Pleasant Valley residents defend rural lifestyle once again

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It’s a battle people living in the Pleasant Valley area have fought before. Now they are doing it again.

Back in 1998, Gail Willey Landscaping Company wanted a special use permit to allow nursery and rock sales on the property.

The Washoe County Board of County Commission allowed the nursery, but not rock sales.

Almost 20 years later, the company is back asking for something similar. Once again, residents aren't going down without a fight to protect their rural lifestyle.

"It's a wonderful atmosphere! Don't try and tell us this addition is going to benefit us. It will not," said a resident against the proposed development.

Comments like this one could be heard throughout the Washoe County Commission Chambers as people spoke against two businesses trying to relocate to their area.

"It's absolutely insane to have a heavy industrial project like this in our valley," said another concerned resident.

The Gail Willey Landscaping Company and Colorock wants to allow wholesaling, storage and distribution on land it owns near the community. A representative says it is not an industrial project.

"The great part about this is that it's a Special Use Permit. If they don't comply, it can be yanked and they can lose it. It's a privilege to have a Special Use Permit," said Garrett Gordon, Land Use Attorney.

Gordon says the company has never been cited for noise or dust and has never had a traffic accident for years at its current location.

“Gail Willey and John Willey have no interest in being bad neighbors. Have no interest in shove in a use that is going to be loud or obnoxious," said Gordon.

He says the board should allow the company to move this time because there isn't as much traffic on U.S. 395 now that I-580 was built. Supporters agree the company has a great reputation.

"In six years in watching them, they have a zero foot print. That is hard for all of you to understand that. They are on South Virginia, they don't create problems," said a supporter of the business moving.

However residents say they don't want trucks disturbing their rural lifestyle and they are worried the business would be built in a flood plain.

"It's not possible for us to simply move and pick up our house and go somewhere else. We have to fight to protect the lifestyle we have created for ourselves," said a concerned resident.

The Washoe County Board of Adjustment partially approved the special use permit by a 4 to 1 vote. The motion says the company can have a wholesale nursery at the location, but its rock operation and construction sales will not be allowed.

Gail Willey and Colorock representative said it didn't make sense for them to have their businesses in two different locations.

The decision can be appealed to the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners.