Douglas County approves Gardnerville Walmart |

Douglas County approves Gardnerville Walmart

Scott Neuffer
Nevada Appeal News Service

GARDNERVILLE – Appeals of Douglas County’s conditional approval of a 152,495-square-foot Walmart Supercenter in south Gardnerville must be filed by 3 p.m. Dec. 21, according to Douglas County Community Development.

County code says anyone can appeal who has “legal or equitable interest in the property affected by the final decision, or any person with legal or equitable interest in property located within the notice radius for the given project.”

“No one has appealed it, but we’ve had a good handful of maybe 30 letters asking it be referred to the planning commission,” county assistant planner Dirk Goering said last week.

He confirmed a letter of conditional approval was sent to Walmart developers.

“The 152,495-square-foot design was approved, including a final development plan,” Goering said.

That final development plan includes an additional 11 commercial buildings clustered on the 24-acre site, acting as a buffer between Walmart and Highway 395.

He said 33 conditions of approval were included in the letter, ranging from street improvements to landscaping requirements.

Walmart’s original plans were submitted to the Town of Gardnerville over the summer, sparking public debate about the suitability of the project.

Critics argued the 226-acre Virginia Ranch Specific Plan, which the Walmart site is part of, calls for village-like, pedestrian-friendly commercial development, not big-box retail stores.

“What should be of concern to you, as a board, is that the proposed Walmart would violate both the master plan and the Virginia Ranch Specific Plan,” Foothills resident Jim Slade told the Gardnerville Town Board on Dec. 1.

Town board members split 2-2 at that meeting, leaving the Walmart design without approval. Goering said Gardnerville’s stalemate vote still served as a recommendation.

“At the beginning of the specific plan, there are five goals that really had to be addressed,” Goering said. “We felt they (developers) met four of them. The one about village-like development was kind of met with the other buildings, but not really with Walmart. We do recognize that, but once the majority of goals were met, it helped us with whether to move forward.”

“There are tips on how to mask large box buildings, and we felt this development used a lot of those points suggested in the specific plan,” he said

On Friday, Community Development Director Mimi Moss said she has the authority to refer a design review to a higher board, but felt it was unnecessary with Walmart’s application.