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Reno denies Prado Ranch zone amendments

By Carla O'Day
Published: Last Updated on
Prado Ranch site. Google Earth image.

A zoning amendment that would have allowed for hundreds of homes and commercial development near Swan Lake was rejected this week by the Reno City Council.

The council on Wednesday unanimously denied a request for a master plan and zoning map amendment for the development of the Prado Ranch Planned Unit Development. Property is along the eastern and western sides of Lemmon Drive from Oregon Boulevard to Patrician Drive.

Prado Ranch would have allowed for the creation of 176 single-family homes, 529 multi-family units, 3.6 million square feet of industrial development and 57,750 square feet of commercial development. Lancing Companies is the developer.

The Reno City Planning Commission recommended the council deny the requested amendments. Concern involved land use compatibility and the appropriateness of introducing industrial land uses in an area that is predominantly residential and not located in proximity to the freeway.

“Industrial land use designation does not provide for an appropriate transition from lower density residential uses to the north of the site that have existed for decades,” Councilwoman Bonnie Weber said. “The proposed industrial land use is more than 3 miles away from U.S. 395. That is a long way to travel through sensitive areas, including existing residential neighborhoods and a designated school zone with students walking to Lemmon Valley Elementary School.”

Weber also said odor and air pollution can’t be mitigated with an open space buffer.

Members of the public have raised issue with traffic, drainage and flooding, future floodplain management regulation changes, groundwater elevations and grading impacts to domestic wells, sewer and effluent disposal, school capacity, and industrial uses in close proximity to residences and a school zone. Traffic studies determined the project would generate 6,250 average daily trips.

Council members continued this issue at a meeting in March 2019. Lancing Companies then sought an extended continuance that May to work with the Regional Transportation Commission and Washoe County on stormwater mitigation issues.

On the Prado Ranch website, Lancing Companies says it’s committed to preserving the character of Lemmon Valley and is working to improve the area’s preparedness to deal with stormwater.

“This includes completing projects that elevate the road above the floodplain, which diminishes the possibility of road closures, damage and other problems,” the website states.

“We are not expanding FEMA boundaries, nor are we increasing the level of water in the lake. Rather, by making alterations to the perimeter of the lake as it stands on our property, we’ll be decreasing the likelihood of flooding.”

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