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Reno turns down proposed Mortensen Ranch settlement


Reno won’t be settling a lawsuit filed by developers who plan 676 homes on 955 acres just west of Somersett in the Verdi area.

Developer Fred Altmann of Reno and property owner Stan Lucas of Long Beach, California, have asked the Second District Court in Reno to overturn a vote by City Council in January to deny the project.  The city’s Planning Commission had voted in late 2019 to deny approval.

The court ordered the developers and the city to work toward a settlement.  Attorneys met in early July, and the developer offered to eliminate about 40 homes planned near ridgelines from its plan. The settlement offer also included construction of an additional emergency access road into the property.

City Council member Neoma Jardon, who has been strongly opposed to the proposal, said the settlement offer comes “nowhere close” to addressing her concerns. The council decided unanimously on Wednesday that the city won’t accept the offer, and the developers’ lawsuit is expected to move forward.

Residential development of the property known as Mortensen Ranch has been envisioned for about 20 years, but nearby residents don’t like many of the specifics of the current proposal.

Neighbors in Somersett and Verdi cite increased traffic, loss of open space, deep cuts in hillsides to allow road construction and pressures on fire and police protection in their opposition to the plan by Altmann and Lucas.

John Seelmeyer
John Seelmeyer
John Seelmeyer is a business writer and editor in Reno. In his 40-year career, he has edited publications in Nevada, Colorado and California and written several thousand published articles about business and finance.