Planning commissioners deny Andersen Ranch West project

A packed house at the Carson City Planning Commission on Wednesday for a hearing about a proposed subdivision on the historic Andersen Ranch.

A packed house at the Carson City Planning Commission on Wednesday for a hearing about a proposed subdivision on the historic Andersen Ranch.
Photo by Scott Neuffer.

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A planned 61-lot subdivision on the historic Andersen Ranch in west Carson City was shot down by planning commissioners Wednesday.
After heated public comment and concern from neighbors, planning commissioners voted 6-1 to deny a tentative subdivision map that would create 61 single-family residential lots and a 50.33-acre remainder parcel with an existing residence on an approximately 80.53-acre site zoned single family 1 acre (minimum lot size) and single family 12,000 (square feet). The site, known as Andersen Ranch West, is located west of Ormsby Boulevard and north of Kings Canyon Road.
The recommendation of denial will now go to the Board of Supervisors. Planning Commissioner Jay Wiggins voted against denial, saying the development application met “the letter of the law.”
According to city staff, the 61 lots proposed for the north end of the property would have a minimum size of approximately 14,380 square feet. There would be 3.82 acres of common open space, and the larger remaining parcel with the existing residence.
Concerns from both commissioners and the public revolved around housing density, neighborhood character, traffic, and flooding problems, among other issues. Many felt the proposal didn’t go far enough in incorporating open space.
Commissioner Teri Preston, for example, said there’s greater opportunity for the developer to make “a hallmark property rather than cookie cutter.”
Resident Maxine Nietz said the developer was trying to transfer density from the southern portion of the property to the northern.
“It’s not the responsibility of the city to ensure the developer or property owner profit,” she said.

The proposed site of a new subdivision on the west side of the historic Andersen Ranch. 

Attorney Mark Forsberg, representing the developer, recognized the project is controversial but said his client is also “entitled to the benefits and protection of the law.”
In preparing the application, city planners found the proposal does meet current code.
“Based on the zoning for the gross site area of the project, the site can be developed with a maximum of 132 single family dwelling units,” Associate Planner Heather Manzo wrote in the staff report. “CCMC 17.10 allows for modification to lot and yard standards through a common open space development, however the residential density shall not exceed the total number of dwelling units allowed by the underlying zoning districts.”
Neighbors also pointed to increased construction in the area as burdensome, including ongoing work on the Andersen Ranch project east of Ormsby Boulevard.
“Construction traffic should be given special consideration for its impact on residents,” said resident Dan Dykes.
In August, developers of the eastern project, Lennar, publicly apologized for dust issues created by site improvements.
Wiggins said residents concerned about infrastructure pressure and traffic should participate in the city’s Growth Management Commission held every year in May.
Commissioner Richard Perry suggested more public workshops for sizeable developments before tentative maps come to the planning commission.
Not long after denying the Andersen project, commissioners approved a smaller project east of Andersen Ranch West.
The 41-lot Ash Canyon project was approved on a 6-1 vote with added conditions that houses on the perimeter be single story, among other setback and spacing conditions. The recommendation of approval – to go before the Board of Supervisors – included a zoning map amendment that would change the site’s current zoning from single family 12,000 to single family 6,000 and a tentative subdivision map for the residential lots.
John Krmpotic, representing the developer, said the design for the roughly eight-acre site is simplistic – a horseshoe-shaped development – because the site is squeezed on all sides from other developments and access is limited.
Commissioner Nathaniel Killgore was the lone nay vote on both the tentative subdivision map and zoning map amendment for the Ash Canyon project.
Video of planning commission meetings can be viewed at


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