North Douglas County project seeks apartments |

North Douglas County project seeks apartments

Kurt Hildebrand
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved a 178-home project north of Haystack Drive near Sunridge when they meet on Thursday.
Adam Trumble/R-C File Photo

if you go

What: Douglas County Planning Commissioner

When: 1:15 p.m. Tuesday

Where: CVIC Hall, 1604 Esmeralda Ave., Minden

Last summer when a series of master plan amendments came to the county there were fewer than 33 vacant acres zoned for multi-family residential.

But with approval of five master plan amendments totally just over 51 acres last fall, that amount more than doubled.

On Tuesday, Douglas County Planning Commissioners are being asked to add almost 11 acres to that total.

Valley Knolls located just north of Sunridge is seeking approval of a 96-unit multi-family residential project.

Commissioners approved the first reading of an ordinance permitting 178 homes on 42 acres on March 1.

At that meeting, planning staff said a traffic study conducted for the property assumed 300 homes could be built on the property.

On Thursday, county watchdog Jim Slade protested the second reading of the project.

In a letter to commissioners, Slade pointed out there was no way 300 homes could have occupied the property given the county’s actual zoning districts.

“I think Mr. Slade has an issue with this and tried to make a case that we should have an issue with it,” Commissioner Barry Penzel said.

Penzel said he relied on the actual number of unit instead of the 300 units used in the traffic study.

Despite Slade’s objection, county commissioners approved 4-1 the second reading approving the project.

Commissioner Dave Nelson was the lone opposition, saying he felt he was misled about the setbacks in the project.

Manhard Consultants Chris Baker told commissioners Thursday the project could probably handle 8,000 square foot lots.

“I’m pretty sure we can get them all on 8,000 square foot lots, but they all will look the same,” he said. “It allows for a variety of housing types.”

Located north of Sunridge, the development would overlook Carson City, and is the first step toward developing the land located across Highway 395 from Clear Creek and Carson Valley plazas.

Manhard Consultants’ Chris Baker referred to the multi-family portion as a “row house.”

Valley Knolls is only the first of several projects approved as part of the 2000 North Douglas County Specific Plan, approved while the land was still under federal control.

The plan established land use and zoning on 624 acres on the east and west sides of Highway 395 at the northern entrance to the county. In 2001, the plan was amended to identify 324 acres of Bureau of Land Management territory to be sold for development, 64 acres to be used for recreation and public purposes and 30 acres to transfer to the Washoe Tribe or other federal agency on behalf of the tribe.

Proceeds from the sale of the property, which occurred at public auction in October 2005, were to go to purchase environmentally sensitive land in Carson Valley.

John Serpa purchased the 100-acre parcel for $8.4 million. Baker said the specific plan was in place for the property.