Decision expected on Cordevista tonight

The long-discussed request by developer Blake Smith for a master-plan amendment and zone change for his proposed Cordevista development will likely be decided tonight.

The Storey County Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m. in the district courtroom of the Storey County Courthouse to hear the issue once again. Several commissioners have said they expect a decision.

The planning commission has heard Smith's request on three prior occasions, once in the Virginia City Highlands, once in Lockwood, and once in Mark Twain. Those meetings were held so people living in disparate locations in the county could have a voice.

In addition, Smith has held three informational town meetings on the subject, in Lockwood, the Virginia City Highlands and last week at Piper's Opera House in Virginia City.

While the first two town meetings were full, only about 25 to 30 people were at the Virginia City meeting, said Piper's Executive Director Pauline Fitzpatrick.

Smith, managing partner of Virginia Highlands LLC., is asking for a master plan amendment and zone change to allow him to build a planned-unit development on 11,000 acres in the center of the county.

Smith, who developed the Somersett subdivision west of Reno, has said Cordevista would have between 8,500 and 15,000 homes along with commercial and office complexes.

The development would be located on property currently zoned special industrial. The land was formerly owned by TRW Inc. and used to manufacture explosive devices used to inflate airbags.

Smith said Storey County needs a balance between jobs and housing, and that Cordevista is intended for workers at Tahoe Reno Industrial Park.

Lockwood residents generally support the development, and Smith has pledged to provide flood control as well as build schools Lockwood children could attend.

He has offered to build water infrastructure that could eventually aid the Virginia City Highlands, but hasn't said where water from his development would come from.

Most Virginia City Highlands residents are adamantly opposed to the project, saying it will adversely impact their rural way of life. The development is four miles from the Virginia City Highlands fire station, and borders the community's 40-acre lots on the north end.

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

If you go

WHAT: Storey County Planning Commission meeting

WHEN: 6 p.m. today

WHERE: District Courtroom, Storey County Courthouse, 26 S. B St.,

Virginia City

CALL: 847-0966


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