January 20, 2020
On Thursday January 23rd Daybreak is going to be heard at the
Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency
the Washoe County Commission Chambers
1001 E. 9th Street
Agenda Item 6.E
City of Reno Master Plan Amendment (CR19-012)
Proposed Project of Regional Significance (CR19-013)
and we need as many of you who can to email the Board members to voice your opposition to this project. If you can attend the meeting that would be a bonus! Emails are read and make a difference!
Daybreak is a massive project that will be built between Mira Loma and South Meadows Parkway. Approximately 3995 dwelling units and a number of commercial properties. This project is planned to eliminate flood storage for Steamboat Creek on the Butler Ranch North and place fill in and around the Huffaker Narrows that has already been severely constricted by the Southeast Connector. This could have devastating consequences for south Reno in
and around South Meadows Parkway as Steamboat Creek flood waters have to go somewhere and if access through the narrows is constricted and flood storage on the Butler Ranch North is almost eliminated, where does the water go?
The Daybreak project is not going to be built by the people who are trying to get all these approvals. Rather the land is owned by Newport Pacific Land, LLC and they are going to be selling off the 24 development sections to developers/builders. The plan is that they are going
to dig out a section of the property on the Butler Ranch North and use that dirt as fill for the sections they are developing - the problem is almost every flood mitigation detention basin that has been built in southeast Reno has failed. Almost every one has water in it so it it useless to store flood waters. This includes the Southeast Connector. The SEC project is NOT in compliance with their federal 404 permit because the project's detention basins are all full of
water and they are desperately trying to figure out how to drain them.
No detention basins, no flood storage.
Daybreak insists that their detention basins will work
because they know where the water table is. So did all the other engineers and here we are with no functioning detention basins in southeast Reno. The water table is ALWAYS higher than they say, and the water never drains.
The mercury testing that Daybreak had done is dangerously inadequate. They did not test their entire project site, but used a computer model that was supposed to tell them where the mercury 'should' be. In those areas they did not test below 18 inches. In most cases they scrapped a little dirt off the surface and had that tested. According to RTC and the mercury testing they had done for the SEC - mercury sinks were found at depths of at least 1-5 feet and
they did not test any deeper. These mercury sinks had dangerously high levels of mercury.
Please be aware that there ARE NO SAFE LEVELS OF MERCURY.
Please send your comments to the following Regional Planning Commission Board members:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Their names are:
Sarah Chvilicek, Chair | Washoe County
Dian VanderWell, Vice-Chair | City of Sparks
James Barnes | Washoe County
David Blaco | City of Sparks
Larry Chesney | Washoe County
Peter Gower | City of Reno
Mark Johnson | City of Reno
Shelley Read | City of Sparks
Kathleen Taylor | City of Reno
If you need a script (feel free to edit)
Dear Commission members,
For the safety of my community and my family, I urge you to deny the Daybreak
project because of flood control and mercury contamination concerns.
According to the Truckee Meadows Regional Plan this area meets the criteria of a Development Constraints Area (DCA) and through Policies 2.2.1 along with Policy 4.1.3 this project should be denied.
Thank you for your consideration,
Please get your comments in right away - time is of the essence as this is going to be heard on
Thursday night. Your voice counts - make it heard!
Thank you neighbors.
January 8, 2020
Update on Bella Vista Ranch Phase II - Vote today at City Council
Thank you to everyone who called and emailed the Council to voice your concerns about the Bella Vista Ranch Phase II zoning amendments!
On December 4th the Council heard this item and Delgado, Reese, Weber and Jardon, voted in favor of the zoning amendments, while Schieve, Duerr and Brekhus supported south east Reno and voted no.
The 2nd reading was at City Council today and it appears that Reese and Delgado had been getting a LOT of correspondence from the public and it seems to have made an impact. There was a lot going on, but the issue of this being the last area where wild horses
and other wildlife would have access to natural water had a big impact. There were also questions on the mercury testing that the developer had done and it appears that we might have finally got through to them that the testing was inadequate at best.
The final vote was Schieve, Duerr, Brekhus, Delgado, Reese and Jardon voting no to the zoning amendment and Weber was the lone yes vote. What does that mean? The developer has a PUD Handbook for this project already. That means that they have approvals to build what they got approved back in 2013.
The developer today was making a big stink that if they didn't get their zoning amendments that they said would make a better project, then they would just build the project that they have approvals for. The amendments were to remove the small
area of commercial in their project and replace that with more houses. At the December 4th meeting, if you all recall from our previous update, the City Attorney told the Council that they could NOT condition the developer to provide access to water for the Virginia Range Horses. So after months of negotiating with
the Wild Horse Connection, imagine the surprise (for different reasons) of both the developer and the Wild Horse Connection when they showed up at Council and they didn't have to have the condition of providing water. The WHC was devastated because the City said that the developer had agreed to provide water troughs that
they did not have to and in actuality they did not agree to any such thing.
Over the last month, Council has been getting informed that there is no actual agreement from the developer when Council thought there was. Additionally the mercury testing of the area was a joke. Their report that was given to Council said that the company doing the testing scraped some dirt off the surface and tested it and found levels of mercury so low that they did not have to report it. They
did NO bore testing. They showed up today and said that they tested down to 1 foot and that they didn't find enough mercury to report and then went on to try and explain that mercury is moved through water and sediment and that it layers. The top layer will have the most, then the deeper you go the less you will see. Well that is NOT
what RTC found when they were testing for the SEC. In some areas they found almost no mercury at the surface but then found levels at the 2, 3, 4 and 5 foot levels that were devastatingly high. This was pointed out to Council and to the developers 'expert'.
They also claimed that this area was not in the 100 year or even the 500 year flood zones so it does not flood. They were very adamant about that because it was brought to the attention of Council that the new FEMA remap of the Floodplain is going to be right next to the applicants property. They could end up in the flood
zone. We don't flood, they said. Well if that's true, how did you get mercury on your property? we asked. No response.
Lots of other things happened but everyone must be prepared that they might retaliate and the developer might just fence the horses out of the property now that they have been denied. That is the fear of the advocates.
If they go ahead and move forward for development, they have to go back to Council for their tentative map. That might be the best opportunity to get the conditions on that project that are needed to make sure that 1) horses get water, 2) they do better mercury testing, and 3) that they have to wait for the FEMA remap.
Thank you again everyone. Your voices counted.
Update January 2, 2020
Bella Vista Ranch Phase II
The Bella Vista Ranch Phase II is going to be back before the City Council on January 8th for its 2nd reading for final approval.
A lot of us have Oscar Delgado as our councilman for Ward 3 and all of us have councilman Reese who is at large (unless you live in the County). Both are up for re-election this year. Both voted yes for this development. We urge all to share this info with your friends and
neighbors and get involved by sending emails to the following council members and the mayor to show your opposition to this project.
Send emails to the following
Bonnie Weber and Neoma Jardon are a waste of time but if you want to include them:
Meeting is January 8th at 10:00 am. The agenda item is F.1 - Bella Vista Ranch Phase II PUD Amendment -LDC19-00054.
Steve Wolgast from Washoe Residents for Appropriate Planning did an excellent synopsis on the meeting and it is included below. We have made some edits to his comments so we hope Steve forgives us for changing his text! If the comments are snarky they are not Steve's, they are ours!
The Bella Vista development is bounded on the North, East, and a little West by the Daybreak development. It is just south of South Meadows Parkway. This project is going to surround and fence off the wetlands at the end of South Meadows Parkway. It is no surprise that the same hazards that dogged Daybreak also apply to this project.
An amendment proposed by the developer was approved by the Reno City Council on December 4, 2019. The vote was 4-3 with Brekhus, Duerr, and Schieve voting "no", and supporting residents in opposition. Delgado, Jardon, Weber and Reese voted "yes" for approval, supporting the developers.
