Proposed Verdi Housing Development Meeting Held at Reno City Hall
A proposed housing development has been bringing out opinions from both sides. On Wednesday night, Verdi residents packed Reno City Hall to protest a zoning change that would include the proposed West Meadows Estates.
Thursday, July 10th 2014, 2:28 AM PDT
Friday, July 18th 2014, 10:24 AM PDT
A proposed housing development has been bringing out opinions from both sides.
On Wednesday night, Verdi residents packed Reno City Hall to protest a zoning change that would include the proposed West Meadows Estates.
After hearing from both sides, the Reno City Planning Commission voted 3-2 on the issue to change the Verdi Master Plan to include more housing. It's considered to be a technical denial, meaning there's seven commissioners normally, but two were absent Wednesday, and they needed the votes from the five that were there to move it forward.
It now goes to Reno City Council, and they'll determine whether to approve the zoning change or send it back to the planning commission for further discussion.
"It's up to the city council of whether or not, they want to keep Verdi the way that it has been for a long time," said Clint Borchard, of Verdi.
"We want to keep the density more rural, even though it's a mixed community(rural, industrial, etc.)," said Mickey Skinner. "We want to preserve what's of the rural spaces."
The development would be just north of Highway 40, and east of the Truckee River. If approved, developers would, as it stands right now, be allowed to build up to 394 homes on 99 acres. Originally, 159 homes were approved for this plot of land, but that was before it was annexed into the city of Reno.
Developers told commissioners they're working to find designs for trails and a proposed park that works well for everyone.
"What we're trying to do is amenities that work very well for this neighborhood and for this community, including the county, of course," said John Krmpotic, President of KLS Planning & Design.
"We were very grateful for the process," said Carly Borchard of Verdi. "We're very grateful that we were able to hear all of the points and have a lot of residents here to stress their concerns as well."
Commissioners received more than 80 responses on the project. More than 30 of them were from people who took part in public comment. We found some of them were okay with the original plan, but say the amendment would double their population, which would lead to even more crowded schools in the area. Officials from the Washoe County School District told the commission the schools are already over-capacity, that they don't have any means to add more schools or portable classrooms to the area.
Many are also concerned about the environmental and wildlife impact, but developers say they're working with groups like the Nevada Department of Wildlife on the issue.
Meanwhile, residents talked about the response times from police and fire crews during an emergency. Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez told the commissioners it's possible to keep the response times low there after looking at their work in the area over the past year.
We tried to get a response from Krmpotic and Fitzgerald right after the meeting, but unfortunately, they were unavailable. So, please stay with Channel 2 News for the latest developments.