Home > Featured > City Council turns down 1,000-acre Mortensen Ranch development

City Council turns down 1,000-acre Mortensen Ranch development

By Bob Conrad

The Reno City Council on Wednesday denied a development proposing to build 676 homes on nearly 1,000 acres west of Somersett in the Verdi area.

The Reno Planning Commission in 2019 denied approval of the Mortensen Ranch project. The developer and property owner, in turn, sued. A court remanded the decision to the city council.

Nearby residents have been mostly opposed to the development, citing increased traffic,  steep slopes, loss of open space and an added strain on police and fire services.

Council member Neoma Jardon, who previously took issue with the project, made a motion to reverse the planning commission’s denial of the project.

Council member Jenny Brekhus objected, citing in part what she said was insufficient staffing at the nearest fire station, as well as traffic impacts.

“The council finds that the property conditions at the edge of the region’s footprint at an unprecedented elevation upon Peavine Mountain flank, combined with canyon and ridge lines prone to quick fire travel, pose [a] public safety risk that is beyond the city’s capacity to serve,” she said. “The applicant in choosing to route all traffic through an existing neighborhood rather than through the adjacent public highway…is a disruption condition upon the street network…”

Jardon’s motion failed.

Mayor Hillary Schieve and council members Naomi Duerr, Jenny Brekhus, Devon Reese and Oscar Delgado supported a second motion to turn down the project.”I have some serious concerns with the fire access,” Schieve said.

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