COLD SPRINGS VALLEY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Heinz Ranch sits in the southwestern corner of Cold Springs Valley between US 395 and the California border.
A working ranch since before Nevada was a state, this bit of local history is facing a much different future. The cattle and antelope still graze; developers want to build an entire community.
Others envisioned a different future here. The Nevada Land Trust tried to see it set aside as open space. That failed.
In 2006 the city, in the midst of an aggressive annexation period, took over and developers have been eyeing it ever since. Now they are ready with their plans for what would be called Stonegate, an upscale community on the lines of Sommersett with shops, restaurants, parks, schools and more than 4,000 homes.
Just north of us here is a small community of modest homes, and across the valley in Cold Springs, thousands more. As you might imagine, they have concerns.
Traffic seems to top the list.
"US 395 South is backed up all the way to I-80," says Cathy Carroll, who lives just down the road. "At 4PM, 395 North is backed up all the way to I-80."
But there are other worries, including fire and police protection.
"Truckee Meadows Fire Chief Charlie Moore said I could quote him and he said to me 'Reno annexed more than it can protect,'" says Cold Springs resident Victoria Edmondson.
"Keeping Reno's residents safe is our top priority. The Reno Fire Department is proud of its average response time of 6 minutes," said Reno Fire Chief Dave Cochran. "We will work to maintain or lower our average response time, even as Reno's revitalization brings more homes and residents to our region."
"There was an armed robbery in Cold Springs just the other day," adds neighbor Alise Hilburn, "and it's only going to get worse. I understand the homes aren't going to be affordable and the water situation--where are they going to come up with the solution for the water situation."
A spokesperson for the developers says they've held informational outreach meetings. Some residents dispute that. saying they got few answers and felt stonewalled. but they say they will be there Thursday night at 6 when the development goes before the city of Reno Planning Commission.