Judge Denies Douglas County Development

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A judge has rejected the Douglas County Commission’s approval of a 1,476-acre subdivision on scenic forest and meadow land in the Clear Creek Canyon area, just south of Carson City.

Douglas County District Judge Dave Gamble filed a 21-page ruling Wednesday that held the commission’s June 3 approval of the controversial project, on part of the old Schneider ranch, was arbitrary.

Don Miner, spokesman for project developer John Serpa, said he couldn’t comment on the order until he had read it.

Serpa wants to develop 221 one-acre lots and 155 8,000-square-foot lots. The development would consist of 366 single-family homes, 18 time-share or guest lodges and a private golf course.

Gamble said commissioners “failed to make all the numerous findings required to amend the Douglas County master plan and were not presented with evidence sufficient to make those necessary findings.”

Gamble rejected the argument that the development had to be approved in order to obtain infrastructure needed to support the number of homes the developer could put on the property. He pointed out most of the infrastructure was already approved.

The judge also said that if the project faltered, the developer could return and ask for another change, saying the approved project is still not feasible until more building sites are approved.

Gamble also pointed out the master plan requires the county to work with the Washoe Tribe, which has opposed the development.

Following an initial approval in November, Alpine View homeowners sued the county and argued the commission’s vote was inadequate. In response, Gamble ordered a new hearing. That resulted in the 4-1 vote by commissioners on June 3 to approve the project.