April 13, 2019
At the Ward 3 NAB meeting this past Tuesday the 9th there we learned that the four separate projects that is now 'Daybreak' are on hold. All projects that had been scheduled to be on agendas in the next few weeks have been pulled. They say due to someone having surgery. We will be watching future agendas to try and give notice about when they are rescheduled.
One other thing that was on the agenda was a discussion on the future of Rosewood Lakes (now defunct) golf course.
In September of 2018 the City of Reno gave the Truckee Meadows Park Foundation a one year lease for the facility clubhouse. The TMPF came to the NAB on Tues and gave a presentation on their future plans for the RLGC. Except for the City keeping its word to reopen the course (not happening) this might be the best possible outcome for this property. The TMPF in partnership with the City of Reno, National Parks Service, Community Foundation of Western Nevada, AmeriCorps, the University of Nevada and the public presented a plan that would restore the wetlands and open this area as the Truckee Meadows Nature Study Area.
Their plan is to repurpose the former clubhouse into their offices with educational components, rehabilitate the area and restore wetlands. They want to get rid of invasive species, restore and maintain native species, map construct and maintain new trail routes that could include raised wooden trails, construct bird blinds and other nature viewing areas, interpretive signs and generally other things that would be educational. Work could begin as soon as this fall.
Here is a link to the website with all the supporting documents maps and concept plan. Highly recommend that you read the TMNSA Concept Paper to get more detail.
There is also a section for public comments and encourage all to submit their concerns and ideas? You might also be able to ask that the TMPF come to your HOA to give a presentation?
This concept would be a far better use for this land than sport fields that would generate unimaginable traffic with thousands of parked cars at a time. It would also maintain flood availability while promoting the preservation of wetlands and wildlife.
Please feel free to forward this information to any who might be interested!
Prado Ranch Continued to 6/5/2019 - 6:00 pm
The Reno City Council agreed to the developer's request to "continue" consideration of the development to a later date. A developer is allowed two continuances under Reno code. Also, the City usually grants a first continuance when requested by the developer. When asked, the developer's lobbyist explained that the developer wanted more time to review their plans especially regarding flood mitigation and might want to make improvements. It sounded unconvincing.
A more plausible reason for the request for a continuance is that their appeal would not get a favorable vote. The developer is requesting that the City Council overturn the Planning Commission decision to deny the project. It is patently absurd for the developer to pursue it. The property is entirely (or mostly) submerged in Swan Lake and the Spring runoff is only about to start. Swan Lake is in crisis; with untreated sewage entering the lake, and rising water levels behind deteriorating Hesco barriers (industrial sand bags) threatening adjacent neighborhoods.
The council chambers were packed with residents. Local TV crews were there from channels 2, 4, and 8. Residents inveighed against this development during general public comment for over an hour. Since the consideration was continued, there was no opportunity for item-specific public comment. One resident requested that Councilwoman Weber recuse herself since she is familiar with George Peek who is the owner of the property to be developed. A pair of priests attended and said a prayer that the City Council would benefit from divine wisdom.
Councilwoman Brekhus opposed the continuance. She made the following points.
- This project has been under consideration for 3-1/2 years. We should address it now. The city has spent too much time on it as it is.
- If the developer is going to make changes to their plan, the plan should be re-submitted to the Planning Commission with attendant fees. The City Council is not the body with the expertise to evaluate a new plan.
- How about a temporary moratorium until conditions improve? This could not be considered because it was not on the public agenda.
Mayor Schieve feels strongly that there needs to be a meeting between the City Council and the County Commission to come up with a strategy to address the flooding in Lemmon Valley. She suggests that no new development be considered until after such a meeting. The City Manager (Sabra Newby) agreed to arrange such a meeting.
The council deferred to Councilwoman Weber since the project is in her ward. She moved to approve the continuance to a set date and time. This was selected to be June 5, 2019 at 6:00 PM in the council chambers. The vote was unanimous.
USECC - Update - March 20, 2019 City MEETING DATE CORRECTIONS
We have updated meeting dates from the City on the following projects associated with Daybreak.
THERE WILL BE NO MEETINGS ON DAYBREAK IN MARCH
Rio Wrangler North - LDC19-00026 - City Council April 24
South Meadows West - LDC19-00036 - TBD
Rio Wrangler North II - LDC18-00037 - TBD
Butler Ranch Norther - LDC19-00043 - Tentatively April 17, 2019 at planning Commission.
Here is a link to the City Meeting portal - the meetings are not on there yet - this information is from the City Planner Brooke Oswald. Keep checking back at this link and we will keep everyone informed.
USECC - Update - March 17, 2019
We are providing the most current information that we have as of this date. Watch for future updates. Please be aware that this is very fluid and we will do the best we can to keep you informed as to what is going on. Also please be aware that Daybreak (Newport Land) is suing the City of Reno over the denial of their project back in November. We are working to find out if their lawsuit is even valid because they submitted it well beyond the required time frame after denial.
Above is a map of the breakdown of the (new) Daybreak development. It is now being presented as 4 different projects. They are trying to piecemeal. They are now presenting the following projects for either rezoning (South Meadows West LDC19-00036, Rio Wrangler North LDC19-00026, and Rio Wrangler North II LDC18-00037) or Tentative Map (Butler Ranch North LDC 19-00043 which has already been re-zoned and they are looking for a tentative map.) All but Rio Wrangler North II (LDC18-00037) are the same development that got denied in November.
So, in February/early March Daybreak began visiting NABs again, but not under the Daybreak or Newport Pacific Land, titles. They are keeping a very low profile with their name to try and mislead people on what they are doing. The information that has been presented at NABs have been different between Ward 3 and Ward 2.
Daybreak 2 presented their Rio Wrangler North (LDC19-00026) parcel to the Planning Commission last month on Feb 6th and they were denied. The next day they filed their lawsuit for the original Daybreak denial from November. Now they appear to be appealing this most recent denial from Planning (Feb 6th) to the City Council and will be heard on March 27th. They have increased the density of homes in this area from what it was in the original Daybreak. We have been informed, and are trying to get confirmation that the Butler Ranch North parcel/project can't be built without the Rio Wrangler North being approved. Will update soon.
We have been in contact with and have traded information with a new group, they are some very active homeowners in the South Meadows/Damonte Ranch areas. Their concerns are very similar to ours.
Mark your calendars
Rio Wrangler North (LDC19-00026) project to be heard at City Council on March 27th
If you all remember back in 2006-8, Lennar was trying to build 1500 homes on about 300 acres on the Butler Ranch North (LDC19-00043) parcel. That previous project was ultimately approved, but the housing market tanked and old man Butler sold the water rights out from under Lennar. A lawsuit ensued but the project went fallow. It has now reared its ugly head again. Daybreak owns the property and when they got denied for the original Daybreak they decided to build/develop under the old PUD/Handbook for Lennar because it had already been approved. The project has significant changes from what was approved then. We are working our sources/contacts to find out what we can do. They want to subdivide this into 9 different parcels to sell out to different developers.
Save the date- (when we get a firm date will will update)
April 3rd or 17th for Planning Commission review of Butler Ranch North (LDC19-00043) tentative map.
We had been informed that the original Daybreak pulled their permit from the Army Corps of Engineers that they had needed for their first go around, and have not re-submitted for a 404 permit that they would need for their South Meadows West (LDC19-00036) parcel, where they plan on draining the Alexander Pond and working in Thomas Creek. We followed up on that with the Corps and were informed that yes they pulled their permit. When they re-submit they will have to start over from the beginning. Here are some of the issues they will have to face:
Rio Wrangler North II(LDC18-00037) is a new piece of their project. It appears that they are looking to try and fill in an open area between Rio Wrangler North (LDC19-00026) and South Meadows West (LDC19-00036).
