UPDATE: July 24, 2013
On Tuesday, July 23, 2013 the Winters Ranch Property Owner and the West Washoe Association came to an agreement.
The West Washoe Association is deferring the appeal of the Parcel Map until January 1, 2014. In return the Winters Ranch Property Owner will not submit any other development proposals during that time.
Bill Whitney, the Planning and Development Director for Washoe County says he is hopeful that the real-estate deal with the BLM will be complete by the end of this year, which will transfer the land into public ownership as open space forever.
Washoe Valley, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Washoe Valley residents are speaking out about a proposed subdivision they say would be built on land they were told was protected by the federal government.JoAnne Skelly and many of her neighbors in Washoe Valley do not want to see a subdivision built right in their backyards. Residents say the subdivision would create too much traffic in the quiet area and could also have a huge environmental impact on the area.
The 303 acre site across from Old Highway 395 from Bowers Mansion would be divided into 58 lots of about five acres each. Skelly says, "I think it's so inappropriate and so bad. It's just a horrible thing to do to this beautiful place."
Residents in the area were under the impression that the land surrounding their homes was protected by the federal government. Tim Salyer says, "When we found this property out here we had understood that the federal government had already purchased the property in our view here that would be protected from any future developments."
The Parcel Map Review Committee approved the subdivision proposal on May 9th, now residents are working to appeal that decision.
Washoe County Planning and Development Director Bill Whitney says the land in question has not been purchased by the BLM yet, so it's still privately owned, "These two parcels are the last, very last piece of public buyout that's been happening over the last 15 years in Washoe Valley."
Whitney says the land is still privately owned because the federal government has not come up with the money needed to purchase it, but Whitney says they are at the tail end of the deal and when it happens the land in question will go into public ownership and be open space forever.
In the meantime, the land owner is working toward building the subdivision in case the BLM never buys the land, but Washoe Valley residents won't stand for it.
A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at the County Commission Chambers, 1001 East Ninth Street, Reno, NV 89512.
For a look at the meeting information visit: http://www.washoecounty.us/large_files/agendas/072313/agenda.pdf