The developer was seeking an amendment to their Planned Unit Development (PUD) proposal previously approved. It would incorporate the following changes:
Reduce the commercial area from 15 to 5 acres along South Meadows Parkway.
Add 37 homes to increase the total from 575.
Reduce the maximum housing density from 30 dwelling units/acre to 20 du/acre.
** (would have) Add two water troughs for the wild horses since the horses will not be able to traverse the property to reach the wetlands. It is not clear where the water or water rights will come from. This would be a side-agreement with the city.
Arlo Stockham (Reno planner) says that his department supports these changes as being improvements to the project. He sees the changes as relatively minor. One thing that he did say when a council member asked who was supposed to build the bridge over Steamboat Creek at South Meadows would be done by "whoever gets there first" either Daybreak or BVRPII.
In November Daybreak applied for a 'Nationwide Permit' that would allow them to build the bridge extension from South Meadows to Rio Wrangler. A Nationwide Permit does not allow public input in the process and is, in fact, not even posted for notice. However, it was withdrawn. The bridge over Steamboat is NOT in the approved Daybreak handbook, it is in the handbook for BVRPII. It should be built by the project that it is in their handbook!
Tracy Wilson of the Wild Horse Connection, spoke during public comment about the needs of the wild horses in the Virginia Range.
There are about 375 horses in this area and this property is their last access to water. The local wild-horse advocates concluded that a minimum of 3 troughs would be needed. She has been willing to work with the developer on the horse issues, but Reno should
have a policy regarding the horse requirements and development.
The wild horses represent an eco-tourism opportunity.
Kim Rhodemyre of the Upper Southeast Communities Coalition spoke during public comment about the public safety concerns regarding this development.
There should be an updated wetlands delineation map before this development proceeds. This was requested by Council Member Duerr and has not been produced.
The Army Corps of Engineers permit has expired. The permit from 2006 was only for relocating Steamboat Creek and does not include any Waters of the U.S. actions for the Phase II project.
The testing for Mercury is laughably inadequate. They scraped some dirt off the surface for 20 samples and concluded that little Mercury was present. Testing for Mercury in preparation for the Southeast Connector revealed Mercury present down to a depth of 5 feet. Grading for construction will disturb Mercury below the surface and send it downstream to neighborhoods to the North.
This development is literally next to the flood plain and approval should be delayed until there is an updated FEMA flood map.
Stockham made a presentation. At this time, after months of
negotiations between Wild Horse Connection and BVRPII for access to water, the City stated that they could not 'condition' the project to have the developer provide that access and basically threw the Wild Horse Connection under the bus. They had come expecting access
and left with nothing. He also asserted that his staff had no concern at all about the risk of Mercury exposure, the flood risk, and the Army Corps permit.
The developer made a presentation intended to rebut
Rhodemyre's arguments point by point. They claimed that the Army Corps. permit was valid. But it is not clear that it was met in
detail. They claimed that there Mercury testing was adequate and did not address the question of disturbing the subsurface contaminants during construction. They claimed that the development is at a higher elevation so that flooding would not be
a concern, but they didn't include elevations or historical data.
Viewing this as a layman, it did not look convincing.
Council members made the following points from the dais.
"Maybe Reno should have a policy on wildlife."
"The Mercury testing sounds inadequate: there should be sub-surface sampling."
The HOA may not be up to the task of maintaining the wetlands and the drainage features. This responsibility should borne by a body with more resources. She wants to see the updated flood map.
She is skeptical about the construction and maintenance of the flood-control structures. She notes that only 40% of such features are in compliance in Lemmon Valley. This development will contribute more flow to Steamboat Creek putting downstream
residents at additional risk. This is not addressed in the plan.
The distinction between "wild" and "feral" horses is meaningless. The original tame horses are long since dead. The abandoned horses have long since interbred with the wild horses so that they are indistinguishable. Two drinking troughs is not enough. A fenced corridor to the wetlands would be the best solution to providing water for the horses. The developer should post bonds to maintain the flood control features. The HOA is not competent to handle these larger issues.
Sounds like the Corps permit is fine.
They did mercury testing so that is fine.
We can't do anything about the horses so that isn't our problem.
Whatever. (he didn't actually say this - this is an interpretation of his brief remarks)
That resolution that Cashell passed to protect wild horses for tourism is meaningless.
She was on the Council at the time, and she doesn't remember it saying that it should restrict development. Other than that she is perfectly fine with this developer doing whatever he wants.
I like flowers - (technically she didn't say this, but she didn't say much and this is what we were thinking she said when she did open her mouth)
To the casual observer, it looks like Delgado is again putting the developer's profits ahead of the safety of residents in his ward, Reese is clueless, Jardon has always been on the side of
developers and Weber is literally the most vacuous person on the Council.
Please forward this to friends and neighbors and urge them to email council to vote NO on the second reading for this project.
Hello fellow stakeholders.
Just came from a City Council Meeting where the Council voted 4-3 to approve the Bella Vista Ranch Phase II project which will eliminate the wetlands just south of South Meadows Parkway, the area where the horses hang out. It was another devastating loss to our wetlands and this project got the go ahead with staff and
our council member, Oscar Delgado, promoting a false narrative that the area doesn't flood and that the mercury testing was not a complete joke.
Once again, we can thank Brekhus, Duerr and Mayor Schieve for trying to protect our communities and we can blame Delgado,
Reese, Jardon and Weber for working against us.
Everyone should be aware that Delgado does not appear to have southeast Reno's best interests at heart if he ever did, or, if he just told us that to get himself elected. There is a very long synopsis below on what is going on with Daybreak, but this new betrayal
with Bella Vista Ranch Phase II was disheartening on a whole other level because with this project, the Virginia Range horses that feed and water in this area will be fenced out and will no longer have access to water or wintertime forage. There will be deaths.
Delgado, I am sorry to say, has proved he no longer deserves the support of southeast Reno residents. If you would like to email him to let him know your feelings on his most recent vote, or his job representing you in general - you can do so at email@example.com. - please make your voices heard.
Once you read the synopsis of Daybreak so far, it might become clear to you that Delgado was not working with us, and taking our information to work for a denial, rather, it seems that Delgado might have been using the information we provided to him to work with the Daybreak people to get a better approval. Delgado has thrown southeast Reno under the bus for what appears to be political gain.
Here is what is going on with Daybreak - Synopsis of Daybreak so far....
In mid-2017 Newport Pacific Land LLC (Daybreak) of California buys up about 950 acres of floodplain that no local developer appeared to want to touch. In July of 2017 the CFO of Newport Pacific donates $2500 each to Oscar Delgado and Hillary Schieve under his personal name John Patterson. At the same time Wood Rogers, the Daybreak Planner, donates $500 out of their California office to Delgado.
In the fall of 2017 Daybreak started to reach out to HOA’s and the wild horse advocacy groups, and in January of 2018 is on the agenda at Ward 3 NAB in which there was a huge group in attendance to oppose.
In early spring of 2018 Daybreak contacts the Upper South East Communities Coalition to present their project to our Board of Directors. The first meeting was all about schmoozing because they seemed surprised by our technical questions and our knowledge of flooding and mercury. The only people at their meeting were Christopher Blye, Executive Vice President NPL, Mark Burkes VP of Operations NPL, Michael Schlesinger VP Community Development
NPL, Mike Draper - Public Relations and Lobbying, Argentum Partners, Reno and Andy Durling Wood Rogers, Reno and a couple of other peripheral people that might have been from Wood
Rogers. There was a lot of arm breaking patting themselves on the back for their project, a lot of virtual head patting toward the Coalition, and a lot of condescension headed our way.
