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Council approves Spanish Springs development
by Sarah Cooper
Oct 20, 2008 | 1662 views | 8 8 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A 2,510-home planned development in north Spanish Springs is one step closer to final approval Monday after a unanimous vote by the Sparks City Council to approve a rezoning request and handbook approval for Sonoma Highlands LLC and Bluewater Interests, Inc.

The 3-0 vote included two abstentions by councilmembers John Mayer and Phil Salerno, who said they abstained for both personal and professional reasons.

The 694-acres of land located west of the Pyramid Highway and south of Eagle Canyon Drive will next appear before the Regional Planning Commission Wednesday for their approval, the developer said.

Kraig Knudsen, vice president of Tanamera Development and the developer on the mixed-use project, said that he hopes to start construction next summer at the earliest, market conditions willing.

“If the economy (remains the way it is), it could take longer,” Knudsen said.

Following the city’s vote, the Sonoma Highlands development will have gained the approval of the Sparks Planning Commission on June 5 and the Regional Planning Commission on Aug. 13.

City staff recommended the project’s approval in preliminary staff materials.

The development’s goal, Knudsen said, is to “provide good housing for the city of Sparks.”

“It will hopefully create a great neighborhood for people to live in,” Knudsen said.

City staff found the proposed land use to be in compliance with the West Pyramid Plan, which outlines future land use for about 3,000 acres that lies west of the Pyramid Highway, north of Wedekind Road and south of Eagle Canyon Drive. The approved zoning change makes up about 20 percent of the West Pyramid Planning area.

The handbook for the new development depicts a mix of homes, townhouses, apartments, parks and commercial development in the hills north of Jesse Hall Elementary School. The handbook states that access would be provided by a planned extension of Calle De La Plata and Lazy 5 Parkway.

The rezoning from an agricultural to a new urban district designation allows for about 12 acres of commercial and office land use, according to the development’s tentative handbook. The development would be comprised of 27 percent open space and parks, 61 percent retail and housing, 9 percent roadways and 3 percent retail, school and service uses. The developer also said that space was set aside for a fire station, an expansion for Jesse Hall Elementary and infrastructure for a new school.

The tentative handbook also places a 200-foot buffer of land between the development and existing homeowners' property.

Twelve area residents spoke at Monday’s meeting in opposition to the project.

“I am disappointed,” said area resident Nancy Danner. “I am not surprised at all ... but we still have a fight to fight.”

In addition to those who spoke under public comment, 60 children from Jesse Hall Elementary signed a letter saying that they opposed the development because they wanted to protect the animals in the area.

One man who spoke under public comment was asked to leave the chambers after speaking out of turn from the audience.

Comments
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DSumner
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October 22, 2008
And let's find out where the other two (Mayer is not up for re-election) earn their livelihood and get it posted. BOYCOTTS can help; RECALLS can work.
BJYoung
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October 22, 2008
I wonder if the City Council and Mayor care enough about their bosses (the citizens) to read our opinions in articles such as this? They certainly did not listen at the meeting. The only thing we can do is to continue to send emails, phone calls, and letters to the editor of the papers and voice our frustation with our current employees.

We must FIRE this council and Mayor in the next election.

Yes I agree with Matt "Stop buying products at Scolaris on Disc Dr (managed by Ron Smith Councilmen), do not use Nevada Printing and Forms (Owned by Salerno and worst of all do not go to the Nugget Ascuaga is paying all these boys off"

Matt Switzer
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October 21, 2008
So the developments that are already started cant sell a house. The rest are hydroseeded so they dont blow away. The city has run out of money and they zone a new area. This requires sewer, lights, sidewalks, police, fire and public works.

If the houses dont sell how are they going to pay for the infastructure. They wont they will cry poor but the city council will walk away with money in their pockets. Someone needs to convene a grand jury, audit the entire city budget, get the FBI involved. I think the citizens of Sparks are being "Railroaded" in a whole new meaning.

Lets get this recall started!!!!! Call your councilmen everyday. Stop buying products at Scolaris on Disc Dr (managed by Ron Smith Councilmen), dont us Nevada Printing and Forms (Owned by Salerno and worst of all do not go to the Nugget Ascuaga is paying all these boys off!!!!!!!!!
DRicker
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October 21, 2008
How big of the developer to set aside land for expanding Jesse Hall Elementary and a new school. Who is going to pay for that expansion and new school? The WCSD already can't afford the schools they have.
Greg Bekker
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October 21, 2008
I'm curious. The city just laid off building inspectors and city works employees. There are talks about laying off police and fire employees. So how is it that the city expects to protect this area and maintain it. Citizens of Sparks RECALL THE COUNCIL!!!!! They are ruining our beloved city one development at a time.
DSumner
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October 21, 2008
Maybe I should clarify my last statement for those council members who have forgotten their one day of "supply and demand" in high school economics. If they increase the supply by 2500 homes (more to come), the demand for existing homes falls through the floor. I hope that that is simple enough for those - uh, could the word I'm looking for be - dolts.
DSumner
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October 21, 2008
Many homes in the area have been decreasing in value ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER DAY for the past six months. Thank your City Council. Maybe our best thanks would be RECALL PETETIONS.
BJY
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October 20, 2008
One speaker at the meeting had over 300 signatures from surrounding neighborhood requesting the City Council deny the project. The only one who thought the project was a good idea was the developer and the City Council. Did the City Council forget they are elected by the people? Too bad they all aren't up for election this year.
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