Developer’s proposal has Lemmon Valley residents worried

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 4:38 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - If you haven’t lived in the area long, a trip to Lemmon Valley shows open areas which look very pristine and desert-like. And for now, it is.

But just four years ago, the same area was heavily damaged by flood waters. A wet winter combined with run-off and an overflow of sewer water turned the dry lake bed Swan Lake into its original name.

Roads needed to be protected, neighborhoods were impassable, and people’s homes were destroyed.

A lawsuit ensued with homeowners not only winning their case against the City of Reno, but in October, received a bench trial and summary judgement.

“Really appreciative of all the hard work our attorneys, judge and jury in the case,” says Donna Robinson, a plaintiff in the case and current Lemmon Valley resident. “For the three of us, the Johnsons, the Walls and myself, for a certain amount of money for damage to our property,” she says of the summary judgement. “And that is what we are waiting on. And of course we found out the city will appeal, which is going to delay the resolution longer, and cost the tax payers tens of thousands of dollars,” she says.

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs in Lemmon Valley will take the remaining claims of approximately 30 residents to Federal Court to seek compensation from the city.

But residents say the lawsuit has changed nothing. Many of the same elements which contributed to the flooding are still present, like over development and inadequate methods to take care of flood waters.

Which is why many are concerned about Prado Development asking the city to approve warehouses and homes on ground that was, until last summer, covered in water.

“The city needs to stop and think. Do they really work for the developers or do they work for us,” says Robinson.

Prado says it will work with the city to deal with storm water and elevate the road above the flood plane to diminish potential road closures, damage, and other problems.

The city council will take up the issue at its scheduled meeting Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 10 a.m.

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