The Vintage at Kings Canyon passed its first test Tuesday when the Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission voted to recommend the development project to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
Vince Scott, general partner, The Vintage at Kings Canyon LP, gave a presentation on the planned unit development’s parks, trails and open space to the commission and about 30 members of the public.
The over-55 community with assisted and independent living facilities is designed to include a 1.2-acre park accessible from the existing trailhead off Mountain Street plus 1.82 acres of so-called linear park or trail connected to the park that runs around the southern perimeter of the development.
The commission had to determine whether the development’s plans complied with Carson City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan and the Unified Pathways Master Plan.
The commission unanimously found it did, but added a few conditions for approval.
The conditions added a restroom at the trailhead, removed fencing at Mountain Street to make the park accessible to the public, added easements for public access for the trails and park, and required the addition of some trails running north-south through the property to connect the trail at the southern edge with an internal trail at the northern perimeter.
Additionally, the development will have a landscape maintenance district, which will assess residents via their property taxes for the city to maintain the parks and trails.
The developer had proposed maintaining the park and trails through a homeowners association but after public comment and commission discussion it was decided the landscape maintenance district would better guarantee the system was taken care of in perpetuity.
“All the conditions are reasonable. The landscape maintenance district is good,” said Scott after the meeting. “We covered a lot of ground and it was great to get input from the neighbors and commission.”
After Scott’s presentation, 14 people spoke during public comment, including several people who identified themselves as members of Save Open Space-Carson City, a group organized, in part, to influence the design of the Vintage development.
“It shows a certain attitude that they open their presentation with a threat that this could be worse, saying they could ‘rack ‘em, stack ‘em and pack ‘em’,” said Maxine Nietz, who said she was with SOS. “He’s basically threatening you.”
Nietz was referring to Scott who said at the start of his presentation a denser, single-family development could be developed on the property based on current zoning, which would provide less open space, more traffic and more of a strain on city services.
“A 1.2-acre park in no way constitutes a park. It’s a little patch. People’s back yards are bigger than that,” said Ursula Carlson. “And trail and trailhead is a misnomer. That’s an asphalt sidewalk going around the development.”
Commissioner and Supervisor Lori Bagwell tried to sum up and address the concerns voiced during public comment, including the size of the park, paths that vary between 30 and 60 feet and public accessibility.
She said, according to the master plan, neighborhood parks can be 1 to 7 acres.
Commissioner Donna Curtis said the Lompa Ranch development has planned a 3.5-acre park.
“Lompa has up to 2,500 units,” said Michael Railey, partner, Rubicon Design Group, one of the project’s planners. “This is an age-restricted development that won’t use the park as much.”
Vern Krahn, senior park planner, said paths are required to be a minimum of 10 feet, preferably 12 feet.
The portion of Andersen Ranch on Kings Canyon Road isn’t part of the proposed PUD so earlier plans to include a path along Kings Canyon are not part of the plan so commission members couldn’t make its construction a condition of their approval.
But the commission did pass a second motion urging the Planning Commission and supervisors to take advantage of the Andersen’s stated plan to provide land for a path and Scott’s commitment to pay for it if made available.
The next step for the Vintage is appearing before the Planning Commission to present the whole project to start to get the needed tentative maps, zoning changes and master plan amendment.
That meeting is 5 p.m., Sept. 29 in the Sierra Room, Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.