Now I must ask myself if thereís big money to be made by reclassifying, subdividing, and developing, then why donít I just get with the program? If it works for the Cordevista developers, why shouldnít it work for me?
Now, Iíve got it all figured out. Iíve got to divvy up my land into 33 one-third-acre parcels.
MR. TURMAN: Why, thatís generous by todayís standards. Just selling the lots themselves, I will clear a million and a half dollars.
MR. TLJRMAN: Of course I will only allow nice-looking homes on the property, and once the County realizes the benefits to the tax rolls and gives me the go-ahead, Iíll even throw in a fire truck.
MR. SMITH: What do you say? I want one of those mixed-use things too.
But you know what? I would never do that. When I bought the land, I agreed to respect the land use plan for this county, and that allowed me one residence on my 11 acres. I was good with that then and Iím good for it now.
Now, why then would the County even consider allowing someone to come in who hasnít even lived here for years, who hasnít chosen to put down roots and raise their family here, a special dispensation to do what most of us who live here do not want and do not want and would not even consider?
I accepted the classification of my property when I bought it, and if the developers bought land that was not classified for development, then I feel they must have purchased the wrong land and shouldnít expect our County to adjust for their mistake.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you, sir.
MR. TURMAN: I have one more paragraph.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Let him finish. Please, let him finish.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Try to stick to specifics as opposed to levity, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: (Inaudible).
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Weíll let him finish certainly.
MR. TURMAN: My final point in this letter anyway is the product of a point of view of someone who is old enough to have witnessed the insatiable and unchecked development and loss of the open space that I took for granted when I was younger.
What we presently have in this small patch of the rural West is rare and irreplaceable. If you need to see stylish, modern housing, cheek by jowl, postage-stamp lawns, and miles of pavement and curbing, we all know where to find it.
But I venture to say that most of us residents and citizens of Storey County live here to get away from that stuff, and thatís why we bought into this quirky historic county, and thatís why we accept and respect the land use classifications that bind our various homes and properties.
It is not for the benefit of developers and thousands of imaginary suburban newcomers the Storey County
Planning Commission makes its decisions. It is for the welfare and expectations of the residents and citizens of this place who, like me, play by the rules, expect no special dispensation, and kind of like this Storey County the way it is.
MR. SMITH: If I can address a couple of those things.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: No. No. Sit down. Weíve heard enough.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Folks, the response is just as valid as your questions and concerns are. Please.
MR. SMITH: And, again, I do not want to become redundant every time, but a couple of your points in there that I would like to address.
In the master plan, contrary to where your 11 acres is within the Virginia City Highlands is not designated for the growth of future aspects of the County. That is designated, has been parceled out, and it is set to remain in that area.
We are not looking to try and change your rural lifestyle. Weíre actually -- I can go back and say we are four miles away from here. That is not --
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: (Inaudible).
MR. SMITH: If I can just finish my comments, please.
We are not trying to change it. In fact, weíre trying to pledge things so that this rural lifestyle does stay there.
But the County is changing, and it is something that is in the master plan that designates this property that we own to be changed in the future, contrary to what yours is.
And as far as on a personal note, our family is 84 years in this state, both in the north and south. We are fourth generations here. So this isnít something that is light to us. I hope that my great, great grandchildren continue to live here.
We are not people that are flying in here to try and rape and pillage. Weíre actually residents, fourth generation, in the state, and weíre hoping to try and do something nice for it, not trying to destroy it or trying to hurt your quality of life or way of life.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you. Robert Fritz.
MR. FRITZ: My name is Robert, F-R-I-T-Z. I live here in the Highlands on Crestview. In fact, weíre celebrating our one-year anniversary here. Weíre very glad to be here.
We came -- and we moved here for a reason. We moved all the way from Maryland, moved to this area because we like the Highlands. We like the area. We like the openness. As an introduction.
One of the things that concerns me is Mr. Smith has done a good job finding out what it is we want, what weíre concerned about, and heís trying to address these things. But this thing really got me. Whoa. This is almost a scare tactic.
And the only reason I mention that is every time I heard you say we could bring some -- you know, we could bring water to Virginia City Highlands, we could, we could, I think -- and I agree with what you said -- the things that heís pledging, the things that are important, should be included. ďCouldĒ isnít good enough. It should be required that one of the requirements for allowing him to do this is that these things should be in writing.
MR. SMITH: I agree.
MR. FRITZ: Okay. The other thing I wanted to say -- and Iím not against development. Development is good if itís done right. The master plan doesnít require development, though.
And the question is: Whatís good for the citizens, whatís good for Storey County?
We all want to be good citizens of the region,
but, first of all, we need to do whatís good for us. And I kind of question whether, when you include Painted Rock, if it is good at this point to essentially approve whatís going to be -- increase the size of the county by 20, 20 times, going from 4,000 to 6,000, round numbers.
Itís just that weíre taking a big step here, and once we take this step -- I suspect if youíre doing something the size of Painted Rock, I probably wouldnít be nearly as concerned about it. But weíre talking 50,000 people over -- what would you say? 20 years? 30 years?
But still, as somebody said earlier, weíve had good steady growth and we ought to keep that good steady growth, but I really think this is too big a project and will have too many impacts and we should be concerned about our quality of life.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you, sir.
MR. SMITH: I think this is the process to express those and go through and identify those areas, but Iím going to go back to the fact that Storey County -- a couple things I really need to emphasize to you.
This property is not trying to change your rural lifestyle. In fact, weíre trying to do anything and everything so that your rural lifestyle maintains itself.
