Court upholds power of regional planning agencies

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled Friday regional planning agencies have the power to change regional plans without local governing entities.

The issue was raised by a Washoe County judge's decision to block the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Governing Board from a plan change affecting Washoe County.

The county objected when the Regional Planning Commission granted a request by private property owners to designate the Reno-Stead Corridor a joint planning area.

There was some concern that could result in higher density development in that area than allowed under the regional plan.

District Judge Brent Adams agreed with the county that the planning board action circumvented the county's power and violated the intent of the Legislature.

The court described that statute as "part of a statutory scheme intended to ease the friction in a historically prickly relationship between Reno, Sparks and Washoe County regarding land use and planning."

"Admittedly this action does little to reinforce the spirit of cooperation these statutes were intended to foster, but the statutes also make it clear that the Legislature intended the regional planning entities to have the final say on such matters," the court order states.

Therefore the seven member court ruled Judge Adams was wrong in granting the county's request to block the creation of the Reno-Stead Corridor joint planning area.

Deputy Washoe District Attorney Melanie Foster said most of the statutes involved are specific to Washoe County but there is a possibility the ruling could have implications elsewhere, even though it was not in a published opinion and can't be cited as precedent.

n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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