A second meeting was discussed, and eventually set up with more of their technical people who could answer questions. The second meeting was teaming with people and we couldn't tell you the names of all of them. The same group from the first meeting was there, minus, we think, Michael Schlesinger. And about 10 others. We asked questions on flooding, 404 permits and mercury and they provided answers that were haphazard at best. They were "going to fix the flooding by providing not 1:1 mitigation but 1:1.25. They were going to dig out the east side of their project to compensate for flood storage loss to the entire Butler Ranch North, and use that dirt
as fill for the west side of their project to make sure that their developments did not flood. Of course we were incredulous because dug out flood retention basins have failed all over east Reno. We asked about their 404 permit with the Corps and they said it was almost ready to be submitted (we watched for that and submitted public comment to the Corps against when it was submitted shortly after). When we asked for copies of their bore hole testing and grid map for the mercury testing on their property we were told we could have them. But still a lot of head patting and 'we have engineers for that' answers. They were still extremely eager to get the Coalition on Board in favor of their project and tried to be as friendly and accommodating as they could to ensure that.
Over the next few months, they presented at Ward 2 and again at Ward 3 NABs, and claim to have had over 50 community meetings. There were only two that we were informed of and those were at the GSR and poorly attended. Both of these meetings were attended by Board members of the Coalition and when asked again about the mercury testing, we were told we would get that information shortly. Finally about a month after the last meeting at the GSR, an
email was sent stating that we were not going to get the information on mercury testing that we had requested. They didn't feel they needed to provide it to us.
They were heavily lobbying the Reno City Council to get their project approved. The subsequent months were packed with meetings with Council members and the Mayor by Coalition members to present our facts and concerns about this project to try and help them
reach a denial of the project. On November 28, 2018 the Reno City Council voted to deny the Master Plan Amendment, PUD and Zoning Map Amendment, which killed this project.
The next day the Coalition phoned city staff and asked several questions.
1) How long until Daybreak can reapply for their amendments and PUD? - answer was 1 year unless they change the project significantly then they could come back sooner
2) What does significantly mean? - answer was significant change in density or major changes to the entire project.
3) How long do they have to file a lawsuit against the City for the denial? - answer was that the city expected to file the minute order on the denial by the end of the following week and then
Daybreak had 25 days.
The applicant - Newport Pacific Land LLC, would have until roughly
the end of December of 2018 to file their lawsuit if they were going to.
Waiting on pins and needles the end of December came and went and when asked, City Staff said that no lawsuit had been filed.
In about January of 2019 Daybreak reared its ugly head again and started to submit smaller projects for approval to NABs. We found that they had broken up their massive project into 4 smaller ones. Rio Wrangler North, Rio Wrangler North II, South Meadows West and Butler Ranch North. Please keep in mind that they believed that they already had a PUD and tentative map for Butler Ranch North, but the tentative map was only for a portion of the old Lennar Development and that was for areas around the old Ranch house.
They felt that they could just apply for grading permits on Butler Ranch North and they could begin construction anytime they wanted on that section. So, they took the Rio Wrangler North II project to Planning Commission and it was denied. Within days they filed their lawsuit. This was in February 2019. How could they have done that you ask? We asked too! Turns out the City never filed the minute order until 6 weeks after the November 28, 2018 denial so they had lots of extra time to get their lawsuit in order. Wasn't that convenient? My goodness, that doesn't look hinky at all!
From February to August the project was in the courts. In late Aug of 2019, unexpectedly to the public, a Stipulated Order was presented to the judge from both parties indicating that
Daybreak would get a 'do-over' with the City Council and that the City would NOT be allowed to condition the project (put in requirements that the City might feel would benefit the entire
community, like more flood mitigation, better mercury testing etc etc) unless Daybreak agreed. We also found out that the 404 permit applied for by Daybreak with the Army Corps of Engineers had been withdrawn sometime in early summer and they had not applied for a new one. At the same time we found out that the Army Corps of Engineers stated that the Southeast Connector is out of compliance with a majority of their project. The most concerning was that all their flood retention basins that were part of their mitigation were full of water and had been over a year. Useless to hold flood waters. And they can't figure out how to drain them.
Every lawyer both currently practicing and retired that we talked to said that the stipulated order was the worst agreement that they had ever seen and that City Attorney's Hall and Shipman had basically caved to Daybreak and Daybreak had all the power and the City had
none. This is when we also found out that two City Council members were assigned as part of the negotiating team on behalf of the City. Oscar Delgado and Devon Reese. These two helped the City Attorneys work out this terrible deal. The stipulated order was presented at Council on September 11, 2019.
On September 11th, over 124 citizens wrote into Council to ask for a denial. Many other called. As Hall was explaining the stipulated order he kept saying that the order was just to allow the Council to hear the project again with some slight modifications presented by the applicant and that the Council could either approve or deny at a future meeting which was supposed to be September 23, 2019 (4 days before this was supposed to have the trial start in
Several times he stated that it was just to hear the new proposal and that it could approved or denied. If approved then fine, if not then it would go back to court. The council voted with a majority to hear the new proposal on September 23, 2019. Delgado, Reese, Weber and Jardon voted yes and Schieve, Duerr and Brekhus voted no. They wanted to take their chances in court.
After this vote, we arranged meetings with council members to again go over our concerns and we thought we were again supplying information to them that they could use to reach a denial.
September 23rd comes around and over 240 of your friends and neighbors wrote in asking for a denial. Many called. Councilman Delgado was trying to rush the process and start the agenda item when he knew that there were not a lot of residents there yet. There was much discussion by other Council members, while those of us who were watching online, rushed to get to council. Once the agenda item started there was much discussion, but the Council
member whose Ward would be impacted by this project was strangely silent. Oscar Delgado.
Daybreak presented the 'slight modifications' that had been hinted at at the September 11th meeting.
* They would wait one year for the new FEMA model but no longer and they would start their project in areas where the FEMA map, they assume, will not be impacted. They only agreed
to wait on development areas 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 until the new model and are going ahead and starting in the other almost 20 areas.
* They will not develop in the Critical Flood Pool until a CLOMR (Conditional Letter of Map Revision) is approved.
*They will use flow rates from the Flood Project for Steamboat Creek - (but understand that Steamboat Creek is only supposed to be remapped from the Truckee River to South Meadows Parkway and no further south. The Flood Project also does not model or map Steamboat Creek south of South Meadows Parkway, so that leaves more than half of the creek un-modeled.)
*Prior to approval of each building permit or final map, a hydrology study shall be provided and incorporate the analysis of all previous phases of development - (what they don't say is that their hydrological study is going to be performed by their hydrologist who has a questionable reputation)
*Prior to approval of each phase's hydrology study, volumetric mitigation shall be reviewed to ensure sufficient volume mitigation is provided - (see previous comments on their hydrologist)
*They agreed to cut density by 10% from almost 4600 homes.
Daybreak also had this well-known local wetlands and 404 expert, Lori Carpenter that they pranced in front of Council and she was very strong in stating that Daybreak would have to go through a rigorous federal process and she would not support any development that did not understand that. Their planner from Wood Rogers, Andy Durling, touted that they were lucky
she was on the 'team'.
That was pretty much it. Council could not ask for anything. No conditions. Daybreak had all the power. It was concerning though, that when Delgado finally did pipe up he asked for an additional 5% cut in homes which led to a recess and the developer coming back and agreeing to the 5% cut for a total of 3995 homes. It was very strange that none of the other council members could ask for anything but Delgado got this seemingly spontaneous 5% cut in
density. He seemed happy that he got a 15% cut in density which would lead to a cut in traffic from this project, totally ignoring the fact that he ended up approving an 85% increase.
