The Board of Supervisors on Thursday reached a compromise on development plans for another portion of Lompa Ranch.
At issue was road access to the 27-acre, landlocked parcel south of 5th Street, which is currently only accessible via Railroad Drive.
The property, being developed by Blackstone Development Group in partnership with the owner, a member of the Lompa family, needed to be rezoned and a specific plan created for it that lays out the rules for development.
The Planning Commission voted to recommend to the board the zoning change from agriculture to single-family 6000, and the Blackstone Specific Plan Area that requires the developer to put in secondary, emergency access that could be turned into a public access road once traffic warranted it.
At the commission meeting in May, residents in an existing residential subdivision on and around Railroad Drive opposed the plan over concerns of limited access and increased traffic. Some of those residents also spoke at the board meeting Thursday.
The supervisors shared their concerns.
“Part of the challenge lies in the fact that when you purchase the property and decide to do something, you’re aware what the code requires,” said Supervisor Lori Bagwell. “I am very concerned about not having a second point of access.”
Municipal code requires two points of access on the tentative map to any subdivision, which is a residential development of more than four houses, unless waived by the city engineer. After 30 houses are built, fire code requires both access points be available.
But, city staff recommended allowing one public road and a secondary emergency road until traffic became a problem because the land is surrounded by other land to the north and south and abuts I-580 to the east.
“The challenge of this particular site is it needs a third party involved for a second access,” said Hope Sullivan, planning manager, Community Development. “So we attempted to meet the spirit of the law.”
Supervisor Brad Bonkowski suggested a secondary access road be built but to a lesser standard — paved, but without curbs, gutters, and sidewalks — as a compromise.
The supervisors voted to 4-1 with Supervisor John Barrette voting no to make the zoning amendment and to require two access roads — one built to a lesser standard that would be upgraded to city standards or replaced with another public road once the development is completed. The motion didn’t specify where the second road will be constructed, but it will likely go from Railroad to Firebox Road, where Fremont Elementary School is located. The board also heard an information only update on plans to relocate Carson Montessori School.
Last year, the board approved a special use permit for the school to expand at its current location after granting an appeal of a denial of the permit by the Planning Commission.
But, the board imposed a two-year limit on the permit and required the school to come back in a year to talk about efforts to move because the current site is in a light industrial area.
Jessica Barlow Daniels, executive director and principal, said the school had explored a number of sites. The most promising is at Western Nevada College (WNC) where a new building for the school would be built next to the college’s early childhood development center.
Daniels said the project was moving forward with a developer to build it and then lease the building to the Montessori school when it hit a roadblock. The school has to renew its charter school status every six years and the developer said the project can’t be financed without a 30-year lease arrangement.
“I’m asking you to help us accomplish our dream,” said Daniels. “You’ve been wonderful and helped to us, but it does take time.”
Mayor Bob Crowell said he would be meeting with WNC’s new president, Vincent Solis, and would talk to him about a possible solution.
The board pulled two items from the agenda on a new advisory board to look at impact fees for new development.
Crowell said after the meeting he wanted to discuss it more as a board and a community, and was going to propose having a public board retreat soon focused on the topic.
The supervisors interviewed six candidates for appointments on the Culture and Tourism Authority and appointed Mike Santos as a citizen-at-large; Mike Riggs for other commercial member; and Michael Jones, general manager, Gold Dust West, and Stu Wexler, sales manager, Wyndham Garden Carson City Max Casino, as the two members from the hotel and motel industry.