As far as the County, the County has changed. I
donít know how to express that to you. In the past eight years, you approved the largest park in the world.
The County is not what it was nine years ago. It is now the steward of the largest industrial park in the world, and with those changes and those impacts are part of whatís being addressed and trying to be addressed in this.
Thatís why Painted Rock was approved, to try and start to adapt and to help with those impacts and concerns that come from the park. We are asking for the same thing without trying to impact your lifestyle.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: I do want to share that each issue or possible projected project is taken on a case-by-case basis with this Planning Commission. And this is the time to consider this project. But in the past, theyíve been taken on a case-by-case. It wasnít just a flat, open come-to-this-county policy weíve had.
MR. SMITH: Understood.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: David Laney.
MR. LANEY: Dave Laney, L-A-N-E-Y, highlander.
What I see here is Mr. Smith has done two things. Heís separating our County. We got Lockwood here, VC Highlands here. Weíre two separate entities. We got VC also. We got Mark Twain. Have they been addressed? Not that I know of.
Another thing heís done, heís promised Lockwood
to do something with the flooding. I donít think you can get your subdivision done without putting flood prevention in. Am I right?
MR. SMITH: The controls are --
MR. LANEY: This is my three minutes.
MR. SMITH: Well, you asked me a question. I was just trying to answer.
MR. LANEY: Thatís what I think.
The other thing about this water, he says heís going need to bring water to the edge of your property, I take it.
MR. SMITH: Mm-hmm.
MR. LANEY: Okay. Letís just say he needed 24-inch duct on one forced water main. But now they got to bring a 36-inch duct on one water main, connect to the property. They take and bring it to us. Okay?
Now, he stated that heíll pay for it, but thatís $250 heís going to put on a house when they sell it. Well, guess what? Storey County residents are paying for that. Right? Thatís us.
MR. SMITH: No --
MR. LANEY: Well, wait a minute, You can jump back.
MR. LANEY: Another thing I want to know is letís just say ten, 15 years down the road we do need this water. Letís say that pipeís going to cost you $60 a foot to lay. Now you got to upgrade, so now itís $120 a foot to lay it. Whoís going to pay that $60 extra a foot? $15 million, you said the Highland people will bring that water in at our cost. Are we going to pay that difference in that pipeline also, to bring into your property, that volume and the extra pump station that you need to bring that water, enough water in?
MR. SMITH: Do you want me to start answering?
MR. LANEY: You can start now.
MR. SMITH: And Iím sorry to interrupt. When you looked at me, I thought that you were requesting an answer.
MR. LANEY: I didnít interrupt you all day so...
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Gentlemen.
MR. SMITH: No, and I didnít mean to, sir.
I want to make sure that I answer a couple things. This is not paid by Storey County residents. Itís paid by the people that live within Cordevista as they sell or purchase their homes.
MR. LANEY: Thatís Storey County, is it not?
MR. SMITH: They will become residents, but itís
not the existing residents. The Highlands.
MR. LANEY: Well, you said the people who sell their house the first time also after seven years.
MR. SMITH: This is restricted within Cordevista. Itís not tax. Itís not a burden to anyone else in Storey County. Itís something that we put inside our communities that is a self-transferred tax or-- excuse me, fee. That is not a tax. And itís something that goes through it.
But I want to be very, very clear, this is not something that weíre asking anyone else in Storey County to do.
MR. LANEY: I understand that. You said those people that buy that house, after seven years, they sell that house, that $250 fee will apply; is that correct?
MR. SMITH: Yes. And when they --
MR. LANEY: (Inaudible) Storey County resident after seven years.
MR. SMITH: When they purchase the property inside Cordevista, they understand that when they sell it, that they will pay that fee. Itís something put into it. Itís wired into the CC&Rs and itís a recorded document against it.
If you could help me again, I want to make sure -- oh, the water infrastructure. Weíre pledging to it
is -- I donít know if Virginia Highlands will ever develop that. I donít know if anyone can ever know if all the parcels will be developed out.
Our pledge is that as weíre building a water infrastructure system into our project, that we would size it in order to handle those undeveloped lots within the Highlands. You would not have to go back to the beginning source of those and upsize.
MR. LANEY: Youíre going to make that oversized.
MR. SMITH: We are. Thatís our pledge.
MR. LANEY: Thereís going to be no hookup fee tying onto that 28-inch (inaudible).
MR. SMITH: I donít know what the size is. Thatís at the next level as we go through the design and we figure those items out.
But thatís our pledge. We will be building a large transmission system. And we would build it large enough to handle this. Thatís our pledge. Not our pledge. I donít want to say pledge.
MR. SMITH: Itís the word of --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you, gentlemen.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question? Is there enough people outside in the parking lot
that make it so we canít close the garage door? Everybody here is freezing as well, and I think weíre losing people because of it.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Good point.
MS. SIEGEL: Jeri, J-E-R-I; Siegel, S-I-E-G-E-L.
One of my questions is -- I really donít understand. Youíve said that you will put one to two houses per acre; is that correct?
MR. SMITH: Mm-hmm.
MS. SIEGEL: And yet on the information that I guess I pulled off Storey County website that I guess you sent to Dean Haymoreís office and for the commission here, you said you were going to build a smaller-lot family detached homes, single-family attached home, such as green court, row housing, condos and town homes.
Youíve also said you will size and tailor -- those were your words, something like that -- the prices so that the industrial workers could afford it, make it affordable housing.
