The Reno City Council has given developers the green light to begin working on a massive housing development in Cold Springs.
After hours of public comment, presentations and questioning, the Reno City Council approved the development of the Stonegate community in a six-to-one vote.
The project is expected to bring nearly 5,000 new single-family homes to the north valleys over the next 20 years; something that developers, lobbyists and some community members argue will help alleviate the area’s growing housing crunch.
Yet, the houses being built in his district won’t necessarily be affordable.
"This is not going to address our affordable housing issues,” McKenzie said. “As it builds out and we take less pressure off of older housing as newer housing becomes available and it may actually control the housing price escalation. But I don't see in the near future that we're going to see a reduction in the cost of homes."
But concerns about over the development still abound. Nearly half of the public comments during yesterday’s hearing were from residents voicing opposition to the planned community.
Most continued to voice apprehension that adding thousands of new residents to the area would continue to stretch resources like water, sewer and even first responders too thin.
Ultimately, though, a majority of the city council felt the Stonegate developers had work through those problems by tying building phases to benchmarks like the expansion of Highway 395 north, which is the main artery between the north valleys and the rest of the Truckee Meadows.
However, Councilwoman Jenny Brekhaus, the council’s sole no vote, says approving this type of development is not what the city needs.
"It's not good growth. It's not going to bring the housing products that we need to address the housing crunch. It's going to be very costly for us to be able to provide services. It's not going to kick off the revenues that are going to help us pay for those services. It's also sprawl and all that comes with, which is not good for the environment."
Brekhaus went to apologize to city workers especially fire and police, saying they will have to continue to serve the growing area despite having no additional resources.