- If they do not change their project and still are going to drain Alexander pond and work in Thomas Creek then they must get a 404 permit and they have to start over from the beginning for their South Meadows West (LDC 19-00036) project.
- If they are going to continue to try and develop the Rio Wrangler North II (LDC18-00037) project - according to our conversation with the Corps and their description of what areas would need a 404 permit - then they could possibly need a permit for Rio Wrangler North II (LDC18-00037) also. TBD.
Save the date:
April 17th for Planning Commission review of South Meadows West (LDC19-00036) and Rio Wrangler North II (LDC18-00037).
All of this information is subject to corrections.
The Board of Directors of the Coalition would like to take the opportunity to thank Eric Cole and Wayne Sievers for their long time service on the Coalition Board. They were an instrumental piece of our team and we can't thank them enough for all their hard work.
Eric and Wayne have decided to move on from the Coalition Board and they will be greatly missed.
The Coalition Board now has two openings for our Board of Directors. We meet quarterly, or, more often as needed and we need people who are comfortable arranging and attending meetings and to be able to learn about floodplains, wetlands and other areas that are in our scope.
Interested candidates can email a letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org and click on the Contact us tab to submit for review.
USECC Update - Daybreak - What's Next?December 2018
1) Daybreak (or Newport Pacific Land LLC) has 25 days from the City Clerk filing of the denial, to file a lawsuit challenging the City on the denial. That would put the deadline for a law suit at late in the week of December 17th for them to file their suit.
2) If Daybreak were to resubmit their project to the city, the project would have to be 'substantially changed' for them to consider it again. Some examples of 'substantial' are: coming back with higher flood mitigation. More like 1.5 -2.0. Right now they are offering 1.25 (which means that they will take out 1.25 shovels of dirt for every 1.0 that they use for fill) - This would be very hard to do on their property as they have admitted to high ground water levels which limits how much they can dig out for flood storage. They might have to also reduce density to make up that mitigation. They can bring their project back if they significantly reduce density or increase the number of 'affordable' homes. These issues might bring it back to council but they do not provide resolution to the concerns of council about flooding.
Council was very specific in part of their denial. It had to do with their recently approved Re-Imagine Reno Master Plan that highly discourages building in the flood plain. Daybreak can't mitigate that. There were still some significant unanswered questions that the Flood Management Authority had. Those can be answered but they (Daybreak) have not as of yet. The final reason for denial was that the Flood Management Authority has stated that FEMA wants updated maps. Soon. That means that the Flood Project will be updating FEMA maps next year. They anticipate that this will take about 12 to 18 months. The are positive that there are going to be people who live in SE Reno right now that are going to be put INTO the floodplain and will require flood insurance that they are not required to have right now. They also know that the flood elevation levels are off by about a foot. Meaning that they are too low. Daybreak did not factor that into their modeling. This is very significant. If this project is approved at 1.25 flood mitigation, and then they do the FEMA mapping, it could mean that their mitigation should have been 2.0 or higher. Please keep in mind that Daybreak has been very clear that they are not required by law to help the existing residents to not flood, just to make sure they do not flood worse. This FEMA mapping could mean that their mitigation is not enough and their own project would flood.
There was also issues of traffic. Mira Loma has 4 communities from McCarran to the Southeast Connector that have one single entrance and exit - and additionally so does one of the biggest parks in Reno, Mira Loma Park. There are also 4 school bus stops in this 1/4 mile of road. Since the SEC has opened there is a nightmare of congestion on this small stretch of road and there is nothing the applicant could do to mitigate that.There were issues of sewer capacity for this many homes, Fire said they would need a designated station and a few other things.
3) If they are not proposing any 'substantial' changes, then they have to wait one year to resubmit their project.
4) Or they could come back with a totally different project.
We will have to wait and see later in the month if Daybreak takes the city to court. If they do, or if they do not, then we will have more of an idea on which direction they might go.
If you have any questions on this you can contact Claudia Hanson, Community Development Manager at email@example.com
Last, the MSFL McCarran Crossing - the front pastures of UNR Farms that were approved for commercial in 2013 - has been sold by UNR to a developer. We are monitoring and making comments on this right now, but all approvals are already there (Thank you Mayor Cashell!! (not)) and they might just have to pull their building permits to get started. We are working on this to find out what can be done.
USECC - Update - November 16, 2018
WHAT HAPPENED ON WEDNESDAY!
Again, we want to apologize to everyone for all the confusion on Wednesday about the Reno City Council meeting regarding the Daybreak Development.
Here is a rundown of what happened.
At 8:00 am on Wed, we were contacted by Councilman Delgado who informed us that there was likely to be a continuance (postponement) of the Daybreak Development project. We asked for certainty and were told that he would get back to us after talking to the other Council members. For a continuance, the entire council must vote on it at the meeting. Delgado thought the votes were there for a continuance. He told us that even if Daybreak changed their mind, he was going to ask for a continuance. He subsequently texted us that this item was going to be continued. Shortly after, we were contacted by representatives of Daybreak stating to us that they had asked for a continuance and did not expect the item to be heard. So we sent out the cancelation notice.
About 11:30 we found out from a third party that the item did not have the sure votes for a continuance - so the agenda item had never been pulled. We then tried to let everyone know.
At the meeting, during a recess, we found out that Daybreak had also scrambled to be there as they had the understanding that this item had been continued. Also found out that Daybreak, by law, can only ask for their item to be continued 2 times and this would be their second.
The item was heard about 3:00 and after some slightly contentious back and forth with the applicant Daybreak, there was a motion made by Delgado to continue. They had to do a voice vote and the vote was 4-3 to continue, with Schieve, Duerr, Webber and Jardon voting to continue and Brekhus, Delgado and by phone, Bobzien, voting no.
Duerr had asked the applicant Daybreak WHY they wanted the continuance and they indicated that they were still talking to 'natural resource stakeholders' and they had ongoing dialog that they had to finish up. Brekhus got heated and said if they are changing their project then they might need to go back to Planning because the Council was there to vote on what was approved at Planning and not what has been changed since that time.
The Coalition had found out before the meeting that their Corps permit now needs to be re-submitted because the Corps had told them that they needed to remove some wetlands to avoid causing new mercury sinks. This is also changing their project.
So this item will now be heard on
This item can NOT be continued again. We would encourage as many of you as possible to attend to voice your opposition to this project. If you absolutely can't come please submit comments because they had only received 13 letters in opposition. The Council has expressed grave concerns with this project and do not want to be on the wrong side of history with this project. The lessons from Lemon Valley seem to be strong on their minds.
Submit your comments to:
So sorry for the previous confusion. Hope to see many of you on the 28th!
November 14, 2018
Daybreak has been postponed again!
Councilman Bobzien and his wife had a baby. They are still in the hospital. The item has been continued. We are not sure the exact date, we will send out that information as soon as possible.
Please continue to email and call council members (contact information in yesterday's update) to voice your opposition. That has an impact on their decision process.
We are sorry for the confusion and hope that we can still count on many of you attending the next meeting.
USECC - Update November 2018
Come and make your opposition heard! Reference agenda item(s)
October 9, 2018
Daybreak at City Council - October 10, 2018
Please forward this to all your friends and neighbors who might be interested in having their voices heard on this project.
The Executive Director of the Flood Project, Jay Alean was there to verify that they have not had a chance to verify the modeling done by the applicant and that was a big factor in the delay. It also appeared that Council was a little frustrated that the applicant did not seem to have all the answers to their questions.
There seemed to be little appetite for this project as a whole from the Council. The Coalition will be meeting with Council members again before it comes back to them to submit more of our concerns and try and convince them to deny.