I donít really understand who in this day and age can afford a home built on a half an acre or an acre. Youíre going to have to put higher density I think than youíre telling us. And I am wondering about that.
The other thing, I wanted to make a point, Mark
Amodei is your lawyer?
MR. SMITH: Mm-hmm.
MS. SIEGEL: Heís a lawyer. Okay. He is also a senator. And I believe -- well, hereís an article in the Friday, March 31st, issue of 2007 from the Reno Gazette Journal.
It says: Water issues. AmodeiĎs water bill serves developers. Why is a legislator from Carson City sponsoring a bill regulating Washoe County water issues.
Senator Amodei is sponsoring a bill to create a new water authority that would provide developers with cheap water, increasing their profits at the expense of taxpayers. The new water authority would have the right of eminent domain over water and would be able to assess new fees to squeeze more water and dollars out of the existing customers.
Washoe County voters have already rejected a sales tax increase for catch-up public services. The people should decide whether a new water authority is necessary in a ballot question, not the Nevada Legislature.
This bill is in the interests of developers. It would contribute to urban sprawl, traffic congestion, and water costs. More sprawl, anyone?
And thatís from Megan Surrel (phonetic) of Reno.
I actually knew about this water bill. Somebody told me it might be 451. I wonder if Mr. Amodei is pushing
this as your lawyer through the Legislature and thatís where your water is coming from, or whether heís working as a senator to push this bill through the Legislature.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Yeah.
MS. SIEGEL: One last comment.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Short, please.
MS. SIEGEL: Yes. Lots of us live here and commute to work, and we commute through curvy Geiger Grade. I wonder why TRI workers canít commute on 80 into the other outlying areas.
MR. SMITH: Thank you.
SENATOR AMODEI: Gimme that microphone.
SENATOR AMODEI: Iíll be very brief, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
First of all, the reason Senator Amodei was doing that bill is because he was the chairman of the interim committee appointed by his colleagues for the consolidation of water resources in Washoe County.
Second of all, the people of Washoe County wanted to increase the jurisdiction of that committee to cover Lyon, Storey, everybody on the Truckee. Senator Amodei killed that particular amendment so it wouldnít apply to
Storey County. Therefore, its application to any proposed development in Storey County, if that actually passes the Legislature, which needs a majority vote of two houses, not Senator Amodei by himself, will not have any application in Storey County.
And finally, while I havenít read that ladyís letter to the editor, you should know that that particular bill passed out of the Senate Natural Resources Committee today on a 4-2 vote and is heading to the floor of the Assembly. So apparently Senator Amodei -- and by the way, the committeeís work was unanimous in terms of the subcommittee votes which consisted of other people from Washoe County which would indicate the ability to interact successfully with people from Washoe County. For what that is worth or not worth.
Passed out of committee successfully today, headed to the floor next week. And if it passes there, will go to the Assembly.
My point in telling you all that is the bill has nothing -- thatís spelled N-O-T-H-I-N-G -- to do with Storey County, and that means nothing to do with the proposal before this Planning Commission and will have no effect unless a majority of legislators in two committees in both houses and both houses from across the state think itís a good idea.
Thatís the beauty of the legislative process,
sort of like what you have playing out before you in the Planning Commission.
MS. SIEGEL: Why do they call it the Northern Nevada Water Authority?
MR. SMITH: Well, because people in Washoe County think theyíre the most important people in northern Nevada.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you.
SENATOR AMODEI: Thank you.
MR. SMITH: I have listened about water so many times, Iíve forgotten the first question.
MS. SIEGEL: The one to two homes per acre and affordable and town homes, condos.
MR. SMITH: And in current design -- I want to go back and make sure. Weíre talking about a -- one to two units per acre is on a gross acreage. Thatís where if you take it -- what weíre saying is that out of the 8,000 acres that we would develop -- and this, again, would be done at the PUD -- would be between eight and 15,000 homes within the community.
How do you develop it in current standards is like what youíre talking about. And it goes back to keeping half of the project open.
So what you do is you go into certain areas. We
would have areas that you would have attached housing like youíre talking about there. Attached housing in todayís market can be anywhere from 200,000 to up to -- no exaggeration -- in the millions of dollars. Homes can be developed that way.
But in the smaller areas where you do put them together, it makes the homes more affordable. And thatís what weíre saying with that is that you make a smaller home, you attach it, you use much less land. You cluster them, as itís called, and you leave half of the project open.
But in those areas -- and in those areas, that could be corridors for the animals to meander in, But the areas that you go in and develop, those cluster areas, you do go up and you do some that are in higher densities and some in lower densities.
I mean, we would have areas that would have attached homes that are affordable; we would mostly likely have five-acre estates, similar to what you have up here. You have a mixture of all of those. And that blending of it brings you to one to two units per acre.
By no means -- I didnít want anything to think that we are cutting the land up like the Highlands and just do one acres and two acres. This would be current-day designs where you cluster them so that you can keep more open space open.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Will the horses know where theyíre supposed to meander?
MR. SMITH: Now, sir, let me address one other thing. We are pledging to leave three or four thousand acres of the project open in the open space.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: How are you going to keep the wild horses off the lawns? How are you going to keep the wild horses out of these peopleís yards? People are complaining because theyíre grazing on their lawns.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: (Inaudible).
MR. SMITH: (Inaudible) and fencing in certain areas to keep them out of there and let them go through the corridors.
One thing that I do want to note. Tahoe Regional Industrial Park, 102,000 acres, 30,000 developable. Theoretically, thatís 80-some-thousand acres thatís left in the open space area for wildlife and other areas.
