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Map, permits approved for Damonte Ranch foothills development


A tentative map and some special-use permits for a hillside residential development in the Damonte Ranch area were approved Tuesday by the Reno City Council.

The Canyons, a planned unit development, is located in the area of Trail Rider Drive in south Reno. The project provides 29 acres of residential zoned land and nearly 52 acres of open space. Prior zoning called for 57 acres of single family development.

Real estate developer John Dolan, president of Dolan & Associates, has plans to build 71 single-family residential units. Lot sizes range from 3,000 to 32,600 square feet—nearly three-quarters of an acre for the larger lots.

Dolan said he’s been working on the plans for several years and that the property has been in his family for 40 years. The City Council has approved several actions on the 81-acre site since 2016.

A site map of The Canyons, a planned development in south Reno’s Damonte Ranch area. Image: City of Reno

Lots will be set back 15 or more feet from the high rim of the canyon’s major drainage on the north and south banks and the homeowner’s association must keep roads clear of things such as rocks and snow, according to council recommendations.

Some mitigation measures for eagles and horses, along with an additional public trail, are also expected. However, there was some debate among council members about the proximity of horses to the project and how to handle them.

Councilwoman Naomi Duerr said she spoke with stakeholders who suggested installing a trough on the northeast corner of the project, which is furthest away from homes. It would supply approximately 150 horses with water year-round if there was no objection by local and state authorities.

“The challenge is that this project goes right up to the mountain,” Duerr said. “The horses can just get by in maybe a 20-, 30- or 40-foot corridor. What we want to keep them from doing is going by the project at all. Usually they come down from the mountains from Storey County and they go right by this project.”

Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus, who voted against the map and permits, said horses can be a public safety concern.

“They do use the roads as thoroughfares,” Brekhus said. “If the wildlife issue in this area is not dealt with in a comprehensive, regional intergovernmental manner, to me it says this tentative map is premature.”

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.