Since it appears that Council might be swayable we are again urging our stakeholders to come to the Council meeting on October 10th at 1:00 pm to have your voices heard on this project. If you cannot make it we encourage everyone to send emails or call all Council members.
Neoma Jardon firstname.lastname@example.org (775) 334-2016
Ashley Turney email@example.com
Update - USECC - County Commission Overrules CAB and County Planning Commission on Several Developments in Flood Prone Areas
So now, in spite of denials by CABs, the Board of Adjustment, and/or the County Planning Commission, the BCC yesterday reversed these denials and approved these projects. One, Autumn Woods off Zolezzi Lane, is in an area that has flooded numerous times. It will be required to construct two very large detention ponds to gather and release waters from Whites Creek. Surrounding citizens on one-acre parcels with large animals objected to this, saying it is not in keeping with surrounding densities. Most are long-time residents who say properties have flooded many times over the years.
The Lemmon Valley vote (Prado Ranch) was Berkbigler, Lucey and Hartung, yes; Herman, no; and Kitty Jung, absent from this portion of the meeting.
How will the detention ponds be maintained?
Don’t the homeowners and taxpayers have an “investment-backed” expectation that the character of their neighborhood be preserved?·
The Planning Commission had denied 7-0 with prejudice. They saw many unresolved issues. The Citizen’s Advisory Board had already denied it twice. The county commissioners accepted the appeal 4-0 (Commissioner Jung was not present).
“The commissioners need to understand it’s an issue of integrity.”·
“It’s time to consider the ‘M-Word’, moratorium for North Valley development. There is no responsible way to approve new development.”
The public had largely concluded that decorum was wasted before such capricious authority. Commissioner Hartung asked some probing questions about improving Lemmon Valley Drive and pressed whether it would be expanded to 4 lanes with a bike lane. Commissioner Hartung also wants to see all the neighborhood roads repaired. Engineer Dwayne Smith said this could proceed after the subgrade becomes accessible (after the flood recedes). Raising and widening the road of course displaces more water which will end up in the yards of the flooded residents.
“NRS requires that appeal issues be addressed. If not, then the commission is in violation.”·
The proceedings reached a deadlock when no one would second Commissioner Herman’s motion to deny the appeal. And, no one would second Commissioner Berkbigler’s motion to accept the appeal.
While the North Valley’s CAB and the Planning Commission seek sensible plans considering the issues raised by residents, it appears that the county commissioners are making arbitrary and capricious judgments overturning the unanimous decisions of the subordinate bodies in order to favor developers.
Councilman Delgado Holds Community Meeting to Connect with NeighborsHere is a link to the agenda.
We have just been informed tonight (Friday September 7th) about this community meeting that Councilman Delgado will be holding on Saturday, Sept 8th to connect with neighbors, provide updates and answer questions.
Saturday, September 8, 201810:00 - 11:30 a.m.Reno Fire Department Station 63970 Mira Loma DriveReno, NV 89502
Hope that some of you can make it and get your concerns addressed.
If you absolutely cannot attend, please send in comments to the Council Members at these addresses:
Hillary Schieve: Mayor@reno.gov
David Bobzien: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny Brekhus: email@example.com
Naomi Duerr: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oscar Delgado: email@example.comPaul McKenzie: firstname.lastname@example.orgNeoma Jardon: email@example.com
Hope to see you there!
September 2, 2018
Candidate Forum 2018
Hidden Valley has again arranged, and will be hosting, a Candidates Forum for candidates running for different offices representing districts or county in SE Reno. All these candidates are scheduled to attend.
Donner Springs ~ Rosewood Lakes ~ Hidden Valley ~ Virginia Foothills Eastside ~ South Hills ~ Mt. Rose Hwy.
Meet your candidates and hear their views on issues important to you!
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Naomi Duerr firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabra Newby email@example.com
The Coalition is a 501 c3 Non-profit and we have expenses! Please consider a donation for this upcoming Giving Tuesday to help support our website, and other expenses! Those expenses include
September 18, 2017
There are several things to report including a new effort to save Rosewood Lakes Golf Course! Please view this link and do what you can to support this effort. There is some good information here on this page and is updated often!
- they will have a website up, as they say, soon, and we will keep everyone updated as we learn more
- it was made very clear that our presence at the meeting did not constitute approval
- they must meet with individual HOA's or concerned groups to include the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection group, and hold at least one town hall - and they should notify people within 1500 yards of the project by mail.
May 8, 2017
Time 12:00 pm
Please consider attending the meeting to voice your support of a policy to require testing for all areas in the Steamboat Creek flooding areas when it comes to any type of development. If you can't come please email the City Clerk to get your comments on the record.
On April 26th the City of Reno approved one company to hold community meetings regarding what is going to be called the Pembroke Recreational Complex. This company was approved to go out to the community and get input regarding the transformation of the Rosewood Lakes Golf Course into a sports complex. We understand there is to be almost a dozen baseball fields, some soccer fields, walking trail, a possible multi use building and possibly some golf in the area that is the RLGC and the undeveloped city properties that are north of Pembroke.
Please be aware that this response was received by the Coalition in February. This was before there was any drainage in the construction site. It also should be known that RTC and other federal agencies have responded that since the mercury from the breach and the existing mercury in Steamboat Creek are from the same source and therefore have the same characteristics, it cannot be determined from where the mercury increase came from. The increase was reported to be 1000% over pre-construction numbers. The Coalition sent strong language to all entities that the opposite could be true and the increase came from the breach, not Steamboat Creek. We stated strongly that they could not make their determination with any certainty. We have not received any follow up information on this issue.
· Any material that could blow away in the wind or get washed away in flood water was either removed or secured
· BMPs monitored on a very frequent basis throughout the weekend, day and night.
RTC did as requested and completed water quality sampling prior to the event. They also sampled on Monday 1/9/2017 after Steamboat Creek crested and again on 1/13/2017. The Corps was able to meet with RTC and PLPT Water Quality regarding the SEC on Wednesday 1/11/2017. The Corps viewed drone footage of the project site as did NDEP in a separate meeting with RTC The video shows the area of concern where the protective measures placed around 1 of the 12 mercury soil piles was breached and a relatively small portion of the pile did wash out. This stockpile contained Category 2 material.
The RTC has done/will do the following in response:
· Given that Mercury is moving through the Steamboat creek system from upstream at Little Washoe Lake, how will that effect the results of sediment testing? Will it dilute the concentration? Will it increase the concentration? How will they know if what is within the site are the soils from the stockpile or the soils from the creek, or a combination thereof?
Call (775) 334-4636 to report flooding within the City of Reno
Sparks Locations (operational by NOON on Thursday, January 5, 2017)
— Kresge Lane (between Bergin Way & Watson)
Call (775) 328-2180 to report flooding within unincorporated Washoe County
— Paddlewheel and Andrew Lanes in Pleasant Valley
Mira Loma Park
More to share at a later time.
Once again, we want to apologize for the delay in updates. The Coalition has been working toward getting answers to questions, and that process is predicated on when those we are seeking answers from provide those complete answers! At this time we are going to give you a partial update and hope to be able to provide you with the a more complete update soon.
Next, the Hidden Valley Newsletter had an excellent article on the Flood Modeling that we to share with you. We were going to write one but theirs is better so we have blatantly stolen it. But it is not the whole story. The last paragraph before the "references" is the most important. The Flood Project has now been tasked with getting a model of the area without the Flood Project so that the various municipalities can see the modeling of the area with the SEC but without the Flood Project. Our sources tell us that is because they believe the Flood Projects 100 year flood plan is either never going to be built or will not be built for decades to come.
