Proposed Route Past Reno Opposed By Storey County

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A proposed route for a highway designed to improve traffic flow in the Reno area is drawing opposition from residents in neighboring Storey County.

The proposed Tahoe-Pyramid link has been revived after Hidden Valley residents successfully blocked it from going through their Reno neighborhood.

Now, the Regional Transportation Commission is considering a new plan that would run the highway through a portion of Storey County east of Hidden Valley.

"This is just another case of Washoe County trying to tell us what to do," Storey Commissioner Greg Hess said. "It's a slap in the face of Storey County residents."

Under one plan, the proposed highway would lead from the Damonte Ranch High School area in Reno, run into Storey County and exit the hills near the Reno area's sewage treatment plant on the Truckee River. From there, it could connect to Sparks or Vista boulevards in Sparks.

Hess said the link would add as many as 12,000 cars a day to the area in his county and affect residents in the nearby Virginia Highlands.

Some Virginia Highlands residents said the area is intended to be a wild horse sanctuary and the road would be incompatible. The road would bring housing development to the area, they added.

Hess said the county does not want subdivisions like those sprouting up in Washoe County.

"We're trying to remain rural," he said. "This could change all that."

Plans call for the road to run through Storey on land donated by Storey County Properties.

"Frankly, I'm puzzled by the commissioners' opposition to the Tahoe-Pyramid link," Proctor Hug, a company partner, told the Sparks Tribune. "People seem to have their minds made up. I'm not sure what to do."

Hug said the company has no plans for residential development in the area, but some parcels could be developed for industrial uses.

He said he views the road as an opportunity for Storey to broaden its tax base. He might try to talk to Virginia Highlands residents to dispel "misinformation" about the proposal, Hug said.

Storey commission Chairman Bob Kershaw also opposes the proposed route.

"I want a public hearing on it and a joint meeting with the Washoe County commission that will put it to rest," he said.