We are looking at taking almost half of ours and leaving it for the enjoyment of the people and also the wildlife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Have you done a study as to how many horses Ė
CHAIRMAN WALLING: We have to keep this procedurally, please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Sorry. Put somebody else up there.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Chris Mason.
MR. MASON: Chris Mason, Mustang Road.
C-H-R-I-S, M-A-S-O-N. Trying to keep it simple here. Iíve got a whole bunch of points.
I happen to sit in the Legislature, Government Affairs, looking at annexation issues in Winnemucca Ranch and leapfrog development. And in one --
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Move closer, sir.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Closer to the mike.
MR. MASON: Sorry.
And in one case, your property is ideally placed to basically trigger leapfrog development across every single other developable area in the entire county. Just to your west, there was hearings, I believe, in Washoe, in Reno, the other night on someone whoís developing on the other 40s. I donít believe the Highlands has any control over the area to the north of us, but that is an area that someone would ideally want to shove a road right through between there and your developments. You wouldnít have any control over that.
But the position is ideal and it is unique. I donít think that the parallel with Painted Rock is valid because thatís almost like a suburb of Fernley. Not going to blaze a trail right through the middle of the county.
As far as what Storey County does, youíve talked about our duty, obligation to Carson, Lyon, Washoe. Eureka County, thereís this big gold mine there. All the people live in Elko. Elko eats there and Eureka benefits quite considerably. (Inaudible) into Eureka recently. Itís kind of selfish, but they do it quite well.
Somersett. Somersett is spelled with two Ts where I come -- one T where I come from.
MR. SMITH: It is.
MR. MASON: Oh, the foundation is very nice, very generous, but I donít think the people of Storey County can be bought.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you.
Okay. Next person, Jackson Hoover. Lose Jackson and Mary Hoover. Possibly have left. Sorry.
Tom Purkey. Your time starts right now.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Evening, Tom.
MR. PURKEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Most of my points have already been made, so Iíll be brief.
First of all, I would like to commend the Planning Commission for all the work that went into this master plan. I was on the Planning Commission when it started and I put in some long hours myself on it.
And I just urge you that those long hours that we put in on this wonít be in vain, that you will uphold this master plan. Donít change it.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Wonít be.
MR. PURKEY: Okay. I think Mr. Smith is basing his application on a need for housing in Storey County that the industrial park is going to generate. Well, obviously it is generating that need. However, if you look at his application, this particular project only will absorb five percent of the need for housing. So itís a very insignificant amount, and weíre going to basically destroy our way of life here to provide five percent of the housing that that industrial park will take up. So itís not a good trade.
I worked with Mr. Blake on the Somersett project, and one of the things I remember about that is the initial proposal, he talked about wildlife corridors plus the housing. The project, the wildlife corridors somehow turned into a golf course. There you go.
MR. SMITH: I need to address that very quickly and firmly. The corridors have never disappeared. What was added was a golf course, but the corridors have never -- there are six main corridors, if you recall. Those corridors are still in place. The golf course was added to the
project. And itís actually been a great benefit for wildlife.
If youíd like to tour down and take a look at it, the deer do meander through the corridors and they meander also on the golf course. So I donít want to have that left open that we did not stand by what we said. We always stand by what we say.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you.
Brett McElhaney. Iím proud of myself being able to pronounce that.
MR. McELHANEY: My first comment was to the --
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Brett, spell your name, please.
MR. McELHANEY: B-R-E-T-T, M-C-E-L-H-A-N-E-Y.
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Thank you.
MR. McELHANEY: On the County website, all of the documents, the studies and the applications and stuff were on there. I appreciated that in an effort for transparency. That was good. But why did that stuff disappear off the website?
SECRETARY EDWARDS: We donít know. We gave it to them and it went on, and I was unaware that it was gone, so we didnít know to question.
MR. HAYMORE: Maybe staff can answer it.
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Oh, Pat may know.
MR. HAYMORE: Thatís out of my knowledge.
MR. WHTTEN: Mr. Chairman, with your permission.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Yes.
MR. WHTTEN: Pat Whitten, Storey County manager. I just learned of this this afternoon. I did, once I got here, review the County website. The documents still are there. Iím assuming weíre referring to the indexed information in this case.
MR. McELHANEY: here was a lot of preliminary studies in there and environmental studies and all that stuff.
MR. WHITTEN: The same information is still there, I believe, to the best of my knowledge. It is possible that a subsequent posting -- we only have so much room on the front page, if you will, of this. And on that particular page, since we had to have an amended agenda, a notice of cancellation was possible. I can verify this, that that information superceded and moved other information a little lower in the pecking order, if you will, to a second, third page.
But at the Storey County website, particularly under planning, underscore, updates that information was there as of close of 6:00 oíclock.
MR. McELHANEY: I did look through there. I
couldnít find it.
MR. WHITTEN: The application for this one, I believe, Mr. Chairman, is 049i-2007, if I recall. I may have that wrong.
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Yes.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: No, youíre correct.
MR. WHITTEN: If you look particularly for that number for the master plan amendment, that information still is there, particularly under the planning, underscore, update.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you for that clarification.
MR. McELHANEY: Okay. Iíve just got a couple quick points. Most people arenít against development. Iím not against development either, but I just want to see it done responsibly because it is going to affect our kids and generations to come.
My preference is that development be done more along 80 instead of back into the beautiful Long Valley Creek area and all of that stuff. Thatís one point.