So here is the article stolen from the Hidden Valley July Newsletter, written by Danielle Henderson of the Flood Project:
Results from this effort were presented to the TRFMA Working Group on June 22, 2016. Model results indicated a variety of changes in the 100-year Water Surface Elevation (WSE) due to the Southeast Connector:
**Minor decreases (<0.1 ft) in WSE were seen along Steamboat Creek downstream of Pembroke Lane.
Per requests from Flood Project stakeholders―including the TRFMA Working Group and Technical Advisory Committee―HDR is now developing an existing conditions (without-Flood Project) model that incorporates the Southeast Connector project. The purpose of this model is to analyze potential impacts of the Southeast Connector on the existing Truckee Meadows floodplain. TRFMA hopes this effort will help answer stakeholder questions and provide useful information to local floodplain managers.
2LiDAR: Light Detection and Ranging. Often collected via aircraft surveys, LiDAR is a remote sensing method that uses pulsed laser light to measure variable distances to the Earth in order to generate three-dimensional information about the Earth’s surface.
Next, we have been getting information from several homeowners who stated that as of May 25, 2016, there was a FEMA map change from a LOMR (letter of map revision) and that some people were now in the flood plain and required to get flood insurance. When you click on the link, there are links to "revisions" and "amendments". We have a meeting next week with city staff to get clarification on this but it is our understanding that the mapping is from 1996 and FEMA is now releasing it as an update.
The LOMR was already in effect from years ago (1996), however FEMA county-wide maps were not correctly updated to reflect the floodway revision that was accepted with the '96 LOMR. The LOMR published in 2016 correctly reflects the same floodway (accepted in 1996)
With this 2016 LOMR, homes were removed from the floodway as per 1996 LOMR
We are aware of homeowners who have received inquiries and/or letters from banks requiring flood insurance. Please direct these to Jackie Schalberg (334-3858) who will provide all the paperwork they need to demonstrate they are not in the flood hazard area.
Next, one of our Coalition supporters, Scenic Nevada needs your help! In their fight to prevent billboard blight, they are going to City Council (was supposed to be next week however, as of today, the agenda item has been pulled so stay tuned) and we need you to sign the petition and or voice your opposition of more billboards in an email to the Council! Voters thought this was settled during 2000 when a voter referendum was overwhelmingly passed in Washoe County. The City of Reno then looked for ways to get around the referendum and has recently been told by the Nevada Supreme Court that they have been in violation of the referendum! Regardless of whether or not you are in the City of Reno, blight is blight and it affects all of us so get your voice heard!
We’re contacting individuals and organizations to ask them to weigh in on the billboard issue in Reno. The city council may review the digital billboard ordinance August 24 (at this time the item has been pulled but please sign the petition anyway). The agenda item was requested by Council Member Jenny Brekhus. We are trying to convince the city council to void all ordinances that allow new billboards here, digital billboards included. Often we’re told the opposition to billboards is limited to Scenic Nevada. But we think there is enough support from the community today to convince the new city council to carry out the people’s vote to ban new billboards, which became law in 2000.
• Share our post links below on your personal and organization Facebook pages
• Send a letter to the Reno City Council
We realize some people don’t like to load up their personal Facebook pages with advocacy stuff, so no worries there or bombard their office and neighborhood friends also. So, we appreciate anything you are comfortable doing.
Thank you Stakeholders!
1105 Terminal Way, Suite 108
The Coalition will be at the Earth Day Event at Idlewild Park with a booth to sell some of our beautiful posters and note-cards on Sunday April 24th from 11:00 am to about 5:00 pm. The Eagle Tree that is depicted in our note-cards only with a Bald Eagle in it is now gone. The area next to Herons Landing at Steamboat Creek where our poster of Wild Horses crossing is now gone. Fall on Steamboat Creek, one of our popular posters is of a location that is gone. Destroyed. We have a beautiful Eagle picture of an eagle launching off a post by the Pembroke bridge that is now gone, and it is doubtful that the eagles will return and remain all winter like they have for the past dozen years.
Come and introduce yourself!
RTC is creating an eighty acre wetland behind Hidden Meadows. There will be numerous ponds in the wetland that will be filled with water diverted to the north and south as it exits toward Steamboat Creek. These ponds are designed to eliminate pollution from water fowl feces and other things like fertilizer, oil etc. before the water is redirect into Steamboat Creek.
Mr. Oksol was very open about the failure of the airport wetlands. Among the things they are trying to do differently is to build a nursery on the site well before the trees, etc are planted to give the vegetation time to acclimate to our environment. That way, any plants that aren't doing well never get planted to die later.
If you walk around Hidden Meadows pond you will see metal fencing around dead trees on the far side of Steamboat Creek. This was the Airport Authority’s attempt at wetland mitigation that failed. RTC will remove this fencing.
The answer is no. The entire SEC will be opened at one time in 2017. Today’s estimated completion date based on work completed would be winter 2017 but they hope to move up the date from a winter opening.
Pembroke will be closed for 2 months this summer. Everyone will have to use Mira Loma. It was requested of Mr. Oksol that the east end of Mira Loma become a 3 way stop at Hidden Valley. He thought that was a good idea. More to come on that.
Seven decommissioned electric poles are being left behind the Hidden Meadows pond as perches for birds of prey including Eagles and Hawks. Tree piles will be placed as islands along the project for wild animal habitat.
Right of way for the SEC has been obtained through the Butler Ranch.
Next the Coalition attended the meeting last month that was sponsored by Hidden Valley regarding updates on the Flood Project. At that meeting one of the things learned is that the Flood Project finally has some more updated modeling available to see where flooding has happened in the past and where flooding will happen in the future once the flood project has been built. They have posted the videos on YouTube but here is a link to their website where they can also be viewed.
The Coalition has been working toward steps that would lead to the completion of our short term goals of banning truck traffic on Mira Loma and Pembroke (with the possibility of other roads), getting all above ground hazardous wastes sites marked for public awareness, an emergency plan when a breach of this hazardous site occurs, and restricting development in the remaining federal flood storage areas, wetlands and open space.
Thank you to Jay for his work on this and other initiatives that he is spearheading for the betterment of Ward 3!
February 18, 2016
(Pembroke to Tamarisk -north to History)
On another note, the eagle pair that have been coming to the wetlands in and around Steamboat Creek were sited several weeks ago for a brief time and have not been reported to be seen since.
More to come soon......
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
We would like everyone to send emails to support these goals to the Ward 3 liasion:
The Coalition would like to let everyone know that all 2015 donor confirmation letters for your tax purposes have been mailed and should be coming to you shortly. Please be aware that there was a change in personnel who handled donation records during the middle of 2015. As the letter states, if your records support a different amount for donations to the Coalition during 2015, contact information is on the letter. If you made a donation but do not receive a letter by Friday January 29th, please contact our acting Treasurer John Saludes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to tell everyone again how much we appreciated everyone for contributing to support legal expenses and helping any way that you could to try and stop this destructive project.
January 8, 2016
As we had stated in our last update, the Coalition has determined that we are going to continue with our work to protect open spaces, flood plains and wetlands in Washoe County, particularly in upper south east Reno. We have laid out a preliminary plan to work toward limiting truck traffic on Mira Loma and Pembroke to try and eliminate big rigs using these roads upon completion of this damaging project, find out exactly where the above ground hazardous waste landfills will be located and make sure that they are marked to identify in the event of a future breach in the area, working toward requiring the City of Reno to have a comprehensive plan for the area when a breach occurs, and work toward restricting development around this destructive project in future. These are just a few of our goals going forward.
We hope to have more information for you in the next several months. Please check our Events page periodically to check for postings of upcoming Board of Director Meetings!
Dear Councilwoman Brekhus (Jenny):
Many other concerned residents are being blind-copied. They are among the 121,555 Voices for a Sustainable Washoe County who in 2008 voted yes on WC-3, tying land-use planning to the known, sustainable water supply. Since that time, as you know, our long-term drought has reached serious levels. Many of the key proponents who worked hard for most of 2008 to pass WC-3 have met several times in recent months to share concerns and discuss where we are today. We want WC-3 honored.
