Retooled Villages back on track

An advisory board has breathed new life into the Villages at Silver Springs, a 697-home planned unit development on 250 acres.

The new plan presented by developer George Peek of ERGS INC. calls for a number of items to satisfy critics' concerns. They include three pocket parks and a neighborhood park with playground equipment, improved drainage with retention ponds, homeowner's associations for each of the six villages, CC&Rs and a ban on RV parking on the street and in front sections of lots, said Melissa Lindell, an associate at Wood Rodgers, a Reno-based engineering firm.

The project has a long history.

Peek had requested master plan and zone changes to accommodate his project and those requests were rejected by the Silver Springs Advisory Council in December and the Lyon County Planning Commission in January, only to be approved by the Lyon County Board of Commissioners the following month.

Peek pulled the development from the agenda in order to resolve complaints about the project, which would change the area from low-density, five-acre lots to high-density, 6,000-foot lots.

Now the retooled plan has won the approval of the advisory board and has been presented to the planning commission, which will vote on it April 11. The commission had requested ERGS Inc., which gave verbal assurances of changes, put the new proposal in writing before a vote could occur. After that, it goes to the Lyon County Board of Commissioners on May 4.

ERGS Inc. estimates that impact fees from the project could reach $350,000 for fire services, more than $500,000 for road improvements and more than $600,000 for parks.

The lots will range from 6,000 square feet to 27,752 square feet with the average being 9,000 feet, Lindell said.

"We redesigned them a little bit so the lots are a little bigger on the outside areas," she said.

Twenty percent of the site will be open space, and Lindell estimates that almost 100 new homes could be built each year of the build-out, expected to cover about 10 years,

The project also includes road improvements to the Ramsey Weeks Cutoff and Onyx Street.

Kay Bennett, co-manager of the nearby Silver Springs airport and a supporter of the project, said ERGS Inc. has moved in the right direction.

"I think they really heard the concerns of the community in terms of the buffering around the project and reducing the density on the project particularly on the peripheral side," she said. "I think they'll set a very nice precedent for the kind of residential development, the high-density, that we'd like to see."

Planning Commissioner Chuck Roberts, who opposed the original proposal, is still uncertain if it would be good for Silver Springs.

"I think the concept of a development of this size without any real planning of the area is a real poor choice to make," he said. "But we'll just see what they come up with at the next meeting."

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.


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