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Schulz Ranch subdivision plan sent to supervisors

Cory McConnell
Appeal Staff Writer

A proposed subdivision in South Carson City failed to gain a super-majority of votes from the planning commission Wednesday, sending the plan to city supervisors without the support developers had been seeking.

The plan for 470 to 500 homes near Racetrack Road and Schulz Way needed five votes from the seven-member commission to gain its recommendation but received only four. Commission Chairman John Peery was absent when the vote was held.

Approval by a super-majority was required because the zoning change would have amended the city’s master plan.

The development has been met with criticism from the time it was proposed.

Neighbors who live on one-acre lots and want to keep the area rural have protested the design, which calls for an average of about four homes per acre, at several public hearings in the past two months.

While Wednesday’s hearing was no exception, some residents showed up to support the project.

One early critic of the plan said Thursday development company Reynen and Bardis has made enough changes in their plans to make it palatable.

Rich Wontorski, an avid horseman who was worried the project would trample the equestrian trails that drew him to the area, said he’s now satisfied that the developers are committed to preserving trails and recreation opportunities in and around the subdivision.

“I’d still rather have one-acre lots there,” he said, “but (the city) has got to have growth and that is a good place for it.”

The developers also agreed to enlarge the size of a proposed park in the subdivision from more than three acres to more than five acres.

Before taking a vote on the zoning change, commissioners scaled it back from what city planners had suggested, to include only the property being considered for development.

Some nearby residents wanted the chance to subdivide their lots if the development was approved, planning officials recommended changing zoning for land surrounding the subdivision so homes could be built on half-acre lots. That would leave the decision on subdividing with homeowners and provide a buffer between dense and rural neighborhoods, planners said.

Since there was no consensus from neighbors, however, commissioners cut the provision.

Representatives from the Washo Tribe, which owns property near the proposed development, also expressed concerns about what a subdivision might do to the rural area and its watershed.

The Washo Tribe did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.

If the development is approved, it would also mean an end to racing at Champion Speedway, which has operated since the 1960s. Developer Reynen and Bardis has an option to buy the track should the subdivision get built.

n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at cmcconnell@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.