Reno, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- In a 4 to 3 vote Reno City Council members approved a special use permit and variances for the Southeast Connector project.
After a nearly four hour public hearing on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 the Reno City Council supported the recommendations of the Reno Planning Commission to approve special use permits and variances for the Southeast Connector Phase 2 as long as certain conditions are met.
The vote was 4 to 3. Mayor Bob Cashell and Council member's Dwight Dortch, Neoma Jardon and Sharon Zadra approved the request, while Council member's Jenny Brekhus, Hillary Shieve and Oscar Delgado did not support the request.
Tonight's request was for (1) a special use permit to: a) allow grading with fills of 10 feet or more, b) disturbance of a major drainage way, and c) protection of significant hydrological recourses in the Cooperative Planning Area Overlay District; (2) a variance to: a) allow encroachment in a floodway; and b) raise the water surface elevation in a portion of Critical Flood Zone 1 to construct the Southeast Connector Regional Roadway.
During the public hearing residents and the chairperson with the Upper Southeast Communities Coalition Incorporated (USCCI) voiced their concerns about the impact the Southeast Connector could have on the environment. Despite tonight's decision to allow the Southeast Connector project to continue Kim Rhodemyre, the chairperson of the USCCI says she is glad there is still a possibility that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could present an Environmental Impact Statement in early 2014 which could possibly halt the project.
However, the project manager with the Regional Transportation Commission says he is confident in the future of the project.
The Southeast Connector will extend about 3.5 miles north from the South Meadows/Veterans Parkway intersection to Pembroke Drive about one mile east of its intersection with McCarran Boulevard. The site has Master Plan land use designations of Unincorporated Transition, Single Family Residential and Parks/Recreation/Open Space.
The next step is for the project to go before the Regional Planning Commission in January 2014 to determine if it is in conformance with the Regional Plan of Regional Significance.
For more information about the Southeast Connector visit: http://reno.gov/index.aspx?page=576&recordid=9892