The Carson City Planning Commission decided Tuesday evening that a proposed very high density 203 home subdivision should be allowed to be built on what’s left of the Andersen Ranch on the west side of Carson City. The homes would be fairly small because the lot sizes are pretty small, for the most part. There was some controversy over where the single story models should go and where the two story models should wind up. Some of those in the jam-packed audience questioned two story models as blocking views of the mountains to the west.
There was also a lot of complaining about the number of homes being squeezed onto a 45 acre footprint. But it was revealed by planning staff that the city’s land use designation allowed the 200+ plus homes. The developer also reminded the commission that they gave up some surface area to not crowd the neighbors that surround the project area – especially to the north and south of the property. The developer also outlined city streets that would be allowed to pass through the new neighborhood – especially West Sunset to La Mirada to Long, which would likely reduce traffic loads on Mountain. West Sunset will empty out onto Mountain.
Still, the neighbors complained about the sheer number of homes in such a small area as to likely clog up West Long, Mountain and Fleischmann Way, especially during commute-to-work times.
Meanwhile the developers pointed out the amount of open space that buffers the homes from adjoining neighborhoods which, as was stated earlier, ensures the old neighbors don’t get the new neighbors smacked up against their fences. The southern “green belt” along the south side of the development is expected to act as an escape valve to allow flood waters coming down out of the mountains to safely pass through the new development as it empties in to the city’s storm drains.
The planning commission took note of the Superintendent of Schools outlining his concern about all the new homes with a lot of children likely to be part of the formula. The superintendent says individual school boundaries will likely have to be redrawn along with expanding more than one school to handle all the new kids – which will involve no small amount of money. However, the developers have said that the 200+ homes will not be built all at once – and likely will take a number of years to achieve build-out. So the school district has at least “some” breathing room to plan and expand their schools accordingly.
There was some “back-and-forth” between the developers and the planning commission about the streets within the new project. The developers said they would, of course, put in the new streets but they expect the city to maintain them as it does throughout the rest of the city. A couple of planning commissioners mentioned that they would oppose such an arrangement because, as it is, the city can’t keep up the maintenance of city streets they’re already responsible for. Commissioners also said that a trail head immediately west of the project shouldn’t fall on the city’s dime – that’s up to the developers. Disagreement there too.
In the end, the planning commission approved the Andersen Ranch project on a 4 to 2 vote. The project next visits the Carson City Board of Supervisors on January 16th. We’ll see how the supervisors view the project. The supervisors have the final say. Even if the supervisors gives the project a “thumbs up” the developers say it won’t be fully built out for some time.