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County upholds planning board’s decision to approve development in Cold Springs


A planning board approval for a development in Cold Springs was upheld Tuesday by Washoe County commissioners, who agreed unanimously that the appellant had no standing.

The Washoe County Planning Commission voted Jan. 5 to allow an 8.6-acre parcel to contain a subdivision with 111 attached residential units on the 18000 block of Village Parkway. Various access points into and out of the development are expected to disperse traffic.

Building specifications for Woodland Village would be in accordance with the Cold Springs Area Plan, which the county says allows up to 14 dwelling units per acre. The property is owned by WVC Commercial LLC, which is managed by Lifestyle Homes’ Robert Lissner.

Washoe County planner Julee Olander said 20 buildings that are two to three stories each are mapped out. Each building will contain two to 10 units that are either two or three bedrooms apiece. Additionally, one- and two-vehicle garages are planned per unit. The area would be served by Great Basin Water Company and Washoe County would provide sewer service.

An aerial map of the site for the planned Woodland Village townhome development in Cold Springs.
An aerial map of the site for the planned Woodland Village townhome development in Cold Springs. Image: Wood Rogers

“These services have been in place for this area,” Olander said. “The infrastructure has been somewhat laid out if not already developed.”

Derek Schoepf, who in January began a “Stop Condos in Cold Springs” GoFundMe account, brought the appeal forward, alleging the planning commission didn’t address concerns of the North Valleys Citizen Advisory Board. He also said concerns about compatibility of development in relation to the existing community, infrastructure, fire safety and traffic weren’t addressed.

“With the high winds Cold Springs experiences, a three-story structure catching on fire is going to have a better chance of spreading to surrounding buildings with the wind and to other homes,” Schoepf told commissioners.

According to Washoe County, the North Valleys CAB in December voted in support of the Woodland Village application. Traffic on U.S. Highway 395, infrastructure and availability of bus service were also discussed during the meeting. However, Schoepf states the traffic impact report did not specifically address the area around Village Center Drive.

Attorney Garrett Gordon, who represents WVC Commercial, said his client is planning to construct much-needed residences that are ideal for retirees looking to downsize or people buying their first homes.

“The Cold Springs plan encourages mixed-use and multifamily development. This is exactly that product,” Gordon said. “All of you know Lifestyle builds a phenomenal product and they’re now trying to move forward with even more affordable workforce housing that will be really important to this town center.”

Commissioner Kitty Jung said she supports the project and likes the fact that Lissner, the developer, resides in the neighborhood.

“I think one of the luckiest things in the world is when you have people who live in a development and they’re the developer because they have a different responsibility than does a developer who lives far out of the neighborhood, or—most likely in our circumstances—aren’t even from this community, state or area,” Jung said. “These are the types of people I’d like to see grow the community. They’re accountable in a whole different way than even us as policymakers.”

Commissioner Vaughn Hartung suggested Village Parkway be put on the Regional Transportation Commission’s Capital Improvement Program list because it’ll eventually need widening. He also suggested the builder consider improving side streets to counteract public concerns.

“There’s going to be a need in the not-too-distant future as all of these areas grow,” Hartung said.

On the web: https://woodlandvillage.net

Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.