(Digressing again, while EDAWN has the megaphone hyping that we need to get ready for 50,000 jobs coming here within the next five years, EDAWN needs to also list all existing debt and what will be needed to pay for the associated schools, roads, fire, police, courts, etc. Reno came to the verge of bankrupt status, and it will take decades to pay off existing debt and unfunded liabilities incurred by your predecessors. Some in our WC-3 group asked why we would "soil our own nest" with more debts, more unfunded liabilities, and 741,000 people destroying our quality of life. It is a legitimate question. We are not anti-growth, we are for sustainable growth linked to the water supply. You can quickly come up with $2 billion needed for existing non-water needs, and by adding debt and other needs such as higher education I can easily push that number to $3 billion for local needs, not counting growth. If I did a deeper survey even the $3 billion might be low.) Growth does not pay for itself.
I know for a fact the plan includes exaggerated ground water rights. Or it might have rights that are good terms of solid numbers but are too remote to access. For instance, who would run a pipeline to Bedell Flat to access 60 AF yearly (if that is still a good number)? This is north of Lemmon Valley, in between Red Rock and Warm Springs. This could be for 60 homes with landscape, 120 homes (no landscaping) housing how many people that are now added to your population projections? At what cost to access? You see the problem. One number added impacts all other numbers, leaving residents to think there is no problem supplying water to almost three-quarters of a million people. No. This is not responsible.
In sum, we want good, accountable, transparent numbers and explanations now on all sustainable water of drinking quality, taking into account the possibility of long-term drought.
Water experts opine that this notion of a population buildout number of 741,000 served by 183,000+ AF (Western Regional Water Commission) might be exaggerated and does not plan for contingencies. One of my biggest points is that we may have thousands upon thousands of people already here who are on groundwater systems and might clamor to be placed on the river system if the groundwater tables continue to drop. This has already happened in the case of the former South Truckee Meadows General Improvement District (STMGID). Despite the ongoing protests of many citizens for years, too much new development was placed on municipal wells along the Mt. Rose fan, so those who formed the system and paid for it for 40 years were transferred to the river to make way for more development. We cautioned it was not sustainable. We formed a years-long citizens' advisory group working with the county. (I chaired it.) We accomplished much, de-annexed territory to be sustainable, accounted for every drop of water, added more meters and pumps, included future infill, and spent several thousand hours developing a sustainable plan. The final CEO who came in to run DWR ignored all of this. More and more development was put in STMGID or on county municipal wells that should have been placed in TMWA on the river. Unfortunately I was commuting to Washington D.C. for years to care for an elderly grandma and could no longer watchdog STMGID. Of course it is now lost. In recent times neighbors begged me repeatedly to rise up and fight again but I said no, send me the river now. I no longer trust the municipal wells. I know you all are Republicans, I said, but we are in the midst of climate change. One called me late at night and whispered into the phone that he believed me but don't tell anyone because he is a Republican. Humor is important.
Anecdote #2: How much water can Vidler really deliver? Years ago I added up all the development planned in the North Valleys plus Spring Mountain, in which developers said they were going to use Vidler pipeline water from Fish Springs in the Honey Lake area. The numbers far exceeded the 8,000 AF estimated yield. I totaled all this, sent it to two water experts, and one responded that I was asking very good questions and needed to get answers. I am asking now for the answers. Reno might want to revisit Spring Mountain, for instance, and ask this (Winnemucca Ranch) owner not to count on Reno to supply all the public services for an area 25-30 miles away. This is too far away, too remote, not contiguous, without sufficient water for 12,000 homes. This developer needs to be told he needs to build his own separate town with its own public services. I recommend strongly that you eliminate this from your TMWA or it will sink Reno. Already services such as police and fire are stretched thin over an ever-expanding land mass. I figure 12,000 homes equals at least 24,000 people plus people travelling there to work in gas stations, health clinics, etc. I view it as a small town of 30,000. Not only does Reno need to protect existing property tax payers from this, county and Sparks residents need to be protected from this kind of sprawl draining resources. What experts have told me repeatedly over the years is they fear disjointed, leap frog, disconnected, discontiguous development because the costs of the pipelines alone will bury us in massive debt. I speak out for those in government, or with families in government, or consultants, who do not feel comfortable speaking out for obvious reasons.
Ian James and Steve Reilly SUBLETTE, KANSAS Just before 3 a.m., Jay Garetson’s phone buzzed on the bedside table. He picked it up and read the text: “Low Pressure Alert.” He felt a jolt of stress, and his chest tightened. He dreaded what that automated message probably meant: As the water table dropped, another well on his family’s farm was starting to suck air.The Garetson family has farmed in the plains of southwestern Kansas for four generations, since 1902. Now they face a hard reality. The groundwater they depend on is disappearing. Their fields could wither. Their farm might not survive for the next generation.At dawn, Garetson was out among the cornfields at the well, trying to diagnose the problem. The pump hummed as it lifted water from nearly 600 feet underground. He turned a valve and let the cool water run into his cupped hands. Just as he feared, he saw fine bubbles in the water.“It’s showing signs of weakening,” he said. “It’s just a question of how much time is left.”The High Plains Aquifer, which lies beneath eight states from South Dakota to Texas, is the lifeblood of one of the world’s most productive farming economies. In areas where aquifers are being severely depleted, new wells are being drilled hundreds of feet into the earth at enormous cost.Jay Garetson looks into a cornfield next to a pump on his family’s farm in Kansas. He said contemplating the challenges ahead “leaves you gasping for air.”
In a nationwide examination, USA TODAY and The Desert Sun analyzed two decades of measurements from more than 32,000 wells and found water levels falling in nearly two-thirds of those wells. Heavy pumping caused major declines in many areas. The analysis of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data reveals that:u Nationwide, water levels have declined in 64% of the wells included in the government database during the past two decades.u The average decline among decreasing wells has been more than 10 feet, and in some areas, the water table has dropped more than 100 feet during that period.u For 13 counties in Texas, New Mexico, Mississippi, Kansas and Iowa, average water levels fell more than 40 feet since 1995.u Nationally, the average declines have been larger from 2011-2014 as drought has intensified in the West. But water tables have been falling consistently over the years through both wet and dry periods and also in relatively wet states such as Florida and Maryland.u Across the High Plains, one of the country ’s largest depletion zones, the average water levels in more than 4,000 wells are 13.2 feet lower today than they were in 1995. In the southern High Plains, water levels have plunged significantly more — in places more than 100 feet in 20 years.
Alongside climate change, groundwater depletion has become another human-caused crisis that could bring devastating consequences. As aquifers are pushed far beyond natural limits, water scarcity batters farms, undermines economies and intensifies disputes over water.In parts of the southern High Plains, farmers are feeling the effects. Some counties have seen small decreases in population as people have moved away. Local leaders express concerns about what sorts of businesses can help sustain their economies as water supplies dwindle.In Haskell County, Kan., windswept fields of sorghum and corn stretch to the flat horizon in a swaying sea. The huge farms, many in the thousands of acres, still appear lush and productive. But driving along the country roads, Garetson points out spots where wells have gone dry — on his family land and other farms.All that’s left at one decommissioned well is a round metal cover on a concrete slab. Opening the well’s lid, Garetson dropped in a rock. It pinged off the steel casing. More than five seconds later, there was faint splash.“Now the only water it finds is a couple, 3 feet at the very bottom of the well that the pumps can’t effectively access anymore,” Garetson said.He and his brother, Jarvis, drilled this well in the early 2000s when a shallower well failed. It lasted less than a decade. It went dry in 2012, forcing them to drill again — this time 600 feet deep, down to the bedrock at the bottom of the aquifer. It’s hard to say how long that well might last.“Very simply, we’re running out, and it’s happening far faster than anybody anticipated,” he said. “And as optimistic as I’d like to be about the future, the window for that optimism is closing very quickly.”
