YMCA, West Haven's plans on track as neighbors decide

YMCA of the Sierra, deep in negotiations for a new site for its family center, will sell its landholdings and move no matter how neighboring property owners vote on a request to change deed restrictions on a portion of the YMCA's Foster Drive property.

And West Haven Development Group, which plans to build 52 single-family homes on the 4.3-acre Foster Drive site, still will buy the property from the YMCA no matter how the neighbors vote.

But West Haven will be revising its plans probably to get higher densities on the property if it can't convince a majority of the 182 neighbors in the Westfield Village subdivision to lift the restrictions. A little less than one acre of the YMCA property is covered by the restrictions.

Executives of the YMCA and Reno-based West Haven met with property owners last week to pursue their request to get the deed restrictions lifted.

West Haven hopes to win signatures of a majority of the neighbors within 30 days, said Lou Borrego, a principal in the company.

Assuming it's successful, West Haven plans entry-level homes in the $300,000 to low-$400,000 range. The company figures, Borrego says, that young parents will snap up homes in which their children can attend Hunter Lake, Swope and Reno High schools.

If its bid to get the restrictions lifted isn't successful, the company still will buy the property, but it will rethink the plans. Existing zoning allows it to build up to 58 multi-family units apartments, townhomes, condominiums on the site.

The deed restrictions limit homes to a single-story and set a 5,000-square-foot minimum lot size. West Haven plans two-story homes on lots that average 1,850 square feet.

Mark Lieske, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit, said the YMCA selected West Haven as a buyer for the land in part because it believes West Haven's plans will fit well with the existing neighborhood.

At the same that it's seeking a release from the deed restrictions, the YMCA is in the final stages of negotiations for a new site for its family programs and offices.

Lieske said the property is in the downtown area. The nonprofit is represented by Panattoni Development in its search for a new home for the programs.

The YMCA fitness center will move to 50 W. Liberty. Contractors are preparing bids to remodel the space, and Lieske said the YMCA hopes to be open by the end of this year.

The nonprofit is selling the Foster Drive land in a cash deal because the YMCA's board believes the old facilities are too expensive to maintain.


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