Located on the Nevada-California border on the south side of Highway 395, Train Town will be near another proposed development, Stonegate, a master-planned community that could put more than 4,000 new residences on northwest Peavine Mountain, an area that was a historic ranch.
North Valleys residents, who say they are already feeling the brunt of gridlock traffic during peak commute times, as well as overcrowded schools, spoke against Train Town at Wednesday’s City Council meeting
Resident Suzanne Freeman was one of those people.
“We have quite a bit of traffic,” she said. “If any of you have been around Stead, Golden Valley, Red Rock around 5:15 in the afternoon, you’ll see it’s already car-to-car. We’re looking at a whole lot of growth around dry lake as well.”
These comments prompted a discussion about the city’s approval of such large developments. Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus questioned whether the city can service the development.
“How far away is fire? 12 minutes? Police is 17 minutes,” she exclaimed. “There’s no water, no sewer. You do not put out a zoning map of quarter-acre lots. It just does not get done in any metropolitan area in this country at this point in time to have this little ability to serve a development and say yes to it.”
Councilman Paul McKenzie, who represents part of the North Valleys, countered that Train Town is too far from the Reno’s urban core to be of use to low-income residents who need to be closer to town.
“A majority of people in this city still want a white picket fence,” he said. “They don’t want to live in an apartment…. This is not the place to put the mixed-use that we’re trying to develop for the moderate income, low-income families in this community. This wouldn’t be the appropriate place to put them because it would put a burden upon them to get to the services that they need to survive.”
McKenzie insisted that Train Town’s developers will help mitigate any impacts from the new residences and called upon other developers to do the same.
The council voted for the Train Town zoning map change, but more approvals will be needed before the project can proceed. Sierra County in California requested that the project be delayed.
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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.