Thursday, February 20, 2003, 7:00 p.m.
Wolf Run Golf Club Clubhouse
1400 Wolf Run Road, Reno, Nevada

(Turn south from Zolezzi Lane onto Silver Wolf,
turn right onto LaGuardia, right onto Wolf Run)

UPDATE — The developer's filing before the Southwest Truckee Meadows Citizen Advisory Board was taken off the Feb. 20 agenda because it was incomplete.
They can re-file at any time. Stay tuned.

     The Ballardini Ranch developers, who hold the same as Evans Creek LLC, a Minnesota limited liability company, are seeking to begin development of the Ballardini Ranch. The entire 1,019± acres of the Ballardini Ranch lies within the County of Washoe. The part subject to the subdivision map approval discussed below consists of the 600± acres on the southern portion of the Ballardini Ranch and is not within the sphere of influence of the City of Reno. This is referred to in this notice as the "Southern Parcel."

     The northern part of the Ballardini Ranch, which is within the sphere of influence of the City of Reno, consists of 419± acres (which we will refer to as the "Northern Parcel"). The Minnesota developers have taken steps to develop the Southern Parcel by filing an application for tentative subdivision map approval that will come before the Southwest Truckee Meadows Citizen Advisory Board on Thursday, February 20th. This has very important implications. If you wish to protect the Ballardini Ranch, and assure that the Southwest Truckee Meadows will remain rural residential in perpetuity, please become active in the process and attend the meeting. It is anticipated that the Minnesota developer may attempt to annex the Northern Parcel of the Ballardini Ranch into the City of Reno in the near future.
     The citizens of Washoe County have made it clear they want the ranch placed in public hands. The voters approved a bond issue that allocated $4 million toward the acquisition of the Ballardini Ranch. Since that time, under the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act, an additional $15 million of federal funds is available for acquisition of entire 1,019-acre ranch for open space and public use, and for permanent protection and preservation of the deer herd and other valuable wildlife in the area. It will also protect the pristine watershed tributaries, including Evans Creek. Without maintaining this as open space, for the public, it will be lost forever. In addition, the Ballardini Ranch has been planned to be linked to the property dedicated by ArrowCreek Development, which would provide a swath along the entire foothills between McCarran from the south and the Mount Rose Highway.

     It is very important to send a message to the Minnesota developers asking them to resume constructive communication to provide for the sale of the ranch. The ranch was acquired in May 1998 for $8.5 million. There is, accordingly, $19 million available for the acquisition of the ranch at this time. Discussions should begin at this time with the Minnesota developers, and although public statements have been made on behalf of the developer that the ranch could be available at the "right price," productive negotiations have not yet occurred with this developer.

     Your feelings regarding the need to protect the Ballardini Ranch are most important. The citizens have made it clear they want the ranch. Public officials (from the City of Reno, City of Sparks and Washoe County) have done the same. Now the federal government has supported the acquisition of the Ballardini Ranch, considering it a parcel of national public interest. The developers have not denied that this development is being proposed for profit, which the developers are certainly entitled to do. No one is opposing a reasonable price that will provide a reasonable profit for the land. A constructive approach should, if done in good faith, accomplish this result for the benefit of all parties.

     A. Development and Density. The name of the development proposed by the developer is the Toiyabe Ranch Estates, and its official address is 4200 Lonetree Lane. The developers propose 43 units on 600 acres of the Southern Parcel of the Ballardini Ranch, or a density of approximately one residential site per 13± acres. POW does not object, of course, to this density, which is certainly reasonable under existing zoning laws. However, the Ballardini Ranch consists of 1,019 acres, which will leave approximately 410 acres for over 1,000 homes that the Minnesota developers have indicated they intend to build on the Northern Parcel of the Ballardini Ranch.

        Further, even though the tentative subdivision map proposal provides for 43 building units (homes) this would not stop the developers from at some future time seeking annexation into the City of Reno, modifying the subdivision map, and seeking much higher density consistent with that which the developers have said they intend to do for the northern 410 acres. This is a major concern to the area, but of course most of all, it would mean the loss of this precious land for open space and public use for the permanent benefit of the citizens and visitors of the Truckee Meadows.

     B. Traffic Implications. The proposal is not accompanied with a traffic analysis except that the major road leading into and out of the development will be on Lone Tree Lane. It is also poised to connect to Ridgeview. Ridgeview has always been a favored traffic site for the Ballardini Ranch development, along with McCarran, and Lone Tree Lane. Thus, it is anticipated that there will be substantially increased traffic at Lone Tree Lane (approximately 400 - 500 trips per day) even if just the southern is built out to 43 units. If it is connected to the Northern Parcel (and the developers are successful in annexing the Northern Parcel into the City of Reno), both Lone Tree Lane and Ridgeview will become major traffic routes and thus will also add substantial stress to Lakeside Drive, Holcomb Lane and other connectors in the area.

     C. Wildlife. The report of Dr. Paul Tueller, prepared a few years ago, shows in stark terms how important the Ballardini Ranch is to the survival of the deer herd and protection of other important wildlife. If this 600 acre parcel is developed, there will be little space left for deer and it will cut off the northern half of the Ballardini Ranch from the ArrowCreek Development dedication which has occurred to date. This would interrupt the basic concept for the preservation of the deer herd in the area. Further, the application filed by the developers with respect to Toiyabe Ranch Estate (the 43 units on the southern 600 acres) is completely devoid of any discussion or mention of its sensitivity for wildlife. To date has there been no discussion or analysis by the developers addressing the critical impact to the deer herd and other wildlife occurring as a result of the lot configuration proposed by the developers.

     D. Wetlands. No provision has yet been made to provide for a method to protect the valuable wetlands. The proposal intends to encroach into the Evans Creek area and will affect some potential wetlands. Developers have yet to identify the wetlands which will be subject to the jurisdiction of the federal government.

        The developers' own report, recently filed with the County, states that: "To determine the full extent of the Corps jurisdiction on the Ballardini Ranch, a formal waters of the United States, including wetlands, delineation should be conducted. The results of the delineation data would need to be reviewed in conjunction with the Corps regulations, Corps policies, Supreme Court decisions, and current court interpretations of its jurisdiction."

        This has not yet been done by the Minnesota developers. It should be done in view of the extremely critical need to protect the wetlands and other valuable resources of the Ballardini Ranch. The Minnesota developers have been working on this development for over five years, and it has still not been done. It should be done and placed before the Citizen Advisory Board before any further procedure takes place with respect to this proposed development.

     E. What it portends for the future. If this portion of the Ballardini Ranch is developed, at least as constituted, it would have the implications of permanently deteriorating wildlife protection goals of the citizens, would serve as a potential precursor for substantially increased density (including traffic impacts resulting from potential development on the Northern Parcel), and begin an unfortunate slide toward development of the whole Ballardini Ranch. It may make it increasingly more difficult for substantive negotiations to take place. The most important goal at this time, of course, is for constructive communications to resume with the developers for the acquisition of the entire Ballardini Ranch, for payment of cash in full, at a fair price.

Please come and help us stress the need to protect the Ballardini Ranch at the hearing, and raise your concerns with respect to these and other issues.

Any contributions to Protect Our Washoe would be welcome (it is a wholly volunteer effort and your help would be most appreciated). Checks may be mailed to "Protect Our Washoe" at the address indicated, below.

Southwest Truckee Meadows CAB resolution endorsing preservation

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