The other point I want to make is these studies and stuff that were on the website, they were pretty much all preliminary and said pending the real studies basically. So a vote on this is premature really, you know, for approving
this is premature.
Two other quick points. This is the West. This is the desert. Water is the issue. Water canít be pushed off to the second step and say, you know, give us the approval of the zoning change and then weíll figure out the water later when the building permits come in.
The water needs to be spelled out in the beginning. And my opinion on this is if you look at that in detail about the water, I donít think itís going to be feasible to import that much water long term. And I think that needs to be detailed up front instead of later.
And then the last point is just speaking to the prematurity of any vote of changing this now -- somebody made the point earlier -- but Lockwood people think thereís another meeting out there. Itís just another argument that itís premature to approve anything now.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you, sir.
MR. SMITH: If I can address and point back over to here. Developments, there are only really three areas within the county for development to occur. There is very light -- in fact, Painted Rock took the major area along Interstate 80 to be developed, If you look at it, youíre only going to have the other two areas that we talked about,
ours being one of them.
So as much as you may -- people may desire or want things to be developed in other areas, mountains and other things donít necessarily allow it. And thatís -- from Storey Countyís standpoint, thereís a very limited amount of developable land, ours controlling about half it. And thatís part of the purpose of a master plan amendment is to say itís a balance, and request being is that this property here is some of the very -- one of the three areas that you can develop. And is this the highest -- excuse me, Iím getting tired now -- highest and best use for this property, and thatís the subject of the application.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you.
MR. SMITH: Was there another one that I missed?
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Iíve got the next person, Paula Burris.
MS. BURRIS: Hello. My name is Paula Burris, P-A-U-L-A, B-U-R-R-I-S. I do not live in the Highlands. I live in Reno, Iím here as a Native American grandmother. And the way that we live and the way that we think is to think for generations ahead.
Iím concerned for my relatives. It makes my heart really sad to think about the wild horses out there and their grazing, their winter feed being taken. Where are they going to go? I know you say youíre going to put a little
place in there, but itís a little place. And how many of them are going to die on your roads with your trucks, all your construction? What are you going to do to their water that they have now? Where is that going to go?
I ask for you people to think about those things. Weíre responsible for them. We have to take care of them. They canít find their water.
And Iím worried for my Paiute friends. They have ancient writing out there from their people. Are their great, great grandchildren going to be able to see these things? Thatís their library, and donít you want your great, great grandchildren to see these things?
All I ask is that you think about this and donít let it happen. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Hers was a statement of philosophy, and I think we should just leave it at that. Thank you.
Michael Eben? Michelle?
SECRETARY EDWARDS: Michon.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Ah-ha, M-I-C-H-O-N, Eben, E-B-E-N.
MS. EBEN: Michon Eben, for the record.
M-I-C-H-O-N, E-B-E-N. Iím here also as a native Nevadan, but also from Washoe County. But the senatorís not here to hear
Also, I represent the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony. Itís good to be here. Thank you for all the phone calls that I did receive, And I do want to thank you, Mr. Blake (sic), for calling me and giving me that opportunity, so I got to hear it from both sides.
But listening here tonight, I do have a few questions for Mr. Kautz here on the cultural resources part, and I do want to please add to your invitation that you will involve the tribes in this process because today -- and I thank you for saying you want to work with the native nations to make sure that everything is being followed and you allow us to have some input, and we do appreciate that.
However, we, to date, we havenít received anything, so please, I open that invitation for you to come down and meet with our tribe and our tribal council, our planner, and our cultural resource program, the tribal intercultural committee, all these committees that you can talk with and give us this outline as well, because Iím afraid that too much might go on here.
So, Mr. Kautz, I know that you have done the cultural resources inventory at the petroglyph sites and as well as others. Youíve been -- what I-- was told to me today is that you have inventoried 6,080 acres.
And I donít have -- thatís the other thing is,
Mr. Kautz, we have never received this cultural resource report. And again, not finished. So maybe you can give us a chance to maybe have some input. Maybe we can talk about mitigation plans. Maybe we can talk about what we can do to manage this area if this development goes through.
So some of the questions I have -- thereís some of it written already in your permit process -- is how will you protect the site? Could you just talk about weíre going to protect them? So I need to know, have a better understanding as a cultural resource manager that we need to understand how youíre going to protect that.
Also in this little note that I saw was that you identify and map the areas. What about recording? Are you going to record these areas? And youíve evaluated for significance. Whatís the significance of it?
And then also, the artifacts listed that you have written down, theyíre moveable. And Iíve never heard that word before in the cultural resource area or archeology. Thatís like picking up a rock and moving it, I guess?
But what I need to know is how are you going to move them? Are you going to move them to another site? Where thereís things in the subsurface or where thereís things all around, how are we going to do that?
A lot of our human remains are all around as well in the area.
We just need to understand that a little more and really want to be invited in this process as well.
And I understand, as a federally recognized tribe, weíre not always invited because private developers -- technically thatís their land, and so we donít have to be invited in the process, so I thank that, that you guys allow us to be involved.
I do know the federal and state laws here in Nevada, but I also have laws that have been passed by our Creator that weíve followed for thousands and thousands of years, and thatís why those things are still there. And so we have our own creation laws to follow from our Creator too. So those are very important for us as well.
I do have a question in regards -- do you have to get any rights-of-way permits to have access to anything?
