Maxine Hauser Nietz: SB327 a handout to developers
Senate Bill 327 is an act relating to land use planning; defining certain terms relating to superpads. I and many others urge the Legislature NOT to approve this bill. It’s nothing short of a handout to developers. It provides NO benefit to the general public.
It has been commented on by Washoe Residents for Appropriate Planning (posted on March 27 by Steve Wolgast) and written about in the Reno Gazette Journal (posted on April 1 by James DeHaven). Neither of these articles support the bill.
The bill defines a “superpad” as a “parcel of land within a planned unit development that is developed with utility infrastructure by a master developer” although no definition of “master developer” is given.
Under the bill, the development is never reviewed in its entirety and doesn’t require the primary developer to submit his plan incorporating superpads to the planning commission for review.
The bill also states a landowner may “further subdivide a superpad,” but gives no guidelines for doing so.
The bill states a jurisdiction “May designate the director of planning or other representative of the governing body or planning commission to review a superpad tentative map or superpad final map … and take final action on the map or plan in lieu of the governing body.” It also states such jurisdiction “shall designate the director of planning or other representative of the governing body … to review a preliminary tract plan, preliminary tract map, final tract plan and final tract map.”
These two statements effectively block the public from having any input into the development of their city/county. This bill would circumvent public review and comment that’s a normal part of the planning process. As such it goes against the principle of transparency in government.
The bill states: For the purpose of the review of a superpad tentative map … the landowner may include estimates concerning the sewage disposal, water pollution, water quantity, water supply facilities, traffic generation, schools, police and fire protection and recreation and park facilities based upon the zoning and density of the proposed planned unit development established in the ordinance enacted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. It also states “Any state or local agency that is required to review a superpad final map concerning sewage disposal, water pollution, water quantity, water supply facilities, traffic generation, schools, police and fire protection and recreation and park facilities … shall use the underlying density and zoning of the planned unit development.”
This means the density of the superpad itself doesn’t govern the reports of agencies that respond to tentative and final maps. In SB 327, there’s no restriction on the density of superpads.
CCMC (Carson City Municipal Code) states “the maximum residential density of a planned unit development shall be determined by the underlying zoning classification” and gives a specific formula. Further, SB327 provides no time-frame for the maps or construction on a superpad.
The bill also states “the designated representative of the governing body shall, within 30 days after a complete preliminary tract plan is submitted … approve, conditionally approve or disapprove the preliminary tract plan.” And further states “Each agency which receives a copy of the preliminary tract plan … (shall) file written comments … within 15 days after the receipt of the preliminary tract plan.”
CCMC states it’s “in the public interest that all procedures with respect to the approval or disapproval of a planned unit development be applied for under a single application.”
CCMC provides for “the commission to hold a public hearing, not later than 65 days after the filing of the application.” Thus, CCMC specifies the agency is a board in public session and the time frame is 65 days, not 30 days. And, responding governmental agencies won’t be able to return their comments within 15 days, either.
Further, I take it as a breach of public trust an elected official, Sen. Ben Kiekhefer, would sponsor a bill that provides obvious benefits to a client of the law firm that employs him. This may not be outright prohibited (although in my opinion it should be), but isn’t what the people elected him to do.