By this time it had become very clear that Delgado was going to vote yes on this project.
When Councilwoman Duerr said she could not support the project because it endangered the safety of the surrounding residents and that was a huge concern with her, Delgado piped up and
chastised her for implying that he was not concerned about the safety of his Ward and he took great offense on what she had just implied. Unfortunately for him it was very obvious he didn't
give a rat’s ass about the safety of the people in his Ward because he was going to vote yes.
It also seemed very strange that all the concerns that we brought up to him, seemed to be addressed by the applicant during the meeting.
When the vote took place, there were comments flying around about the 2nd reading (because usually there are two readings of an item before it is approved) and a date was set for the second reading for October 23, 2019. The 2nd reading was brought up multiple times. The vote for the approval of the project was Delgado, Reese, Jardon and Weber. Those against were Schieve, Duerr and Brekhus.
We really can't thank Schieve, Duerr and Brekhus enough for trying to save east Reno from this dangerous project at great political risk to them.
So, when the meeting was over, in the lobby that evening, those of us left in attendance talked about what to do between September 23rd and October 23rd and we left agreeing to set up a strategy meeting within the next few days. We had a meeting, everyone got their assignments and we went to work. Some of us got meetings with Delgado, Reese, Schieve and Duerr. Our main concerns were with Delgado and Reese. Could we flip them? The other concern was
did either Delgado or Reese use the information we gave them for a denial and inform Daybreak so that they could get a stronger approval?
On October 16th we learned that the wetlands expert that Daybreak had hired, Lori Carpenter? Found out she never got hired by
Newport Pacific Land. She was only hired as a subject matter expert by their PR firm for that day (September 23rd). She thought she was going to be on the team. Newport elected to stay with their wetlands people out of Auburn. She told us that she stood by what she said on
9/23 about them having to go through a rigorous Corps review for their permit. We told her it was unfortunate what Daybreak did to her and it seemed like they were using her (the local expert) to get their approvals and then they did a bait and switch on the Council.
We met with Delgado on Thursday October 17th and we asked why he voted the way he did, he started a long and in depth answer about how he voted the way he did because he believes he was protecting east Reno from a judgment from a court that could have led to
Daybreak getting all what they want. He said he was not afraid of a lawsuit, and then went on to say all the bad things that could happen if the City lost. We told him that Daybreak, if not outright lied to the Council; they mislead them on more than one issue.
We brought up the mercury testing issue, he stated that he thought the state would be monitoring that (NO that is not how it works) we told him that the State, like the City, counts on the honesty of the developers engineers and, like the city, they do not have engineers
that go out and monitor what the builders are doing or even if everything that they have said is the truth. That seemed to surprise him. We reminded him that RTC had an onsite engineer to monitor their project and it is not in compliance with their 404 permit. A
monitor guarantees nothing. We brought up the flood mitigation infrastructure that we told him was NOT in the application to be built before houses, he said that was what he thought they agreed to, we said no, it's not. We brought up the pinch point at Butler Ranch
Narrows, (or Huffaker Narrows as it is also known) and the flood water back up into South Meadows, that seemed to get his attention. He seemed concerned about that. And there was some other stuff regarding Corps permits that have been withdrawn and the timing of any new permit application with the Corps (could be years from now after they have already built most of their project and they would ask forgiveness rather than permission).
We told him that the FEMA remap is only going to have a model done in 6-8 months, not the remap, that is going to take several years and he indicated that he thought that Daybreak agreed to waiting for the remap. We said no, in the PowerPoint they said they
were only going to wait on the model from the Flood Project and that was only for about 6 of their over 24 development sections. He said that was not how he understood it and was going to check on that. We told him that Steamboat Creek was not modeled and he
said the the Flood Project is doing it and we told him it was not past South Meadows Parkway.
We were shocked that he did not appear to understand or know a lot of this stuff....
We told him about the wetlands expert that was not on the Daybreak 'team' and that was just one more thing that it appeared Daybreak mislead him on. He would not commit to anything. We told him that the City had a strong legal case and was going to win. We gave
him information on federal and state programs that provide grants etc on acquiring land to protect communities. He said he was going to go back to staff and try and get answers to all these questions, but could not guarantee that staff would not reach out to Newport. We
told him that east Reno was counting on him to change his vote.
We had meetings with Duerr and Schieve but it seemed with them that we were preaching to the choir. We finally got our meeting with Reese on Monday October 21st. Two days before the council meeting. We told him all of the same things we told Delgado. He
seemed concerned about the same issues. But he gave us the same answers. He was going to check with staff.
October 23rd rolled around and we were at the meeting starting at 10:00 am. Delgado was not there; he was traveling out of the country and would call in by phone when his plane landed. He only called in for this one item. That was it. He was not on the phone
before or after. Just this one item.
Schieve was delayed but she got to the meeting before noon. During one of the breaks we realized that the Master Plan Amendment and the PUD were not on the agenda. Only the Zoning Map Amendment was on the agenda. We scrambled to find out what was going on and eventually found out that the Master Plan and PUD were apparently approved at the September 23, 2019 meeting. Imagine our surprise because during the September 11th meeting where the City Attorney
gave his presentation to council about the Stipulated Order, the city council repeatedly asked City Attorney Hall what a yes vote on that day would mean. He answered repeatedly that the ONLY thing that meant was that a yes vote would send the project to the September 23rd meeting for review with possible approval. NOT ONE TIME did he state, imply, hint or infer that the Master Plan Amendment and the PUD would be a done deal at the September 23rd meeting because there would only be ONE READING.
Our Coalition and other stakeholders present at that September 11th meeting, thought that City Attorney Hall must know of which he speaks so it did not occur to us that we should find out if we needed to appeal the Master Plan and the PUD approval from September
23rd because we thought it was only the first reading and that it would be back on October 23rd for the 2nd reading. NO ONE STATED THAT THE MASTER PLAN AND PUD WERE A
DONE DEAL AT THE SEPTEMBER 23RD MEETING. Everyone present thought that the entire project would go to a 2nd reading due to comments made by council and attorneys. Council and City Attorney mentioned several times that the stipulated order changed
everything and that this was not the normal process and in general confused the listening and attending public. The city attorneys, at best, mislead the public who were in attendance at the September 11th and the September 23rd meetings that this issue was
going, in its entirety, to a second reading at a future date. In fact, on October 23rd even City Council members asked questions on why the Master Plan and the PUD were not being heard. They were told it was approved on September 23rd.
During the presentation on October 23rd, we were shocked to find the wetlands expert sitting behind the Daybreak guys, laughing and joking. We went over to talk and went out to the lobby and wouldn't you know? She said that they had just hired her back the day
before. She said all was done except for the signing of contracts. Well now. Wonder how that happened? Not. We only told Delgado and Reese about Daybreak only hiring her the month before for one day.
Brekhus tried to get a sunset on the PUD in case something happened and the project was put on hold. The Daybreak attorney Michael Pagni from McDonald Carano said no. The
PUD would be good for 20 years.
Reese tried to get the Brekhus sunset agreed to and
Pagni said no. Unexpectedly Reese abruptly called for a recess and left the dias. There was a five minute recess and they all came back and everything with Reese was good again.
Delgado chimed in from the phone, and he could barely be understood but staff seemed to know exactly what he was saying because, low and behold they had the supporting documents that he was referencing all ready to put on the overhead. At the
end he asked Andy Durling from Wood Rogers if the project was going to wait for the FEMA remap to be completed and they said they would wait one year. Delgado asked again about the remap and Durling again said they would wait up to only one year. Just as we
told Delgado at our in person meeting and in which he said we were wrong. We were not wrong, but that did not stop Delgado from voting yet again for this project.