MR. SMITH: When you say rights-of-way --
MS. EBEN: Okay. Like you have a lot of permitting processes going on, and Iím not exactly sure what permits youíve received to date, which ones youíre still trying to work on before you get approved here.
So Iím just seeing if you have to get any rights-of-way access to any of your development here.
MR. SMITH: Many steps down the way, yes.
MS. EBEN: Oh, okay. So you may have to go through a federal process and then, by federal law, that you
will have to be sure to work with us closely.
MR. SMITH: Yes.
MS. EBEN: All Native American tribes, the Washoe Tribe, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.
That brings me to my last question because I could go on forever.
My last question is, you know, youíre saying in one area that youíre going to keep 60 percent of the water in Lockwood so none of that water will leave. However, you have to think about Churchill County and the Pyramid Lake Tribe. Iím asking you to please consult with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. They have an environmental code. Their chairman has a masterís of hydrology with much studies done in the Truckee River, and also please consult with them because if you take and donít allow 60 percent of that water to flow down the Truckee River, then you are messing with their life way down there as well. So please just consult with them.
And one last final thing. Are you working with the Truckee River Flood Control Project? Because they do -- thereís this big flood control project with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Nature Conservatory and BLM and Washoe County, and weíre in that process as well.
So I just want to make sure that weíre all on the same page, and please keep the tribes informed because, if not, when we get involved too late in the process,
Mr. Kautz, then thatís when we get upset because we should be involved from the beginning.
So I just want you good citizens to know. Now you know just a little tiny part of how my ancestors felt when they -- some developer came in and kicked us out and told us to go live down the road and you guys -- youíll eat and drink what we provide for you. You just have a little bit of feeling of that.
So thank you all and thank you for this time, Chairman.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you.
MR. SMITH: Thank you.
MR. SMITH: I want to reemphasize, Michon and I spoke today, and weíve spoken to some of the other tribes already. But it is a pleasure. Weíve gone through this process with the Somersett project. Working with the nation and also SHPO, the State Historical Preservation.
And it is something that weíve already begun the process on. Some of the items that you noted there, Michon, are not -- those are a couple steps down the way.
One thing I do want to clarify, and we will be in touch as we go through this process.
One thing I do want to talk about, when we talk about that we can hold 60 percent of the water back, that
isnít that we take it away or use it. We would just hold it and slowly let it go down, but it all goes into the river. Itís just holding it back slowly. Itís not taking it from the river, Itís just holding it for a while so that the flood can pass through, but that water all ends up back in the river.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Our last declaration is from Olivia, please.
MS. FIAMENGO: Olivia Fiamengo, VC Highlands resident, O-L-I-V-I-A, F, as in Frank, I-A-M-E-N-G-O.
Many of you know me as the equine representative between Storey County, Washoe. We worked for many, many years on preserving and protecting the range of the wildlife in all of Storey County.
Iím very concerned with what has already taken place on behalf of this development and the wild horses. In your proposal here you state: Preserve open space for wild horses and native wildlife. I think we all understand when you look at that property, that the terrain is such that certain areas are developable, certain areas are not economically developable because of their terrain.
It appears to me that the areas that will be remaining open space are not developable for any other purpose; therefore, thatís also area that will be very difficult for wildlife to transverse (sic).
What has occurred and has been brought to my attention for many years when Aerojet and TRW owned that property, there is a well kind of in the center of that area, if youíre familiar with it. Created a pond that was always open for our wild horses and other wildlife in that area.
When TRW sold that property to this developer, that pond was cut off. That well was stopped. The water was no long available for the horses.
Almost a year ago after this property transferred hands to the current developer, one of Mr. Blakeís representatives contacted the State Department of Agriculture, wanted to know what they had to do to have the horses removed from this property.
At that point in time, the State Department of Agriculture identified to them that this is -- Nevada is considered open range. It is a fence-out state, and that if they were to fence their property, then the State Department of Agriculture would be required to come in. If they fenced the property with horses inside, the State Department of Agriculture would go out and remove those horses for them.
This upset the representative to Mr. Blake to the extent that she threatened this representative with the threat that she was going to go to the attorney generalís office. Itís my understanding she did contact the attorney generalís office and was told that in fact it is true.
Nevada is open range and that it is a fence-out state. And to my knowledge, nothing else has been discussed.
Now, in here you mention also that you worked with the State-- excuse me, with the University of Nevada and also currently working with the State of Nevada.
MR. SMITH: Mm-hmm.
MS. FIAMENGO: Okay. There is a representative, not really a -- a student, if you will, from the University that has been doing studies on the horses. Sheís been here in the Highlands many -- couple years in a row, right out here in the flats. And weíve given -- the RWPA gave her permission to come and study the family life of these bands and these horses.
And itís my understanding you have permitted her access to your property to continue studying in that area. I would like to know who it is youíre dealing with at the University, what kind of study youíre doing. And, to my knowledge, youíre not working with the State Department of Agriculture who has the authority over these stray horses.
And my concern is you are saying one thing now; in fact a year ago, it was a very different story.
So are you only stating that youíre going to be doing these things now because itís obvious that itís a public concern and itís not a popular thing to remove the horses? Whatís the real truth here, sir?
MR. SMITH: When we acquired the property, the property was very active. Actually had about 250 people in TRW. The well that youíre citing, it was actually operational for all the buildings in there and also all the people that were -- the well that was there that youíre talking about was operational and it feeds the fire suppression.
MS. FIAMENGO: Fire suppression only, sir. Didnít feed the buildings; I know it (inaudible).