POCKETS OF DEPLETION
November 16, 2015
Please take a few moments to read the update below from Scenic Nevada and send comments to the City Clerk, whose contact information is included. Please support the efforts of Scenic Nevada on our behalf. Also, please consider forwarding to your friends and neighbors in Reno to ask them to oppose the proposed "new" ordinance and to support the September Planning Commission's recommendations.
What: Reno City Council Meeting
Where: Reno City Hall, 1 E. First Street
When: Wednesday, November 18, Starting at 1 p.m.
The Reno City Council in January agreed to a moratorium, which temporarily halts permits, and gave us hope that new regulations would be developed to protect driver safety, property values and scenic views. The moratorium expires at the end of this month.
November 6, 2015
In the RGJ online (and should be in the print paper today) is an op-ed from the Coalition Chair with a synopsis of our view of the permit process. Please check out online at
Please feel free to visit and make comments as those that are commenting now know nothing of the dangers of this project. We would appreciate your support! Also feel free to write your own letter to the editor for the print paper voicing your feelings on what has happened.
On a more personal note, the Coalition wants to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, those who have written personal notes to us thanking us for our efforts in trying to stop this dangerous and destructive project. You all have been so kind and more than once have touched us emotionally. Your words have been so supportive and understanding. Thank you.
The Coalition regrets to inform all our valuable stakeholders and supporters that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the ruling by the District Court, which means that they agree with the District Court that there should be no Preliminary Injunction, and that we would not prevail at a hearing on the Merits.
October 27, 2015
This means that RTC can now start destroying all floodplains, wetlands, streams and flood storage areas in the entire project site from Pembroke to South Meadows Parkway.
The Coalition understands the frustration that is surfacing on the lack of help or support from our City Officials or city staff and from our County officials and county staff. We understand the belief that while we fund-raise to try and save our environment, we are also funding through our taxes the work of the City of Reno and the County to thwart our efforts to protect our environment by providing unlimited help and access to RTC, all the while funding RTC through gas taxes to build this project and fight our legal efforts to stop it. Please know that we are hearing your voices and wholeheartedly concur.
There still has been no word from the 9th Circuit on our request for a preliminary injunction. The Coalition has been contacted many times to get information on this, and we just can't give any. We can't tell or speculate on how this is going. We are waiting to hear what the 9th Circuit decides. Meanwhile RTC continues it's destruction at will.
- The 9th Circuit could not agree with us at all and then our next option would be the Merits Hearing in about 6 months with the same District Court Judge that denied us the preliminary injunction on June 3rd. Meanwhile construction continues.
- The 9th Circuit could agree with us, but send the case back to the District Court for that judge to revisit his ruling with a "technical" slap on the wrist. If this were to happen then we would have a very short time frame before we were back at District to have the judge review. If he then agrees with what we present, he could issue the preliminary injunction that will stop construction until the Merits Hearing.
- The 9th Circuit could agree with us, and issue the preliminary injunction themselves and then construction would have to stop until we get to our Merits Hearing at District Court.
Meanwhile, we wanted to point out to everyone the story in Sundays paper on the SEC where RTC states that construction at this time is employing 50 people and if they prevail, they will be able to ramp up to 150 people. We were wondering if you all remember like we do, RTC claiming from just after the time of the economic crash (about 2009) to the Reno City Council and others, that this project would create thousands of jobs. Councilman Dortch mentioned it over and over again when RTC was seeking City approvals.
He showed more than several different maps that had all kinds of cross hatching that he said were in layers and then would proceed to try and tell our representative what the layers meant, then half way through on some of these he would say " WAIT, I have a better map!" or "WAIT, let me show you on this other map!"
He was also informed about the Master Plan Amendment from the 1990's that abandoned the road that was still in effect and that we have a letter from the developer's attorney telling the developer that they can now begin to tell people that the road will never be built so they can purchase their homes with good conscience, and he said he had been told that everyone in Rosewood bought their homes knowing that the road was going in. We said, you mean the city did not tell you the whole story? Imagine that.
He is to have City Staff available to answer questions on the letter and maps. EVERYONE in the public is invited even if you live in the County.
It appears that this Open House is probably in a format that we are all familiar with which is some maps on easels, and people to answer questions and no formal presentation.
October 19th is fast approaching. This is our court date at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. For those who can attend here are the particulars:
The Coalition is working to get meetings with City Staff that can possibly answer questions. Meanwhile Councilman Oscar Delgado is going to be holding a town hall to address these map issues. This meeting is SEPARATE from the meeting that is to be held by the City of Reno to answer questions on these maps.
Thursday October 15th
He is to have City Staff available to answer questions on the letter and maps. EVERYONE in the public is invited even if you live in the County.
Friday October 23rd
It appears that this Open House is probably in a format that we are all familiar with which is some maps on easels, and people to answer questions and no formal presentation.
95 7th St. San Francisco, CA
September 7, 2015
Are we (our case) first thing in the morning?
OCTOBER 19, 2015
James R Browning US Courthouse
95 7th St. San Francisco, CA
Please look for future updates coming soon.
95 7th St. San Francisco, CA
Attached below you will find the Coalition's Opening Brief that was filed by our legal team on Tuesday July 14, 2015. Opposition Briefs from the Corps and RTC are due by Aug 4th. At which time we believe that the Corps will try and justify what they have done and RTC will spend a lot of time trashing us. After the opposition brief, our legal team will have the opportunity to respond to what is said in the opposition briefs, which will be due on Aug 14th. Then we get a court date.
Our legal team was not surprised that the emergency PI was denied (but were hopeful that it would not be!) because it is limited to about 18 to 24 pages and can only cover the basics in the PI motions.
City Council Appeal
She was very adamant that she wants the inter-local agreement brought back before council very soon to get clarification and eventual direction that RTC needs to come to council to get ALL permits, however, she felt that her getting clarity on the CLOMR (Conditional Letter of Map Revision from FEMA) - and that RTC could not do any work south of Pembroke until that is in hand - and the fact that RTC and the City are working together to work on the most scrutinized project in Reno, that they, she felt, had a "virtual permit" that was good enough.
Our Coalition also has appealed the Hearing Officers Ruling with the City of Reno on the Grading permit and the Conditional Letter Of Map Revision from FEMA and that is expected to be heard before City Council on June 17th at 6:00 pm.
I am sure some of you may be as surprised as the City was to find out that RTC says that because of the signed inter-local agreements between RTC and Reno, Sparks and Washoe County, RTC has the "authority" to act as these entities and not require themselves to get permits. That they (RTC) really only answer to the State legislature so the City really has no "authority" over them. Also, you may be surprised to find out that RTC has not paid for grading permits for the last five major projects that they have done (Veterans Parkway, Geiger Grade Roundabout, Moana Widening and Airway Drive) and that they (the City) had estimated that they should have got, conservatively, about $400,000 just for the grading permit from the SEC for Pembroke south to South Meadows Parkway. RTC says that the County did not require them to get a permit for Clean Water Way to Pembroke (so who knows how much the County lost for that revenue) and neither did Sparks for Phase 1.
So due to this inter-local agreement our appeal to the Hearing Officer did not find in our favor so we are appealing that to City Council. If the City Staff seemed surprised to find out that RTC does not have to get permits if they don't want to, imagine what the City Council is going to think!
