The Reno City Council Wednesday voted to give StoneGate developers the initial approval to form a special assessment district (SAD) to fund the massive North Valleys development over the next 20 years.
It was the first of four approvals required by the city for the SAD to finance the industrial and residential development in Cold Springs.
Upcoming meetings will solidify the developers’ agreement with the city. On May 26, the city will vote on the bond resolution for nearly $37 million in bonds.
“That’s what really sets the bond in motion,” City Finance Director Deborah Lauchner said. “We would issue the bond. We hold on to all those bond funds until … you do an official claim against the funds [if] they meet the requirements [of the project].”
Then the city would reimburse the developers. Yesterday’s vote, however, was just to create the district.
Council members Naomi Duerr and Jenny Brekhus both voted against the approval. Duerr said there was not enough information about what the city would get out of the deal, and she said a commitment for 200 affordable housing units would only be built 20 years from now.
“It’s not there for me,” Duerr said. “I found out it’s not until phase five, the last phase, which has just been mentioned is 20 years out. That’s concerning to me. While I was surprised at the first SAD … I found out [the developers] are planning five, six or seven SADs for a total price of $200 million. That is their expectation.”
Duerr and Brekhus voted against the initial reading of the SAD ordinance.
The council will revisit the SAD ordinance May 12 and again on May 26. The first reading of the bond resolution is also May 26, when more specific details about the agreement will be finalized. Final approval is scheduled for June 9.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.