MR. SMITH: No, I believe it does. Thatís the potable water source and all -- it was all delivered from the well. And thereís a purification process that they used for the potable side.
When we acquired the property, we had mothballed the entire site, so nothing is active on there. Weíve actually shut down all the electricity, We have a caretaker that lives there, actually lives in one of the buildings there. But we have basically mothballed the site. So from that standpoint, the fire suppression was shut down. The electricity was being shut down. The well has been shut down, not by design to try and harm the horses, but to just actually mothball the site out there.
MS. FIAMENGO: With no concern for the horses out there. (Inaudible).
MR. SMITH: Well, no, thatís an affirmative thing. We are not trying to harm the horses. We have actually gone in -- itís a very extensive -- I donít know -- there were 600 acres of buildings that are out there that have been developed on and were used. As I mentioned, 250 employees every day driving out there and using it.
And so from that standpoint, we have not done that to harm anyone. Weíve done it just to mothball. And the horses still are there.
And to answer your question, Megan comes out from the University, and she comes out four days a week and is doing her study. Sheís doing them on the industrial park and also on our property.
When I say to the State, the State approaches us every year to come in and do inoculations with the horses. They actually use our property with the helicopters to collect the horses, go in and inoculate them Ė
MS. FIAMENGO: They use helicopters on your property?
MR. SMITH: The State does, we do not. But they come in --
MS. FIAMENGO: I disagree. Okay, go ahead.
Thatís not true. The State does not use helicopters to round up horses on your property.
MR. SMITH: Well, if they contracted someone,
but the State of Nevada contacted us to ask if they could use helicopters and corrals and the property. And thatís what we are talking about, working with the State.
Have we gone to the State and said do we have a development plan, do we have corridors or management of the wild horse plans? No, we havenít, but weíve been working with them to try and protect the herd. When theyíre doing their inoculation and coming out and working with those horses. They immunize them. They also -- donít want to say sterilization. Thatís not right.
MS. FIAMENGO: There is a birth control program in place.
MR. SMITH: The birth control. Yes, thank you. I donít know the technical term, but they come onto our property to work with our --
MS. FIAMENGO: When did that start? When did you allow them --
MR. SMITH: Weíve done it since the day that we Ďve owned the property.
MS. FIAMENGO: Then why would Mr. Blake want to know what he had to do to remove the horses --
MR. SMITH: Well, cannot address -- Iím Blake Smith.
MS. FIAMENGO: Sorry.
MR. SMITH: Thatís fine. I donít know who
contacted -- I am totally in the dark. If you could find out, we have many people. I donít know anyone in our place -- unless it was a consultant that called to talk about the horses and how you manage them or something. But at no -- have we ever contacted the State to say get the horses off? To the contrary, we have opened up the gates to allow them to come in and study them, inoculate them, do the birth control with them.
We have tried -- Iím sorry about what you are saying, but I donít have a comment to it because Iím unaware of it. That is not our intent today or going forward to do that. As we develop this, it is something that we want to take care of, the wildlife.
MS. FIAMENGO: How are you going to separate then, okay, the developed areas from the wildlife?
MR. SMITH: Thatís part of the land planning process. And youíre correct, a lot of the areas we will not develop on are hillsides or the drainage ways.
But within those, connecting those areas and other areas, youíd have wildlife quotas spoken about on the other projects and other things. I donít have that plan to date. That would be part of it when we go to the PUD and the land planning.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Time. I thank you.
Folks, Iíd like to again take a short recess.
This is going to be a situation where we come back and the Planning Commission will give us direction of what they would like to do with this application.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Folks, thank you.
Planning commissioners, whatís your direction on this item, 2007-049 master plan amendment?
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Mr. Chairman, before we make any motions, Iíd like to make a request. This is a countywide issue, not just a Highlands or a Lockwood issue. I believe we need to have a meeting in every area of the county before we discuss any changes.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: And I would also like to ask the court reporter if she could tell us how long it would be before the transcript is available so we have an opportunity to review that before we have the next meeting.
THE REPORTER: It usually takes 10 to 14 days to turn around for standard delivery.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: After your hands have recovered.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Sir?
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: May I ask, Commissioner
Hammack, are you asking for this to be heard in Virginia City and Gold Hill and Mark Twain and in Lockwood?
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: I believe it needs to be heard in each area because it affects the whole county, not just a couple of the areas of the county.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Do you want to put that in the form of a motion here?
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a motion that we continue this item. And if it pleases the Board, we have the next meeting in Lockwood because they expect us to be there next time. But I believe the 19th is way too soon because of her schedule of getting the transcript available to us. I would say that we would have to go to at least the May 3rd meeting so we would have time to review the transcript in its entirety. Thereís a lot of issues that were raised.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Do we have a second on that motion?
COMMISSIONER TYLER: Iíll second.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Excuse me. Dean?
MR. HAYMORE: Further discussion. Currently right now we had the post -- and I apologize to everybody for not having this meeting. I wanted to get it going and get the process going, but I apologize that we had to postpone this meeting.
With that I have a special use permit for a variance on a site in Virginia City that we had to post and send the ten-day notices out to the abutting property owners, and we had to already do that.
So tonight, Iím asking you that the 19th meeting be held, and we did post the agenda at the proper postings for Virginia City. And thatís the only item I put on that.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: But not this item.
MR. HAYMORE: I did not put that item on it because I knew that it was going to take some time to get back and things like that. What I do need to let you know is thereís an agenda item on the county commissionersí, and I have told you before and I might as well tell these people here, Sierra Pacific has submitted an application for a special use permit approximately two and a half months ago, which I have not processed.