May 19, 2015
Our legal representative Luke Busby made a compelling case against RTC's stance that they do not have to get permits and that they only answer to the legislature not really the City of Reno and they can waive these things in the City of Reno municipal code if they deem it necessary.
Update - May 8, 2015
3) TROs are quite difficult to get. We'll just have to wait and see.
6) When the record is done, we file a motion for summary judgment (this is our "merits" brief, where we finally get to focus just on what the Corps did wrong). Again, the Corps and RTC get a chance to oppose the motion. The court will have another hearing on this motion, probably sometime in the fall.
At our April 21st meeting we received many on the spot donations and pledges from a lot of people in the audience! Thank you! We could now use those pledges that were made for some of our legal expenses!
We really need monetary support from the communities! As stated in our previous update, we will need ongoing monetary donations to continue this legal effort. If the support stops then the Board will have to review our efforts and make a decision to continue.
We are asking for your support for legal expenses to continue to protect wetlands, open space and flood plains in this community.
See a copy of the Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief at our LEGAL tab.
We were then unsure what was going to happen at Council. After several hours of public comment and discussion we had our answer:
After much discussion on Conditional Letters or Map Revisions (CLOMR's) and other issues regarding the project and some testimony by an old acquaintance of the Coalition, Kevin Roukey, who worked for the Army Corps of Engineers for 34 years, and some really great comments by the Council, despite the Corps already approving the Clean Water 404b Permit, the City Council passed the Resolution asking the Army Corps to require RTC to do an Environmental Impact Statement for the SEC. The vote was 4-3.
Councilman Delgado, in a really strategic move, asked that the City Council request a "review" of the EA (Environmental Assessment, which is what the Corps just completed and is different than an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which would give us 30 to 60 days to get our ducks in a row. RTC did not seem happy with this as it seems that they cannot begin until the review is over? We are working on confirming that information. You will see work being done between Clean Water and Pembroke. We are not sure what they are going to be allowed to do and what they are not. Please be patient while we get answers.We are making decisions shortly on what our next move will be.
The Reno City Council is meeting this coming Wednesday April 15th at 10:00 am, at City Hall, to discuss and vote on a Resolution from the City to the Army Corps of Engineers to urge the Corps to require the Regional Transportation Commission to perform an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Southeast Connector Phase 2 Project.
March 11, 2015
Please look for future updates that will indicate how you can help and when; and about what time to be at City Council on April 15th.
Wayne Sievers, Vice Chair
Eric Cole, Director
Luke Andrew Busby Ltd, - Coalition Attorney
Brenda Lee, Project Manager - McCarran Widening Project
We hope that our efforts and hard work to the protection of open spaces, wetlands and flood plains will lead to a successful 2015!
November 12, 2014
Your Coalition Board works hard every day to protect open spaces, wetlands and flood plains from irresponsible and potentially dangerous decisions. This work sometimes incurs legal expenses. Please support our efforts to protect open spaces, wetlands and flood plains!
October 26, 2014
From everything we have been able to gather, a determination is expected in the next several weeks but could be any day. We want you all to be prepared to attend a large community meeting once the determination is made. It could be very short notice, but it will be an evening meeting and we will have it in a venue large enough to handle several hundred people. This is critical that we get a large turnout, but again, it will be short notice so everyone please be prepared.
The Coalition recently acquired through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents from the Army Corps of Engineers detailing correspondence and memos between the Corps and the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Fish and Wildlife (F&W), Nevada Divison of Environmental Protection (NDEP) and the Nevada State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO).
We have to tell you that now the Coalition and our legal team have had a chance to review, they are ILLUMINATING! Due to the RTC monitoring this site, we are not going to post our plans of action here, but watch this space, our website "updates" page and if you are a stakeholder, look for future e-mails. We will be informing everyone shortly of steps that have been taken.
October 8, 2014
We have been told that the "soft" date for a determination might be the beginning of November. However, that date might be sooner if the Corps gets all their consultations done. So, to be safe, lets just say that that the determination could be sometime between mid October and Mid November. Time might be getting short.
The Coalition recently acquired through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, all the documents between the Army Corps of Engineers and the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), and all comments from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Fish and Wildlife (F&W), State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO), Nevada Department of Environmental Protection Superfund Branch (NDEPSB) and some others and have forward those documents to legal to review.
We found that there might be an alteration of the permit by RTC to try and appease EPA that would eliminate the new mitigation wetlands scheduled for the Butler Ranch North and the Butler Ranch South. EPA is very concerned about the methylation of the mercury should it start to be disturbed. NDEPSB is also concerned about this.
We are no longer "pending" our application has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service.
July 11, 2014
Arpil 28, 2014
Our facebook page has reached another milestone at 1500 likes! If you have not liked us yet, jump on board! We can use all the likes we get. We know that RTC monitors our website and facebook page so the more supporters we can get for both the better!
April 13, 2014
Here is a link (most likely temporary) to theStaff Report for the entire agenda on the 16th (sorry we could not get it downloaded at this time). Agenda items J.2 - J.2.5 are in regards to the lease agreement. These are pages 428-547 of the staff report.
takes several minutes to download and then the page is blank for a few more seconds before it comes up.
April 3, 2014
Here is the text
March 15, 2014
The Army Corps of Engineers has stated that they will not have any type of determination for 60-120 days. If they go from RTC recent additional submissions then that is anywhere from mid April to mid June. Of course we will let everyone know if that changes.
Legal should have the Coalition legal response to the documents (specifically the LEDPA - Least Environmentally Damaging Practical Alternative) done by next week. Once reviewed by the Board it will be sent to the Corps. The Coalition is also working on a short summary of points to send to the Corps for their review. Hopefully this will raise more questions and the Corps will reach a determination of an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) or a denial.
We have heard back from legal and of course RTC is trying to smokescreen their Alternatives Analysis by comparing them (the alternatives) to each other instead of giving comprehensive reasons why each of the other routes are not the LEDPA. They are also giving more "social" factors as impacts instead of "aquatic" factors required by the Corps.
There also appears to be unexplained changes to the alternatives that claim new "waters of the U.S." impacts. There are some other things also but these are some of the main issues.
Our legal team is preparing response comments to the Army Corps.
February 28, 2014
This information does not appear in their response comments and the Coalition and its attorneys want to know this information too!
The recently released 300 pages from RTC on the public comment and the additional answers to the questions from the Corps are being reviewed at this time by our outstanding legal team, the EPA, the Army Corps and the Coalition Board. We hope to have more information on what is contained within soon.
We have been reviewing the updated Flood Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the General Re-Evaluation Report (DEIS and GRR) and this is what we are understanding from those reports:
· Without further changes to either project, the increases in flood stage with both projects in place would exceed the first floor elevations of approximately 153 structures in addition to the approximately 899 structures affected by the recommended Flood Control Project. If these impacts can’t be avoided through structural adjustments, Washoe County and/or City of Reno would need to implement a plan to comply with federal flood insurance program requirements.
January 11, 2014
Please look for our new fund raising efforts to be posted soon on our Events page!
December 27, 2013
Please be aware that the Army Corps of Engineers is asking Fish and Wildlife to do a biological assessment of the area to include the Bald and Golden Eagles. If you would like to contact F&W directly, please call Chris Nicolai at (775) 861-6333 to voice your concerns or comments.
Meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers
The Corps will be preparing a list of questions to the RTC sometime (most likely) at the new year, and RTC will need to answer those questions if they want to continue with the permit process. RTC will have 30 days to respond to those questions. We are going to be FOIAing this list of questions and the responses. We won't receive that until the list is complete and then the answers are given. RTC also has the option of commenting on all the public comment received by the Corps from other agencies and the general public.
As this is going on the Corps will be consulting with all three tribes in the area and the State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO). The Corps just recently received the Cultural Resources Report that is not available for FOIA and they will be reviewing that with the Tribes. They will also be consulting with Fish and Wildlife for any biological impacts.