In the end, the vote was the same as it had been. 4-3. Delgado, Reese, Weber and Jardon voting yes and Schieve, Duerr and Brekhus voting no.
Now it goes to Regional Planning Agency. They have no ability to condition another entities project, but they can deny. That is our next set of meetings. This time we have our information up front. If it is approved at the RPA, we can appeal to the Regional Governing
Board. This is not over yet.
But keep in mind, Delgado, in whose Ward this project is going to be built, agreed to put almost the entire south east Reno in danger without blinking an eye. He told us at our in person meeting that he sleeps good at night.
October 17, 2019
**Call To Action**
Daybreak is going to be back at Reno City Council on Wednesday October 23rd. This dangerous project will eliminate Steamboat Creek flood storage areas and it appears that they mislead the Council on their mercury testing which could be dangerous to the entire area. Impacts on traffic, schools, infrastructure, police and fire area also a huge concern. Please take 5 minutes to follow the instructions below and email council members directly.
Emails that are sent through the website are not seen by the council, so direct contact is best.
(copy and paste for address bar)
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
if you need a sample script or want to use this guideline feel free to use this, all or part:
(copy and paste in body)
Dear Mayor and Councilmembers,
Your initial denial of this project in November of 2018 gave faith to the community that thisfcouncil will stand up for existing residents and that the consideration of our safety is yourfprimary concern. The vote on September 23rd was like a stab in the back. What change exactly in their new presentation gave you the ability to approve? Was it the 15% reduction in
traffic? Because that basically means that you approved an 85% increase. Nothing else changed. They made some additional promises that they will not be in a position to keep, because they are just the land speculators, they are not the developers. The area in question is vital for flood water storage and is contaminated with mercury and is a danger to all the surrounding residents. That you fell for all the half-truths and misleading statements from this land speculator showed that your judgement to protect me and my family might be in question. I ask that you vote no on this project. Failure to stand up to protect residents in this community will have a chilling impact on the region and will be a consideration in my ability to support any reelections.
October 12, 2019
- Alert on Daybreak's Second Reading -
Daybreak is going to be back before the Reno City Council on October 23rd for the 2nd and final reading from the City Council. After that it has to go to the Regional Planning Agency.
The first reading only passed by one vote. If the following is disturbing enough for you, please consider sending an email to Councilmembers Oscar Delgado and Devon Reese.
Inform them that their vote on this project is going to affect your vote for them next November.
As your constituent, I am urging you to vote 'no' at the second reading of the Daybreak project coming up on October 23rd. This project is dangerous for me, my family and my property and
the fact that you fell for smoke and mirrors from the Newport Pacific Land speculators leads me to believe that you might not be competent enough to earn my vote in 2020. Prove me wrong.
The following is an article penned by Kim Rhodemyre, Chair of the Upper South East Communities Coalition. Please feel free to pass this update around to your interested neighbors for their help.
The Truckee Meadows averages a 100 year flood about every 17 years. Technically we are overdue. Records on flooding in this area started being kept in about 1862. 100 year floods have happened either on the Truckee River, Steamboat Creek or both in all of the following years; 1862, 1867, 1886, 1890, 1907, 1909, 1928, 1937,
1950 (twice - 5 days apart), 1955, 1963, 1965, 1986, 1997 and 2005. Of course the lack of population in certain areas until the last 25-30 years led to under-reported damage but eyewitness accounts can be found in documented records of these events.
On September 23, 2019, a majority of the Reno City Council took a first step in making east Reno a more dangerous place to live.
As you might be aware, when a flood event occurs, east Reno stores flood waters for the entire Truckee Meadows until it can get through the Vista Narrows and then downstream on the Truckee. What does that mean? The canyon east of Vista in Sparks is a pinch point that makes water back up into east Reno, it starts on UNR Farms and goes into the old Rosewood Lakes Golf Course and then further, until the flood volumes can get through the canyon and downstream.
Vista Narrows can't handle the volume of flood waters all at once through that canyon so it backs up. The UNR Farm also holds flood waters from the North Truckee Drain in Sparks so Sparks also contributes to flooding in East Reno. The UNR Farms that holds Truckee River overflow is also significantly impacted by Steamboat Creek flooding which drains that way. Steamboat Creek has 9 tributaries, 6 of which come from the west side of the valley, Thomas Creek, Whites Creek, Dry Creek, Evans Creek, Galena Creek
and Boynton Slough. All affect how much Steamboat Creek floods.
There is another pinch point in this area and that is the Butler Ranch or Huffaker Narrows. This is where the hills come together in north South Meadows and south Hidden Valley.
This pinch point affects Steamboat Creek flooding. When Steamboat floods the water is stored on the Butler Ranch North (south of Mira Loma) until it flows into flood waters from the Truckee River and both could drain downstream through the Vista Narrows. Sometimes this can take up to a week.
Recently, the Butler Ranch or Huffaker narrows was impacted by the building of Veterans Parkway which put a 6 lane road and its base footprint into the BR narrows creating an even narrower opening.
Years ago, Steamboat Creek used to flood the entire South Meadows area. When they started development of South Meadows/Damonte Ranch areas somehow approvals were given to straighten and channelize Steamboat Creek and now that makes flood waters head north through the BR narrows quicker. Since water was no longer
spreading out on the Steamboat Creek floodplain of South Meadows et al, it has become deeper on the Butler Ranch North between the BR narrows and Mira Loma.
That is why, for almost 20 years, the Truckee River Flood Project, along with the City of Reno, Washoe County and the Army Corps of Engineers had designated Butler Ranch North as a flood water storage area along with the old Rosewood Lakes Golf Course and the UNR Main Station Farm.
‘Engineering'. East Reno hears that a lot. From everyone. About 15 years ago the Reno Tahoe Airport had engineers who said it was just fine to put a 17 acre flood mitigation detention basin right next to Hidden Meadows which is just north of Hidden Valley and is along Steamboat Creek. It took about 18 months for that to fill up and has been a pond ever since. Useless for flood water storage. The
developers of Double Diamond had engineers who felt that flood mitigation detention basins would be necessary to hold flood waters throughout their community. The four largest detention basins have had water in them and have for years. They are useless. The water table is higher than the developers always claim. A development
along McCarran had engineers and they were going to build flood mitigation basins but decided to build their houses on a foot more fill because the fine from the City was cheaper than the mitigation would cost to build. The effluent dam on Alexander Lake Road is labeled a high risk dam built near a fault line and one little earthquake could break that dam and flood everything from Mira Loma to South Meadows Parkway. 'Engineering'.
The most impactful project on flooding in east Reno is the Southeast Connector (or Veterans Parkway). As you read this the majority of the project is out of compliance with their federal 404 permit and RTC is desperately trying to find a way to drain the water out of their flood mitigation detention basins because they have been full of water for over a year and they can't figure out how to drain them.
It was discovered after it was built that the Veterans Bridge over the Truckee River was built too low to clear flood waters underneath it so they had to dredge the Truckee under it to make sure that flood waters would not top over the bridge. During construction the project was delayed for more than 8 months because their road was sinking near the Rosewood Lakes Golf Course. They had to tear it up and dig down until their heavy equipment disappeared into the trench, bring in tons and tons of broken concrete and gravel, pack it down, and regrade the base and let it sit until they thought it was no
longer sinking. The bridge over Steamboat Creek was supposed to be closer to Mira Loma but they found out when they tried to sink the pylons that they were sinking into the muck so they had to move the bridge about 300 feet south. These are just a few examples of 'engineering' failures in east Reno. RTC had 'engineers'. They had the BEST engineers. Or so we were told. If the Army Corps of Engineers was not in charge of oversight of the project, then nothing would have been done to try and remedy the detention basin issue because Reno has no enforcement. They have no ability to monitor and enforce if developers are fulfilling the conditions in their
handbooks. They have to wait until it is either reported or discovered and then a minor fine is levied for any noncompliance. It is like the wild west out there after developers get their approvals.
