Board to discuss city maintenance of private land |

Board to discuss city maintenance of private land

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

City maintenance of parks and trails inside private developments is up for discussion today by the Board of Supervisors.

The Landscape Maintenance Ordinance targets areas within developments that would be used by the public, such as parks, trails, common areas, and landscaping and lighting along public streets.

If approved, this ordinance would allow the city to fund the maintenance of these facilities through creation of special districts – if the developer or property owner requests it.

“It’s important because as future developments are constructed and public facilities created as part of developments, these areas are eventually given to the city for maintenance,” said Roger Moellendorf, the city’s parks and recreation director.

Parcels being divided into a minimum of four lots would come under this ordinance. The creation of amenities that can be used by the entire community within large development projects is becoming more commonplace, which is also why local rules are necessary, Moellendorf said.

Important in determining whether need for this type of arrangement would arise is size and scope of a project, said Randall Long, of Lumos & Associates in Carson City. His firm’s clients more often keep these areas under control of the homeowners associations “because it will regulate quality,” Long said.

In turn, if the city starts maintenance of a given site, “we’d want to make sure these areas meet city landscaping standards,” Moellendorf said.

Smaller, more compact developments often don’t provide facilities adequate for public use. Larger projects are more conducive, however.

Long cited Damonte Ranch in Reno, which sits on 2,000 acres and has approximately 4,500 homes. Its parks and greenbelts are maintained through an association while the trails and pathways come under a district that also handles drainage needs.

“Just because a developer petitions to have city take over a piece of land, it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen,” he said. “They can’t just say ‘come over and take care of our little park.'”

State legislators in 2001 started requiring local governments to establish standards for when developers petition the city to take over maintenance of areas that would be used by the public at large.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

What: Carson City Board of Supervisors

When: 8:30 a.m. today

Where: Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.

Call: 887-2100

In other business

Supervisors are expected to:

• Hold a required public hearing about the $20 million water infrastructure-improvement bond approved last month.

• Hear about an update of various sections of the planning code, including allowing the department director to approve minor project variances and changing the definition of the community/regional office/commercial zone from 50,000 square feet to 150,000 square feet.

• Approve the Regional Transportation Commission having authority for transit operations, including contracting, and street and highway contracts that include funds other than street money, in some circumstances.