The public discussion is planned to help UNR officials clear up some “misinformation” in the community about the proposed rezoning, said university spokesman Mike Wolterbeek.
“There were a lot of different opinions as to what was going on,” Wolterbeek said.
Some people who had heard the 104 acres, annexed by the city of Reno in October, thought UNR would close the farm on the property, Wolterbeek said.
“In the immediate future, it will look the same as it looks right now,” he said. “Basically, we need to protect it for future use and use it for what we need it for in the future. We don’t have plans (for the property) at this time. We want to get this step out of way.”
UNR would like the property to be rezoned from large-lot residential, which permits the construction of one house per acre, to Planned Unit Development that would accommodate “employment-generating research and development” and light industrial/commercial uses in the future.
Although no changes will be made to the parcel at this time, the university is moving ahead with the designation change now because it wants to “preserve an option that would — if acted upon — financially support the educational mission of the university,” according to UNR materials about the project.
The acreage is located south of Interstate 80 on South McCarran Boulevard. The Reno City Council postponed action on rezoning the property to allow more time for public discussion of the issue and correct any misinformation about the rezoning.
“We heard a number of concerns at the City Council meeting and will listen for additional input and ideas at the community forum,” University President Marc Johnson said.
“We don’t have any plans to sell or develop the South McCarran parcel at this time,” Johnson said. “The rezoning is being put in place to preserve the value of the parcel and protect the possibility of development in the future.”
The university’s request to rezone the parcel to a Planned Unit Development is compatible with zoning codes and regional master plan requirements.
For FAQs about for South McCarran Parcel, visit http://tinyurl.com/7edmnkh.
The forum, scheduled for 5 to 7:30 p.m., will include short presentations by university officials and a panel to answer audience questions about the rezoning and the university’s plans for the Main Station Field Lab. Written statements also can be submitted ahead of the forum by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.