Why is Daybreak going to make east Reno more dangerous? Think about it. Daybreak is going to be built from South Meadows Parkway to Mira Loma, right through the BR narrows. Daybreak is eliminating the critically important Steamboat Creek flood storage areas so where is that water going to go? Not into Daybreak
communities. They have 'engineered' Daybreak communities to build Daybreak homes on fill and carve out areas along Steamboat Creek to make the water flow through Daybreak communities faster. Daybreak also claim that they are going to have enough detention basins to mitigate the loss of the entire Butler Ranch North. Most of the detention basins in east Reno have failed. We are supposed to believe that Daybreak is going to be different?
This Daybreak project is also going to create an even more significant pinch point where the Southeast Connector already constricted the area at the BR narrows, and then channel water faster to Mira Loma. History and geography shows us that water
backs up at a pinch point so does that mean that the South Meadows community is now going to be the new Steamboat Creek flood storage area? It's possible. How far will it back up? To Carat Ave? Steamboat Parkway? We don’t know.
Then, once the water is channeled through Daybreak it's going to hit north of Mira Loma and inundate Rosewood Lakes, Roseview, Herons Landing, Creekside Apartments, Rosewood Apartments, Hidden Meadows, Eastside Subdivision and possibly Donner Springs Mobile Home Park along with The Village At Donner Creek. Most of these areas already flood. Eastside floods if someone sneezes hard upstream.
Recently FEMA demanded a remap of east Reno to update flood maps from the Truckee River to South Meadows Parkway. But no further. These areas have not had a complete remap since the mid 1980's. Daybreak has not modeled Steamboat Creek south of South Meadows. Their entire project is on its banks but they have not
modeled it. They have a hydrologist that has used ‘engineering’ to make their project work. It has already been stated on the record by the former Executive Director of the Truckee River Flood Project that the current flood modeling is about a foot off. Meaning that they expect the current flood water elevations to be a foot higher than their modeling indicates. If that is so, then there are going to be hundreds of people put into the floodplain and they will be required to get flood insurance. Daybreak is not going to be included in that remap because it is not built yet. Really. 3995
homes and they are not going to be included in the new updated modeling that affects everyone in east Reno. Daybreak used the current outdated modeling to get their approvals.
Now Daybreak is indicating that they will make sure that SOME sections of their project comply with the new remap, the remap that does not include Steamboat Creek south of South Meadows Parkway, though they are going to start on other
portions as soon as possible.
September 26, 2019
Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency seeking
input on updated Truckee Meadows Regional Plan
The Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency is holding one more public meeting to get input on the 2019 Truckee Meadows Regional Plan. This public meeting is for
Friday September 27th
At Marvin Piccolo School
900 Foothill Road, Reno 89511
The comprehensive Draft 2019 Truckee Meadows Regional Plan is being considered by the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) for approval and a recommendation of adoption to the Regional Planning Governing Board (RPGB).
Please consider going and give your input on what areas should be protected from development. The understanding is that they are working on a 'Tier' system.
We would like to encourage everyone to attend and express concern about any development of UNR Main Station Farm. Please encourage the RPA to put the UNR Main Station Farm in 'tier 3' to protect its status as flood storage for the entire Truckee Meadows.
With the initial, first approval (they have to pass more approvals until they are allowed to build) of the development of Daybreak on the Butler Ranch North, flood waters from Steamboat need to be able to drain to the UNR Main Station Farm to try and protect existing residents from catastrophe. More critically it needs to be
available for Truckee River flood water storage.
If you can't attend please send an email to
email@example.com as soon as possible. The Governing Board will be adopting the plan in October (date unclear) and your comments need to be in before then. Indicate your support of putting the UNR Main Station Farm in 'tier 3' to protect flood storage.
The Reno City Council will be hearing an update on this on October 2nd during their regular meeting. Agenda item H.3
Please support efforts to get UNR Main Station Farm in 'Tier 3' to protect the remaining areas of flood storage in the entire valley.
September 20, 2019
We ask that you forward this to interested parties.
The Daybreak project is going to be back at City Council on Monday the 23rd. We are being told that this item will not be heard before 2:00 pm.
The meeting starts at 10:00 am and at that time they will have General public comment on anything and will take about 2 hours. Then they will have a break and then item(s) C 3.1, C.3.2, and C3.3 will be not be heard before 2:00 pm. If you cannot come at 2:00 pm but can come at 10:00 am, please feel free to voice your opposition at the first public comment.
If you come for the specific agenda item at 2:00 pm then you will have an opportunity to voice your opposition then during the comment period for the item.
If you can't come at all there are several ways outlined below on how to make a comment. PLEASE take a few minutes to voice your opposition.
At the meeting on the 11th they had 124 comments in opposition and only 4 in favor. We need you to help us beat that number of opposition comments from the 11th! Please get on the record.
For emails, suggested language would go something like:
"On behalf of my family, I am asking that you stand by your original denial of the Daybreak project and don't put people in harms way. You did nothing wrong when you denied in November and the applicant should not be able to dictate to the City of Reno where development should be."
Thank you for standing up for me and my family,
Please remember that the applicant is Newport Pacific Land LLC and they are NOT the developers. They are the land speculating investors from California and they will sell off the pads to different developers. The promises that NPLC makes will most likely not transfer well to the developers. We all know that these people promise mitigation and then are shocked, shocked when the mitigation does not work, eventually doesn't pencil out or is accidentally skipped etc etc.
The great (says sarcastically) Veterans Parkway is a perfect example. The majority of the project is not in compliance with its Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit 3 years after they opened it. They are trying to figure out a way to drain the water from the lakes that were supposed to be wetlands but basins that were available to hold flood waters. They laughed at us when we told them that their mitigation was not going to work. We told them they were going to have full ponds. They told us they had the BEST engineers. They said everything could be 'engineered'. They said we were NIMBY's and we were paranoid.
Double Diamond has 4 ponds. They were supposed to be empty retention basins. Hidden Meadows has a 17 acre lake that was supposed to be a dry detention basin. RTC could not put their Steamboat Creek bridge where they wanted to closer to Mira Loma because their pylons were sinking into the earth. The developer of the Cottages at Longley and McCarran put his houses on an additional foot of fill because the fine was cheaper than the mitigation. There was a project for a well known landscape company in Pleasant Valley that was denied, but he went ahead and did what he wanted anyway along Steamboat Creek. There are HUNDREDS of examples just like this all over the east side of this valley. Reno has no enforcement capabilities and this is not an area where they can get it wrong.
PLEASE WRITE IN - PLEASE EMAIL COUNCIL MEMBERS
On September 23rd 2019 The Daybreak development is coming back again to City Council. This time it's under the Master plan, and Zoning amendments.
The communities of Rosewood Lakes, Roseview, Heron’s Landing, Hidden Valley, Hidden Meadows, the Rio Poco Area, the East Side Subdivision, even Double Diamond, and South Meadows are at risk of Flooding if this development is approved.
This project is on the City Council Agenda under Item(s) C.3.1, C.3.2, and C.3.3
We need your support to voice your Opposition via Email. It will only take only a few minutes of your time and is very effective.
Please go to: RENO.GOV
On top of the main page, select: GOVERNMENT
Then to the left, select: CITY COUNCIL
In the middle of page, select: PUBLIC COMMENT FORM
Fill out the form with your information, Email, Name, and Address are required
For which Ward, select: WARD 3 for most of you in the City closed to Mira Loma.
