Carson City subdivision rebounding from recession

A south Carson City housing subdivision called Schulz Ranch inched closer to reality Thursday, though 424 rather than more than 521 homes are now planned.

First approved by city government in 2005, it remained just an idea through the recession, but plans now move to the phasing and map process due to initial action by the Board of Supervisors on Thursday. Board members unanimously approved the initial step for an ordinance amending the development’s nine-year-old agreement with phases on about 100 acres between Center Drive and Schulz Drive, not far from Bigelow Drive, and south of the Edmonds Sports Complex.

“We saw this as an opportunity,” said O.K. Rihl, development manager for CrownWest Land Group of Tucson, Ariz. “There is going to be demand.”

Those remarks were in reply to Mayor Robert Crowell, who asked for a thumbnail analysis from representatives of the developer regarding economic conditions that warrant bringing the project out of mothballs to take a four-phased run at building the houses. His request came after Mark Retter, project engineer, affirmed the developers are proceeding.

Supervisor Brad Bonkowski asked about house price points and was told it is unlikely high-end homes would be included.

After the testimony, Rihl was asked how soon the first phase would go forward, but he couldn’t say whether it would be next year or later. The planned four-phases are aimed at “detailing specific on-site and off-site improvements,” according to the ordinance, and a six-page attachment called for 100 lots in the first and last phases, 105 in the second phase and 119 in the third.

Susan Dorr Pansky, city planner, said it was good news the project is moving forward; later in the day Lee Plemel, community development director, referred to it as indicative of progress while testifying on an uptick during the past year in building permits. A planning division memo to the board also emphasized the changing economic climate and development attitude toward risk.

“The developer has determined that the residential market conditions in Nevada have recovered to a point where they can move forward with the project,” the memo reported. “It is the staff’s recommendation that the Board of Supervisors approve the proposed amendment to the agreement.”


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