Rural neighborhood fights for its lifestyle--again

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It's a not-in-my-backyard battle with some history behind it. And, if you pull off old 395 to visit the Andrew Lane area, you get a sense of what people there say they're protecting.

"People moved out here into the county because we want open land," says Delia Greenhalgh. "We have cattle. We have horses. We have bicyclists. People come out here to get away from the city."

They've fought to protect that lifestyle before.

Every time you drive that last extension of I-580 with the big bridge between Reno and Carson City, you're visiting the site of one of their victories.

As the freeway was being planned decades ago, they fought other powerful interests to keep it from being built on what was then U.S. 395 right through their neighborhoods. And they won, as they also won reduced speed limits on the old highway.

They now find themselves on another old battlefield.

Eighteen years ago, the owners of Colorock, a local landscaping company, proposed a rock plant on the 35 acres just over the Greenhalghs' fence. It didn't fit the rural zoning and was turned down. Now it's back.

A proposal which would have cleared the way for the business was withdrawn before the county commission could vote on it earlier this year, but Colorock is taking a different route, asking for a special use permit.

The neighborhood, Greenhalgh says, hasn't changed its mind.

Concerns include its incompatibility with the rural landscape, more than 300 trips by heavy duty trucks every day and, for a community that saw flooding last winter, the site's location on what they say is a flood plain.

The matter comes before the Board of Adjustment meeting Thursday, October 5 at 3:30 p.m. Neighbors say they will be there in force, backed up on an online petition, and they say others have a stake in the outcome.

"Once this change is made with the special use permit, heavy industrial can come into anywhere in the county. We feel heavy industrial should stay in a heavy industrial regulatory zone."

We contacted Colorock seeking its input on this story. The owners were unavailable to us Wednesday.