(FYI, Bella Vista and Cyan are in Ward 3)
Select: WARD 2 for you in the City closed or south of South Meadows
If in Unincorporated area, select: OTHER then Enter UNINCORPORATED
About speaking, select: NO, if you are not attending
For Council Meeting Date, enter: 09/23/2019
For Agenda Item, enter: C.3.1, C3.2, C3.3
About your opinion, select: IN OPPOSITION
In comment (not required) but we suggest you enter: FLOOD CONCERNS AND PUBLIC SAFETY
Then select if you want e-communication, this is up to you.
FOLLOW UP WITH AN EMAIL TO THE FOLLOWING!
Hillary Schieve: firstname.lastname@example.org - Oscar Delgado: email@example.com - Naomi Duerr: firstname.lastname@example.org - Jenny Brekhus: email@example.com - Neoma Jardon: firstname.lastname@example.org - Devon Reese: email@example.com - Bonnie Weber: firstname.lastname@example.org
City Clerk Ashley Turney: email@example.com
Thank you for your support
September 13, 2019
Below is a guest post by Steve Wolgast from Washoe Residents for Appropriate Planning (WRAP) - highly recommend this blog to be up to date on land uses in Washoe County.
A BIG Thank you(!) to everyone who called and sent in comments against (124) but we still need your help. We are trying to get this next Council meeting on Sept 23rd to be in the evening so more people can come! WE NEED YOUR BODIES IN THE ROOM! We will try and get you enough notice to make your plans to attend, but if
you are unable please send emails and make calls to the City Council and voice your opposition.
In your email or phone call, please state, “I request these comments be submitted for the record”. Please submit your comments as soon as possible and include a short note with this suggested verbiage and include a personal message to make it your own:
The City Council did nothing wrong in denying this project in November of 2018, and had reasonable basis to do so. Standing up for the safety of the residents that surround this project site is your fiduciary duty and I encourage you not to roll over to applicant pressure and stand by your original determination of denial.
Thank you for your consideration.
Schieveh@reno.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Mayor Hillary Schieve 334-2001
At Large Devon Reese 334-2255
Ward 1 Jenny Brekhus 334-2011
Ward 2 Naomi Duerr 334-2017
Ward 3 Oscar Delgado 334-2012
Ward 4 Bonnie Weber 334-2015
Ward 5 Neoma Jordon 334-2016
We highly recommend that you contact ALL, but in particular please contact Delgado and Reese and submit comments.
Thank you everyone and please be ready to attend the next meeting and please send comments to the council!
More to come!
Guest Post by Steve Wolgast,
Washoe Residents for Appropriate Planning
Daybreak Decision Delayed (9/11/19)
Posted on September 13, 2019 by Steve Wolgast
The Reno City Council voted 4-3 to delay a decision on the Daybreak development until their meeting on September 23. This review is proceeding in an unusual way because the investors (Newport Pacific Land Co.) have already gone to court and negotiated a stipulation with the City Attorney (Karl Hall) and Council Members
Delgado and Reese. Following the denial of the project by the Reno City Council on November 28, 2018, NPLC went to the Reno Planning Commission with a proposal for a part of the Daybreak project called Rio Wrangler North II. The Planning Commission denied this project, and NPLC went to court with a petition for judicial review and a claim for $50M in damages against Reno for the original Daybreak project. Their claim is that the city denied them their project unfairly thereby “taking” value from their property.
The stipulation mandates that Reno must agree to the
Daybreak plan with minimal changes or go to court starting on September 27. The main point being that the city cannot add more conditions to the project to gain approval. The court action on September 27 would be Reno’s motion to dismiss the case brought by NPLC. Neighbors were disappointed that the city council did not affirm their previous denial of the Daybreak project, but it was understandable that the majority preferred to delay.
NPLC has made many changes to their plan and provided this information to the council members just yesterday. They do not have a new, complete proposal, so the Reno Planning Department will need to update the existing plan with these changes. Once the changes are incorporated, the council members will be able to
review them, but this must all happen in less than 12 days. None of the council members were satisfied with the accelerated schedule.
Voting for delaying the decision until September 23 were Reese, Delgado, Jardon, and Weber. Voting to deny the project again were Brekhus, Schieve, and Duerr.
Karl Hall gave a presentation describing the stipulation and the “order on stipulation”. He also covered the choices facing the city.
Andy Durling of Wood Rogers gave a presentation describing the proposed changes. He spoke like an auctioneer to try to cover the material in the 10 minutes allotted. No reasoned conclusion could be drawn under these circumstances. (His presentation is not available at this time.) He went on to make the point that the
zoning amendment had already been approved for the Butler Ranch North portion and that NPLC could proceed with that and it would not get some “improvements” that are incorporated in the new plan.
Points made during public comment; (note: there were 124 comments received in opposition online. There were four comments received online in support)
There is already area flooding due to blocked drainage channels that are not maintained.
The Daybreak development could cause flooding leaving Reno liable as they were for the Lemmon Valley flooding.
Earlier development projects contributed more to the community in terms of schools, fire, road improvements, etc.
Reno staff admits they don’t enforce requirements in the Reno Development Handbook.
We are not confident the flood mitigation features will be
This process is not transparent. It looks like “Let’s make a deal.”
There have been many “100-year” floods in recent history.
Daybreak only considered flooding on the Truckee River. They did not consider flooding on Steamboat Creek.
Reno has no enforcement on previous developments that violated the master plan.
The council was right to deny the project earlier. They should affirm this decision.
Reno should buy the Daybreak properties from the investors and set it aside for recreation and flood control.
The wetlands are critical for the wild horses and other wildlife.
NPLC is a real-estate speculation firm. They can’t commit to what the developers will do later.
Only 245 homes were approved in the original Butler Ranch development.
Why should Reno grant NPLC an exemption from the Re-Imagine Reno master plan? If every developer gets an exemption, the master plan is meaningless.
We need common sense development that does not engender these problems of flooding and traffic.
Discussion by the council members and staff;
The stipulation violates the Hanson Rule related to legal counsel acting on behalf of a governing body without that body’s approval of the action in a public meeting.
This sets a remarkably dangerous precedent: NPLC should re-apply and pay a new filing fee. Why do they get a “do-over”?
This is a new application and should go through the Planning Commission.
Why should we let this project jump in front of others awaiting approval?
We should see the new tentative maps before considering approval.
NPLC could move forward quickly if they would comply with the existing zoning and master plan.
Why not bring this back as a new project instead of requiring a new decision on a modified version?
The earlier denial by the city council was based on their inability to make the “findings” required to approve the project.
We got a lot of new information from NPLC just yesterday.
I hear the lack of trust in the city’s code enforcement.
Why did NPLC get to file their complaint so late? They only had 30 days from the decision. Hall answered that the 30 days starts from the filing date, not the decision date. This answer was not entirely satisfactory.
A lot of documents have been submitted since the development documentation binder was distributed.
There is no map for the current or revised development.
The Butler Ranch North Planned-Unit Development (PUD) approval is now 15 years old. They have still to get a tentative map. Is the old PUD even relevant?
I don’t even know what questions to ask at this time.
The need for an additional fire station is not addressed.
This project should be re-submitted as a new plan.
The investors claim this is an “exaction”. This is not possible since the project was never approved.
The housing density is way too much. I don’t see how this can change by 9/23.
Can we get answers from staff about the changes in 2 weeks? Can staff identify red-flag issues by then?
Can we negotiate a later date for a decision? An additional month to October 23 would be a better plan.
His goal with the stipulation was to have the negotiation be as much in public as possible.
The master plan only “discourages” building in flood plains: it does not prohibit them.
