Odor, light, noise and traffic may lead to lower property taxes for Lemmon Valley residents

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 11:56 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - On Wednesday night Lemmon Valley residents got another opportunity to voice their frustration over the smell described by some as ‘death’ coming from Swan Lake.

“There’s never been a stench like that in my lifetime of living out there,” said a resident.

“Why are we smelling sewer for... What was it? Four, five, six weeks?” said resident Donna Robinson.

Around 50 people showed up at the Washoe County Assessor’s Office to potentially have their properties devalued by the county. Assessor Mike Clark, who hosted the meeting with Commissioner Jeanne Herman said property values have increased across the county and the meeting is an intent to bring some relief for those taxpayers.

“What we want to do is look and see if there are external influences devaluing their property,” said Clark. “We want to interview these people and see if there is anything that we can do.”

While many support the potential of paying lower taxes, they kept repeating how this is an issue about the quality of life.

“The intrinsic value of everything, the beauty, people can go walking, riding their horses,” said Lemmon Valley resident Sandy Hirsch.

“The value the house is at, as the assessor has no impact on the real estate value so don’t be afraid of them taking your information and reducing your taxes, if anything it will make the payment lower in the future to a buyer,” said a resident.

Aside from the fishy smell, those who showed up said their lives have been disrupted by light, noise and traffic issues caused by new warehouses.

“We have dark skies, we should not be seeing these lights,” said resident Donna Holt-Still, while showing a picture of the warehouse lights during the night.

Last month, Washoe County, which owns one of the sewer plants in the area, determined odor emitted from the lake is naturally occurring but residents and even Clark believe otherwise.

“Maybe the City of Reno, I guess they’re the owners of the sewage treatment plant, maybe they should find out how come their plant is stinking so bad that’s causing people physical problems,” said Clark.

Property assessments will be mailed in about five weeks and any devaluation should be reflected in those.

All properties in the valley will be reviewed by the Washoe County Assessor’s Office. If you want to express your concerns, contact the office. For more information contact Mike Clark at 775-720-2277 and Jeanne Herman at 775-358-0555.

In the meantime, neighbors continue to seek answers and action.