Despite a flurry of building activity, residential development this year should fall below the cap Carson City puts on growth.
The Planning Commission this week will take up the growth management ordinance, its annual action limiting the number of residential building permit entitlements and commercial water consumption, which is sent to the Board of Supervisors for its approval.
The last time the city bumped up against the ceiling was 1996. After that, construction dropped off slowly for a decade and then nearly stalled for 10 years, until it ticked back up in 2016 and 2017.
Still, not even a third of the allowed allocations were used in each of the last two years. (An allocation equals one residence, which may be equivalent to a building permit for a single-family house or each apartment in a multifamily building covered by one building permit).
Now, everywhere you look in Carson City there’s a residential project in some phase of construction.
That includes more dense developments of single family-attached homes such as Mills Landing off William Street and Arbor Villas on Little Lane, and multifamily projects such as Carson Hill Apartments going in behind the Casino Fandango — which more rapidly consume annual allocations.
And there are large developments approved but still on the drawing board such as Lompa Ranch, and Vintage at Kings Canyon, which looked to be dead but is on track to move forward with a new developer.
So far in 2018, fewer than 100 residential allocations have been issued. That should more than double in the second half of the year when construction is at its peak, but it’s still highly unlikely it will come close to the 658 allocations allotted in 2018. Staff is recommending the Planning Commission bump it up by one, to 659 allocations, for 2019.
All in all, there are 2,634 residential units approved but yet to be built, which will be spread out over years, if not decades. Silver Oak, approved for 1,088 parcels in 1993, is still building out 25 years later.
The planning commission will meet at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Carson City Community Center.
Silver Oak is now on phases 21, 22 and 23 of the golf course-anchored development in northwest Carson City. According to Mark Turner, principal, Silver Oak Development Co., Silver Oak may pull up to 50 building permits in 2018, about 20 of which have already been issued.
Turner is also working on Mills Landing, the single-family attached development on State Street. So far, 16 permits have been issued and 16 more will be pulled in the next few months, said Turner. He expects the 105-unit project to be built out over the next 24 months.
Schulz Ranch, at the other end of town, is averaging eight to 12 permits each month, said Lee Plemel, director, Community Development.
Schulz Ranch has roughly 172 lots left to build out in its first three phases of construction and another 108 lots pending on an approved tentative map.
Arbor Villas on Little Lane is under construction. So far, four permits have been pulled on the project which is expected to be a total 154 lots.
In the works
Jackson Village, on Eagle Station Lane behind Kohl’s, sat idle for years after getting approved in 2015, but is now doing site work. The planned unit development (PUD) consists of 41 single-family houses on 3.66 acres.
The two biggest projects approved but yet to start construction are Lompa Ranch, off 5th Street and Fairview Drive, and Vintage at Kings Canyon, between Mountain Street and Ormsby Boulevard.
The first phase of Lompa Ranch has been approved for 189 single-family houses to be built by Ryder Homes, which plans to add 372 apartments to the project. The Planning Commission this week will vote on master plan and zoning map amendments for another 27-acre portion of the site.
Vintage was approved in 2016 for 212 units. The PUD consisting of assisted and independent living facilities as well as houses has languished since then as Vince Scott, the developer, tried to raise the money to purchase the 80-acre site.
Late last year, the property was put back on the market for $16.5 million, but was quickly pulled off.
Now, both Scott and Bruce Robertson, NAI Alliance, the broker representing the buyer on the land, said the project has been assigned to a new developer who plans to move forward with the PUD as planned. Robertson said the property sale should be finalized in a few months.
The two biggest apartment complexes in the works, besides the proposed Lompa Ryder project, are Carson Hill Apartments and The Villas at Silver Oak.
The first is a 370-unit complex on property behind and beside the Galaxy Fandango movie theater on Curry Street. Extensive site work is now underway there.
The Villas at Silver Oak has been approved and is pending a building permit. The 150-unit project is on 6.2 acres on G.S. Richards Boulevard.
Developers can, and in some cases must, take proposed projects to the city for a major project review before applying for permits. Sometimes the reviews result in a viable project and sometimes they save a developer from moving forward on unfeasible ideas.
Included in projects that are somewhere in the major project review process are two multifamily projects: a 250-unit apartment building between Washington and William streets, on the former V&T Roundhouse site, and a 300-unit complex on Nye Lane brought to the city by Nevada Rural Housing Authority (NRHA).
William Brewer, deputy director, NRHA, said the project is tentative, but the proposal is to build market-rate, one, two, and three bedroom apartments. The land is zoned for mobile homes so zoning changes are required.
“The major project review gave us a lot of information on what we need to do,” said Brewer. “It was very helpful and we’ll be utilizing that going forward.”