We have a critical housing shortage. Reese wants to continue to explore the process.
He wants to know “What were the investors assumptions and who did they talk to?”
We should move forward from where we are and not start over with a new application.
There is not sufficient detailed information to consider approval at this point.
We should move forward.
She wants to delay a decision for an extra month.
We need to grow and build homes or we’re dying.
Today is a day to decide if we want to engage in the settlement process.
If the council approves the delayed decision, they may be able to negotiate a delay in the due date.
Arlo Stockman (Reno Planning Manager)
The planning department can review this in two weeks and identify any red-flag issues.
Update September 9, 2019
Daybreak Is Back
Sorry for the short notice but we just got all our information together and we are asking for URGENT action by all our group members and please forward to any that you think might be interested.
Included below is the work of multiple people and several groups to try and get as much information to you as possible. Big THANK YOU'S to Franco, Judy, Valerie, Marge, Terri, John, Jim, Steve and Jennifer and if we forgot anyone please forgive us.
Daybreak is back and will be on the City Council Agenda on Sept 11th, item D.1.
Meeting starts at 10:00 am.
On Aug 28th we found out about the following:
We have been provided documents from Jonathan Shipman on a stipulated order negotiated by Karl Hall and taken to Daybreak to present to the Court to try and get a dispute resolution before the court date on this case which is Sept 27th. As you can see by reading these documents, this is not a negotiated agreement with give and take on both sides...this is a capitulation to the developer.
This had NO public input and if we had not been given a tip from
a source, then the public would have not known anything about it until the Sept 11th meeting. It was agreed to in secret behind closed doors. There is much in, and about, this document to fight City Hall over. As stated in the document and reiterated to us by Shipman, the agreement is based on "slight modifications" by Daybreak to their entire project and the council cannot make any additional conditions to the project unless Daybreak agrees. We have also submitted
a public records request to the City Clerk to get meeting calendars for all council members and the Mayor to see how many meetings that they have had with applicant or applicant attorneys. Might not get this info before the Sept 11th meeting.
So here is all the information that we have:
This particular request is URGENT! It’s hard to tell exactly how the City Council is feeling about this latest development, but the massive Daybreak development (Investors) will be back before the Reno City Council. It looks like the investors are trying an end-around maneuver to circumvent the voice of
Agenda http://renocitynv.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx Type=14&ID=1854&Inline=True
The Daybreak project will be Item D.1 on the agenda on September 11th. We know that it makes it difficult on all of us who work during the day, but we’re asking anyone who has the ability to be there to attend. If you cannot attend, emails and phone calls are IMPORTANT. Messages are given to the city
council before discussion on any issue. Messages are given to the city council before discussion on any issue.
In your email or phone call, please state, “I request these comments be submitted for the record”. Please submit your comments as soon as possible and include a short note with this suggested verbiage:
The City Council did nothing wrong in denying this project in November of 2018, and had
reasonable basis to do so. Standing up for the safety of the residents that surround this project site is
your fiduciary duty and I encourage you not to roll over to applicant pressure and stand by your
original determination of denial.
Thank you for your consideration.
Schieveh@reno.gov; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Mayor Hillary Schieve 334-2001
At Large Devon Reese 334-2255
Ward 1 Jenny Brekhus 334-2011
Ward 2 Naomi Duerr 334-2017
Ward 3 Oscar Delgado 334-2012
Ward 4 Bonnie Weber 334-2015
Ward 5 Neoma Jordon 334-2016
The developer of the Daybreak did not petition the Washoe District Court for a judicial review of the Reno City Council decision to deny the project which required changes to the Reno Master Plan (Reimagine Reno) and to zoning, they went straight for a civil action for damages. This led City Attorney’s
to negotiate with applicants and their attorneys to try to avoid court proceedings, which was done out of the public eye and behind closed doors. The negotiated stipulation that was provided to the court and then remanded by the court on August 29 favored the developer by almost eliminating Reno’s ability to add requirements or conditions to any approval of the project without Daybreak’s agreement. Reno can only approve the project (it might be presented with ‘slight modifications’), or it can deny it and go to
court on September 27. If Reno approves, then it will have a first reading on September 23 followed by the second reading sometime at the beginning of October. If Reno approves the project, it is further obligated to support the project before the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Authority. Reno
attorneys Karl Hall and Jonathan Shipman were parties to the stipulation agreement. It is not known what went on during the negotiations.
If the plan is not substantially changed from the project already denied by the City Council in November 2018, it would still develop the last “natural sponge” to absorb runoff on the Steamboat Creek and eliminate Reno, Washoe County and Army Corps designated flood storage areas. Other issues included the flood data the developer used was out of date and incomplete. (There is a directive from FEMA to update flood mapping but that is still in the negotiation phase and has not begun yet). The recent update to the Master Plan called Re-imagine Reno, states that floodplains should be avoided for development. The Army Corps of Engineers have recommended over decades in their Draft Feasibility
Studies not to build in these areas. Earlier tests show high Mercury contamination in areas associated with the Steamboat Creek floodplain.
Copies of the Stipulated order and the Order - Agreement from agenda packet on pages 700-711.
If you looked up the agenda item you may have noticed there is absolutely nothing attached in the Agenda Packet for Item D.1, all you see are the two legal letters.
What is expected by Newport Pacific Land LLC is that they will propose to do ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT and promise to address Findings A1, A, F and I , and they will also promise to address items 7.1D, 7.1E, and 7.1F thus forcing City Council to approve the project based on these promises.
Basically they are imposing conditions on themselves. Can you already hear council members saying: “This is a No brainer, how can we refuse such
An extract from the ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT principles
" ….. First, trust is primary and essential to learning in adaptive management, not a side benefit.
Second, practitioners cannot assume that extensive monitoring data or large-scale efforts will automatically facilitate successful collaborative adaptive management…..."
We really need to forecast this scenario and educate City Council in advance to be able to reject it. First NPLC promises to address the Findings is a LIE, because they are promising on behalf of a future developers. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT NEWPORT PACIFIC LAND IS NOT THE DEVELOPER. THEY ARE THE INVESTORS THAT BOUGHT THE LAND AND WILL SELL
EACH PHASE TO DEVELOPERS!!!
So, who will Police/Monitor the development? NPLC will be out of the picture at the bank counting money.
Second, a NPLC promise on addressing flooding is a LIE, due to the fact that they are working on unreliable DATA, since FEMA is in the process of negotiating the remap of the floodplains, and we expect flood elevations to be worse.
Third, the flood protection project has not been built yet, and at the moment we have a choking point at Vista narrow and at the Butler Ranch Narrows. You can only discharge so much water before it starts to back up.
Fourth, the entire area targeted for development has been modeled by the Truckee River Flood Management Authority (TRFMA) as retention areas to slow down the water going down to the Vista narrows, and it takes in account impervious surfaces. The development will eliminate all that retention, thus discharging more water downstream.
In addition the area just north of South Meadows Pkwy will not be able to absorb water thus creating flooding in areas that you would not expect. Need to be aware that there is another pinch point (the Butler Narrows) that will affect Steamboat Creek flooding.
Promising to address the Findings requires trust. As we know many projects approved with conditions, many times the conditions don’t get incorporated.
ALSO PLEASE BE AWARE THAT OUR CONTACTS WITH THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS IN THE LAST 6 WEEKS HAS LED US TO FIND OUT THAT THE SOUTHEAST CONNECTOR IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THEIR CORPS PERMIT AT THIS TIME. 3 YEARS AFTER THE OPENING OF THE ROAD!
ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT is also based on learning. If the first group of houses flood, that's okay! We will learn what to do for the next group!
We all need to start thinking how to fend off this type of proposal by finding holes in such proposal.
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.