December Planning Commission Decisions

  • 2022-12-19, 12:12 PM
  • Rachel Dahl
December Planning Commission Decisions Courtesy Churchill County Planning A portion of the Riverstone preliminary plan submitted by Vertex Fund 3, LLC

Churchill County Planning Commissioners met on December 14 in another marathon four-hour session to take action on numerous agenda items, two of which drew almost 50 attendees.

Commissioners first heard and approved Omaha Track's amended special use permit request, a new sending site application for C and A Rentals LLC managed by Colby and Ashley Frey, a variance for Nancy Corbett, and a new special use permit for Safety Clean, and dispensed with those in 30 minutes. A new special use permit request submitted by A & K Earthmovers for a mining operation located off Interstate 80 was postponed until the January 11, 2023 meeting.

The next two agenda items were a Planned Unit Development (PUD) application and associated tentative subdivision map for the Old Stone Ranch property near Birch Lane and Casey Road, having a combined area of 107-plus acres of farmland.  Nev Dev LLC, a Fernley firm established in March 2018 per the Nevada Secretary of State's website, submitted the application and map but showed minor changes from the plans submitted at the Planning Commission's July 13 meeting for the 619 units. In the December proposal, the number of town homes (condos) increased from 98 to 110 units while the number of single-family homes decreased from 113 to 101 units. The number of apartments remained at 408 units, and the project presentation ran the same course as in July. As in July, there were a number of residents present to oppose to the project due to traffic congestion and other concerns. In exchange for being allowed higher density construction, the applicant proposed constructing a 10-acre community park within the complex, however the county would be responsible for ongoing maintenance at a cost to the taxpayers.

Public Works Director Chris Spross read the county staff report and recommendation which was to approve the project with multiple conditions. Nev Dev then began their presentation, stating their proposal was in response to the rental housing needs specifically expressed by NAS Fallon and Churchill County officials. 

The applicants stated that all infrastructure costs including new roads, existing roadway improvements, and extensions of the county water and sewer connections would be done at their expense. They further explained the Casey Road improvements would be done during the first phase when the apartments and town homes were being constructed, and the Birch Lane and Allen Road upgrades would be done in a later phase when the single-family homes were constructed. Construction of Old Stone Parkway which would connect Casey Road to Birch Lane would also be developed during the first phase and will become a county road.

Commissioner Deanna Diehl then asked, “I realize that you are going to be connected to the county water and sewer systems. So let me go to staff with this – can this big of a development, 600 and some odd units, can we support that?” Spross responded, “Our water treatment plant is only at 35 percent of capacity. There are several projects on the books, and we are looking at doing a preliminary engineering report for a second plant. But right now, the plant that we have has enough capacity for all of these units. If other developments are going on at the same time, this may have to get phased out until that second plant is built.” 

Diehl also questioned the water requirements, saying, “This is an agricultural community, and I wonder about the water. I realize we're growing but I'm more concerned about the water. I don't think this is the place for your apartments.”  Commissioner Shane Yates brought up the existing traffic problems on Allen Road stating in part, “Allen is problematic at best. You will be adding traffic going in both directions, a lot of it. Do you have plans to improve that in any way, related to this project? Because this project is going to increase the problem on Allen.”

Spross replied, “The only improvements that are proposed for Allen are part of this project.”  The applicant did say they were planning to stripe Allen Road from Williams to Sheckler in addition to creating turn lanes into Birch Lane. 

When it was time for a vote on whether the findings for the PUD had been met, Commissioner Zach Bunyard made that motion, but it was not seconded. Instead, Scott Nelson made the motion that the findings had not been met which did receive a second. Commissioners Shane Yates, Deanna Diehl and Nelson voted in favor of Nelson's motion which was followed by the same 3 to 1 group voting to recommend the County Commissioners deny the PUD request. Bunyard was the lone vote against that motion.

Findings by the planning commission for the tentative subdivision map were not met due to the project failing to conform to surrounding areas, and for insufficient road infrastructure, and voting was the same to recommend denial of the map by the County Commissioners. Yates closed with, “So our recommendation to the County Commissioners is as stated, take it to them.”

The next project, Riverstone Apartments proposed for Coleman Road was a three-part request: a special use permit for multi-family development, a variance from lot density and all setback requirements, and a tentative subdivision map depicting 19 lots within the subdivision. The applicant, Vertex Fund 3 LLC, is an Englewood, Colorado firm founded in May 2022 according to The property consists of two parcels for a total of 31.44 acres. The northwest corner of the property has access to the Carson River, and a TCID canal running along its northern border. The project plans show 444 units within 19 buildings to be accessed from an extension of Moody Lane to be built that will end on Coleman Road.

This was the second review of the project. The first one took place on June 8 when the Planning Commission approved a zone change requested by County Manager Jim Barbee on behalf of the county for the property.  Many of the same residents turned out to speak against the project this time as in June, expressing their concerns for safety and excessive traffic.

Phelps Engineering, representing the applicant, stated during their opening, “This is in response to an RFP from the county, and we responded to it.” The RFP, they explained, called for development of multi-family units “to satisfy a strong need for this type of housing,” and further emphasized NAS Fallon's rental housing needs. “It has been rezoned specifically for this purpose.”

The applicant's traffic expert stated a complex of this size would increase traffic on Coleman Road by 87 percent, raising it from 3,700 cars per day to over 6,000, “a number well within the capacity of the roadway.” Many times he referred to national road and traffic standards for his analysis, but then said Coleman Road “does not currently meet the minimum standards.” When responding to residents' questions about traffic during peak hours he said, “2,993 is the average daily trips generated by 444 multi-family apartment units, according to the ITE trip generation manual. During the a.m. peak hour, you can expect 178 trips, that's both entering and exiting the development, and p.m. peak hours 226 trips entering and exiting.” Mathematically that calculates to one person in only 40 percent of the units leaving for the day, and 51 percent of them returning at the end of the day. He did not speak to what the traffic numbers may be if units were occupied by more than one person. 

After more questions and discussion by the Planning Commission, the members voted 4 to 0 that the findings had not been met, then voted to deny the special use permit and variance requests. They also voted 4 to 0 to recommend that the tentative subdivision map be denied by the County Commissioners.

An opinion from TCID was sought by both applicants, and the written response from TCID General Manager Ben Shawcroft was the same for both with the exception of the project name. In part his response said, “We simply request that due consideration be given to the preservation of valuable crop-producing lands and thoughtful land-use policies that conserve and protect our most valuable resource – water. Lastly, we ask that planners and developers take steps to prevent disruption or obstruction of TCID operations and federal easements.”

Applicants have 10 days to appeal a decision, and that process is described in the Churchill County Code, under Title 16 Consolidated Development Code, Chapter and Article The county code is available online and can be accessed via

The story covering the Planning Commission's June 8 meeting concerning the Coleman Road zone change can be found on The Fallon Post website,,planning-commission-approves-multi-unit-housing-on-county-owned-land

The story about the commission's July 13 review of the Old Stone Ranch project can also be found on The Fallon Post website,,old-stone-ranch-concept-presentation-at-planning-commission






Rachel Dahl



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