The Reno City Council gave the green light last week to a new development in Verdi despite objections from residents in the area.
The Meridian 120 North development will allow for nearly 273 single-family homes on more than 100 acres. The site is north of I-80, west of Boomtown Garson Road and south of South Verdi Road.
The City’s planning commission approved the subdivision, but Verdi residents appealed, citing concerns about home density, traffic and water availability for the planned unit development or PUD.
“These mega-PUDs that are planned for our area will change our existing lifestyles forever. While the city has to plan for growth, it has to be sustainable growth,” said Adrian Argyris, speaking on behalf of Verdi residents.
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The developer, Reno Land Development Company, said that water will be available for the project. It also ponied up $100,000 to give to the Washoe County School District (WCSD) for potential overcrowding at Verdi Elementary.
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve praised the developer’s donation.
“You’re leading by example and showing what a project looks like when it’s done right and when you care about the community and certainly the children,” she said. Schieve also disclosed that she is friends with a Jessica Sferrazza, who is working with the developer.
Councilmember Naomi Duerr said that such projects are carefully considered by the council.
“The planning process is tough,” she said. “The council spends a lot of time reviewing each application which comes before us. Where issues remain, applicants may withdraw their application or request a continuance to continue addressing issues rather than face a denial.”
The council denied last summer a special use permit for a rock crushing plant in Verdi after widespread outcry from Verdi residents.
This time, the council voted unanimously to approve a tentative map and special use permits for the development, which could still face further appeals.
Before final approval, the developer has to make “modifications that include a disclosure to the future property owners that their water system (which is proposed to be private) may, at some future time, be annexed into a public utility which could result in cost changes; and a signage and striping plan that would improve traffic safety,” according to the city.
After the council’s vote, the Reno Land Development Company doubled its $100,000 donation to the WCSD to $200,000.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.