Neighbors Oppose Virginia Lake Development

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A zoning change request in South Reno has neighbors riled up. Reno-based development company called "M-T-K Limited" wants to re-zone an empty horse pasture near Virginia Lake, allowing them to build multi-family housing there.

The developer hasn't said for sure what specifically the complex will be used for, but he did say that if the re-zoning is approved, he plans to build a structure in this field that would house around 116 families, and stand no more than three stories high.

Heather Clinger owns the home across the street from the proposed zoning change. She says she bought it because it's in a quiet neighborhood, and so close to the park...ideal for her young children.

"I just love the location and I grew up on a farm and had horses always, so this horse pasture has been wonderful to be able to look out and see all the horses," said Clinger.

Clinger says future development could destroy her peaceful view, as well as adding problems to an area already plagued with crime and congestion.

"I've had, personally, my car broken into four times within the last two years here. In my own driveway."

Homeowner Bruce Gamino says he too has concerns. He says he's not anti-development, but thinks additional housing will further overcrowd an already dense neighborhood.

In January, a request to rezone the property was denied by the city planning commission after residents spoke out.

"There were probably 60 to 100 people there. Everyone voted no. There was one comment card that said yes, but basically, the whole neighborhood is against it," said Gamino.

But the developer is now appealing that decision. He says his project would add a modern, gated community, that won't detract from the scenery.

If the land is re-zoned, the developer says he plans to build either apartments, condominiums, or senior housing. He says it will include, grassy, landscaped areas and possibly, playgrounds for the people who live there.

City council met on the matter Wednesday night. Even if they decide to re-zone the section of property, the developer will still have to apply for a "special use permit" in the future before he actually starts building.

UPDATE: MTK Limited says it intends to modify the zoning request and again seek Planning Commission approval. MTK says its hopeful to ease residents' concerns.