Please see below for the public comment's submitted and read into the record by the Coalition:
December 4, 2013
Presented by the Upper South East Communities Coalition Inc.
Thank you for this opportunity to present our most concerning issues that we believe should lead to a denial of the SUP’s and Variances until these issues can be answered in a comprehensive manner. It would be no hardship on RTC for this to be denied until further review by is done by RTC so they can come back before this body and give answers to significant questions that are being raised. RTC is not in a time crunch as they do not have approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers to start on the Phase 2 portion of their project and might not for some time, and have not scheduled (pending approval from the Corp) start on Phase 2 until spring.
We would first like to go over one thing that is critical to everyone who bought homes in the area of this project. We had an extensive meeting the other day that included Deputy City Manager Bill Thomas, Community Development Director Fred Turnier, and Public Works Director John Flansberg and included for a time, Council woman Zadra. At that meeting Mr. Thomas made comments on our concerns about the Master Plan Abandonment of the SEC by the City of Reno in 1996, which was done by the way, at the request of the Board of Directors of the RTC whose Board had already unanimously deleted the portion between Mira Loma and Pembroke and basically, what we were told by Mr. Thomas was that when the City of Reno makes these decisions it is our fault for believing you.
How can RTC make General Special Use Permit finding “b” if the project is currently not in the Master Plan? Does not matter what the Regional Plan says or what the RTP says. The finding says that the project must be in substantial conformance with the Master Plan.
So to move on, our contention is that the following findings cannot be met:
Special Use Permit for Protection of Significant Hydrological resources
Finding c, which states; Granting the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare or injurious to property or improvement in the vicinity…” CANNOT be met!
Next, the Coalition maintains that there are several other alternative routes that would meet the needs and not impact people and homes that are already severely impacted. Since RTC is already building a massive bridge over the Truckee River, why not utilize this time to build the Mill Street Extension which would be a viable alternative to the 5 miles of road through flood storage and heavily contaminated soils. In addition, a route that RTC seems to have never considered is Glendale. This street is wide enough and could easily be re-striped. The purchase and demolition of several warehouses right next to Sparks Blvd
These routes would by-pass the flood storage areas and the heavily contaminated soils on the Butler Ranch North and South and as the areas suggested are already industrial in nature would have no environmental impacts to mitigate.
Next, I don’t know if you have had the opportunity to Google methyl mercury or arsenic but you really should. Most all of us have and what we have found is horrifying.
But a chemical that is just as dangerous as methyl mercury is inorganic arsenic. This arsenic is prevalent throughout the area as shown in test done by Lennar Development in 2005 on the Butler Ranch North.
A very high exposure to inorganic arsenic can cause infertility and miscarriages with women, and it can cause skin disturbances, declined resistance to infections, heart disruptions and brain damage with both men and women.
RTC’s own Soil Characterization Report and studies done in 2005 for the Butler Ranch North Lennar development project indicate that there are very, very high levels of arsenic on that land and RTC wants to dig up the methyl mercury and use that dirt as fill for the SEC. There is no mention of the arsenic in their 404 permit application. RTC has indicated in their permit application that they are going to use BMP’s (Best Management Practices) for the control of dust during the months and months of construction. They also mention that if their employees need it they will be provided with maybe a paper suit and a dust mask. Their solution to the dust problem, according to their 404 permit which includes their Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, is careful scheduling, straw rolls and a water truck. In addition, according to your own city staff in the Memorandum released this afternoon, Washoe County Heath District does not consider emissions of contaminants for construction sites but focuses on controlling dust. So who is going to be monitoring the air for toxic dust? This memo goes on to state that there “will be” plans incorporated into the SWPPP in case it floods while they have all this toxic material dug up. But there is nothing in place yet for you to approve.
What is their plan should there be a flood during their lengthy construction. We flood here. Should there not be a plan to protect the surrounding communities from the toxic material being washed into their homes? They are going to dig it up and stockpile it for undetermined amounts of time. So they are going to have heavily toxic material sitting in concentrated piles of loose dirt that could be blown around or washed away into homes and schools.
How can you make General SUP finding “f”, or SUP for protection of significant hydrological resources, in particular, finding “b” if these questions are not answered?
The other most significant factor in all of this is that the one massive infrastructure project, the Flood Project, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, does NOT factor in the other massive infrastructure project the SEC that is in the exact same location and will affect the exact same people. And visa versa. It is like they think because the other is not built yet is does not count! SOMEONE should be looking at what the impacts will be to the surrounding residents if both of these projects are completed in the exact same spot. RTC will tell you that they are consulting with the Flood Project. Great! On what? Share with the rest of us.
In the attachment below you will find the Community Working Group summary of the RTC/CH2M Hill meeting that was held October 10, 2013.
We need people to show up at this meeting and at City Council when that meeting is scheduled.
Please tailor your comments to the "findings" in red below. We need to point out to Planning that RTC CANNOT make the findings, so if you can't come, please send an e-mail with your comments! Send to Michelle Fournier whose e-mail is also below!
Special Use Permit - Disturbance of a drainage Way
Special use permit applications shall require that all of the following general findings be met, as applicable:
Cannot make this finding as the project has a Master Plan Abandonment from 1996 that is still in effect.
e. The proposed site location and scale, intensity, density, height, layout, setbacks, architectural and overall design of the development and the uses proposed, contribute to an enhance the character of the area in which it is located.
g. Project signage is in character with project architecture and is compatible with or complementary to surrounding uses.
Cannot make findings a - g for the General SUP
a. The slopes can be treated in a manner which does not create negative visual impacts.
Cannot make the findings for a - g of the General list or a - b in the specific findings.
a. Conservation of topsoil
c. Conservation of natural vegetation, wildlife habitats and fisheriesd. Control of erosione. Control of drainage and sedimentation
h. Preservation of the hydrological resources, character of the area and other conditions as necessary
c. Granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare or injurious to property or improvements in the vicinity; and
2). In granting variances, the decision-making body shall have no power to take action which has the effect of allowing a use of land in contravention of the applicable zoning district or which in any other way changes the applicable zoning district. Any action that has in effect changed the zoning district shall be deemed a violation of powers of this section and be of no force and effect.
Be wary and prepared for this.....see below.
1). Architectural considerations;
5). Other controls
A date for the "Protect the Protection" Raffle has been set for January 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm at the Rosewood Lakes Clubhouse.
The City of Reno Planning Commission has, at RTC's request, postponed the agenda item for the October 16th meeting apparently because it was identified that there was another variance that RTC had to apply for for Critical Flood Zone 1. The new date for their appearance at Planning is November 7th. Please check back for updates.
RTC is to be at Planning Commission on October 16, 2013 to try and get the following
Special Use Permit - Protection of Significant Hydrological Resources
September 5, 2013
Regional Transportation Commission files a motion to dismiss the case that the Upper South East Communities Coalition filed in U.S. Federal Court. Opposition Brief from the RTC and the Army Corps of Engineers expected soon.
August 17, 2013
The USECC's (Upper South East Communities Coalition)legal team has served and will file in U.S. District Court early next week our Motion for Preliminary Injunction on the Army Corps of Engineers and the Regional Transportation Commission in the second step of our process to get a Preliminary Injunction on the Southeast Connector until they get their required 404 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to include an Environmental Impact Statement and a Cumulative Impact Study for the entire project. Check out our "Legal"tab.
July 29, 2013
The Army Corps of Engineers has accepted the 404 permit filed by RTC. Public comment on permit due by September 23 rd.
July 19, 2013
Administration - 775-348-0400
June 28, 2013,
The Truckee River Flood Management Authority, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of
environmental impact statement (EIS) until July 7th.