Project on Carson City’s Little Lane put on hold

A proposed single-family development on Little Lane was continued to next month’s Planning Commission meeting to give the developer time to meet with nearby residents and address some of their concerns.

The Arbor Villas is planned on 10.31 acres on Little Lane east of South Roop Street and west of South Saliman Road.

The project as designed would contain 147 two-story, single-family attached townhouses, each with two car-garages, and an additional 74 guest parking spaces.

The development would require the extension of Parkland Avenue, which now dead ends at the vacant lot, through to Little Lane.

The extension of the road and the balconies on the two-story houses abutting existing yards were the main issues for residents who either submitted comments or spoke at the meeting Wednesday.

“We’re concerned about our loss of privacy,” said nearby resident Susan Palmer, during public comment.

“Thirty feet is not that far to have a balcony looking into your backyard,” said Rick Lee, who said he lives on Cedar Street, which runs along the north end of the project site and intersects Parkland.

Thirty feet is the setback between the townhouses and the adjacent properties.

The developer, Capstone Communities, had initially planned to ask for a variance to reduce the setback to 20 feet, but removed that from its request to the commission before the meeting.

Capstone did request a variance to reduce the required driveway approach and minimum parcel size and dimensions, and was submitting a tentative subdivision map for the commission to recommend to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

The land is zoned Mutli-Family Apartment.

Another issue was density.

Hope Sullivan, planning manager, when presenting the agenda item, said the property was zoned for between 29-36 units per acre and the Arbor Villas comprised 14 units per acre.

The fact the property could be developed with a higher density apartment building with just a major product review and building permits from the city, without Planning Commission approval, was brought up several times.

“I do share your concerns about parking and design and layout, but I’m much more comfortable with this than 300 apartments,” said Commissioner Elyse Monroy during the commission’s discussion.

People also were worried about traffic caused by the extension of Parkland to Little Lane, that it would create a way for anyone to cut through to Fifth Street and disrupt the quiet neighborhood.

Chris Baker with Manhard Consulting, who was representing the project, said a traffic study found about 15 percent of the residents would use Parkland and the bulk would access the development via Little Lane.

Baker also said it could be written into the development’s covenants, conditions and restrictions the houses had to be owner occupied for the first 12 months to deter investors buying them as rental property.

Still, the commission decided more work was needed.

“I think there’s so many problems with it, it needs to go back to design,” said Commissioner Daniel Salerno.

The applicant agreed to continue the item to the Commission’s May 25 meeting in order to meet with residents surrounding the property and tweak the design to allay their concerns.

Another proposed residential project came up at the meeting. Three homeowners spoke during initial public comment at Wednesday’s meeting, when people can speak on non-agenda items, to say they were opposed to the Vintage at Kings Canyon. That development has not yet been submitted to the city for approval.

Also on the upcoming agenda, according to Commission Chair Paul Esswein, is going to be the growth management policy for the coming year

That looks at water and recommends how many building permits should be allowed.

In other action at Wednesday’s meeting, the commission approved special use permits for LED message signs for the exteriors of Fremont and Mark Twain schools and a variance and SUP for 64 multi-family apartments at Bella Lago on Airport Road.


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