The reason I have not processed it is it is our requirement that the property owners for that special use permit goes across, that the property owners have to sign and approve that special use permit to be applied for.
Sierra Pacific has started condemnation on a property owner in Storey County and is currently working with to more property owners. And that special use is to take another new 345 line from Tracy to the Mark Twain area and build another substation.
That substation would be built right in the view of the Mark Twain residents, and it is all for the growth in Lyon County and Douglas County.
So we have asked the legal counsel for the county commissioners, and that is on the agenda at the next county commissioners meeting.
At that point, if they direct me or the county commissioners direct me to go forward and process that, and I do have enough time to have that meeting in Mark Twain.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: For the 3rd?
MR. HAYMORE: For the May 3rd. But it would put -- as we did for these folks here, we sent out over 1800, 1953 notices twice, and we were going to do that with Mark Twain just the same as we did the courtesy of everybody else.
So I have no problem if you want to have the meeting in Lockwood May 3rd, and then I might ask you or the chairman if we have a second special meeting or the next meeting down in Mark Twain.
But I really, because itís very controversial, I donít want to put both items on the same meeting. We can, if you want to handle it, but both items are very controversial, and theyíll be more affected by the Sierra Pacific. Not saying that everybody will be affected in Storey County by whatever action is happening on this project.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you, Dean.
Weíve got a motion.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: Before we -- I have one more thing Iíd like to mention.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Certainly. Because I do -- I would like to carry on with the motion, but there will be discussion.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: This question is in regard to that motion.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Certainly.
COMMISSIONER OSBORNE: The reason I ask, this motion weíre going to have, weíre going to continue the meeting to Lockwood. Is this also a motion to that weíre going to continue the meeting to the Mark Twain area and Gold Hill like Iíve asked earlier?
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Mr. Chairman, I would like that to be considered. I just consider this a countywide issue, and if we can have enough meetings where everybody in the county that wants to attend has the opportunity to, if three meetings will do it, fine, But I wanted every area of the county to have an opportunity to appear before us and ask their questions and give their concerns. No, I donít know if we should have five meetings or whatever. That should be determined after these meetings.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: All right. Thank you. We have a motion, we have a second.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: How many meetings do we have?
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: Do you want me to clarify my motion?
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Clarification.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: I am making my motion to read that I would like the next meeting to be on May 3rd in Lockwood.
COMMISSIONER TYLER: Second.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: We have a motion, we have a second. Lockwood for May 3rd. Any further discussion? All in favor?
ALL COMMISSIONERS: Aye.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: All opposed?
Got that taken care of. That is a continuance on the master plan amendment.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: Weíre not having one on the 19th?
MR. HAYMORE: You are, but itís not for this. I will give you that later tonight. Iíll give you all your information.
VICE-CHAIRMAN BUCCHIANERI: That will be another Planning Commission.
MR. HAYMORE: Yes.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: The regular meeting on the 19th.
MR. HAYMORE: And then, Doug, I would ask you if we could break so we can let this lady go and then we can finish or finish the rest of our information.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Dean, I have one more thing that goes with this issue.
Mr. Chairman, we have before us a petition with 617 signatures requesting a referendum vote. I believe we need advice from the Countyís counsel as to how that issue should be handled. It is appropriate and I move that that --
MR. HAYMORE: To ask the county commissioners to seek counsel.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: That will be part of our minutes.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Yes, but I also present that as a motion to be voted on by the board.
MR. HAYMORE: Itís not an agenda item.
COMMISSIONER HAMMACK: It canít be on the next agenda --
MR. HAYMORE: Do you want it on the next agenda?
COMMISSIONER HAMMCK: For the 3rd, the one thatís going to be about this issue.
MR. HAYMORE: You can ask and direct staff to request from the county commissioners to ask for legal
counsel to apprise you on the signatures, and weíll definitely forward that. Do we have the originals?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: I have the original at home. I gave copies.
MR. HAYMORE: Okay. Would you make sure my office has the originals, and then we will find out, or do you want to go to the clerkís office.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: What I would suggest is that we present those to the clerkís office.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: We were going to continue to gather signatures until the commissioners.
MR. HAYMORE: Okay, then thatís fine. We will find out the legal process and get legal counsel to direct us.
COMMISSIONER PRATER: Thank you. Then I rescind my motion.
CHAIRMAN WALLING: Thank you. Thatís where we are on this issue this evening. Maíam, appreciate your services.
THE REPORTER: Thank you.
(The matter concluded at 9:53 p.m.)
STATE OF NEVADA
COUNTY OF WASHOE )
I, STEPHANI L. LODER, a Certified
in and for the County of Washoe, State of Nevada, do hereby
certify that on April 13, 2007, at the Highlands Community
Room, Highlands Firehouse, 2610 Cartwright Road, Virginia
City Highlands, Nevada, I reported the public hearing in the
matter entitled herein; that the foregoing transcript,
consisting of pages i through 164, is a true and correct
transcript of the stenographic notes of testimony taken by me
in the above-captioned matter to the best of my knowledge,
skill and ability.
I further certify that I am not an
counsel for any of the parties, nor a relative or employee of
any attorney or counsel connected with the action, nor
financially interested in the action.
Dated at Reno, Nevada, this 27th
day of April,
Stephani L. Loder, CC&R #862
Captions Unlimited of Nevada, Inc. (775) 746-3534
Converted back to text from the public PDF document by Jed Margolin, citizen