Mound House master plan amended to allow multiple uses

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Developer Phil Cowee will be able to get started on a new project in Mound House that includes commercial, high-density residential, industrial and mobile-home developments.

The Lyon County commissioners have approved a master plan amendment that changes land-use designations on parcels north of Highway 50 to Calcite, east of Newman Street from Industrial to a combination of commercial, high-density residential and business office or trailer park.

Some of the property will remain master-planned industrial.

The 4-1 vote was a rejection of the decision made by the Lyon County Planning Commission last month on the same application.

At that time, planning commissioners were concerned about putting high-density residential next to industrial with the noise and odors that can come from industrial activity. They also thought Cowee should wait until the countywide master plan is completed in about 18 months.

But Cowee, Lyon County Planning Director Rob Loveberg and Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carey Dyer all defended the residential development plans, saying there was not enough affordable housing in the area.

"Business people all tell me affordable housing is a big issue," Dyer said. "Anything we can do to create affordable housing and get traffic off of Highway 50, the chamber is in support of. My only concern is people who work in Carson City will move into those homes."

Cowee said not only would the project provide needed housing, but it would also eliminate unnecessary trips on Highway 50 by providing homes where workers were employed and by extending Calcite Drive east to Cash Street.

Hans Lund, whose property abuts the proposed development, said he was opposed to the change. He said he has a mining mill and he doesn't want the high-density residential development near his property.

Commissioner Bob Milz, who spoke in support of the change, said the developers would have to provide some kind of sewage facility for the area, which is now on septic systems.

"If Mound House is to continue to be viable, we have to address the sewage problem," he said. "We're not expecting an influx of public funds, so one strategy is to allow developers to pay for needed infrastructure."

The developers would also extend Newman Lane north from Highway 50 to Calcite Drive. They also plan to extend Calcite Drive east to Cash Street, making an east-west traffic alternative to Highway 50.

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


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