Commission denies Jobs Peak expansion |

Commission denies Jobs Peak expansion

Susie Vasquez

MINDEN – Arguing that developer Cole Smith is not meeting the obligation he made in 1996, Douglas County commissioners denied a request to add building lots at Jobs Peak, an exclusive gated community west of Foothill Road in Carson Valley.

This major modification would have added 21 building lots, for a total of 143, to the community.

When first proposed, the homesites were limited to 122, according to commissioner Tim Smith.

“The original commitment was made and the intent, from minutes of meeting based on the statements by (former) commissioner Dave Pumphrey, was that the development rights on that property were to be retired,” Smith said.

“The fact that they weren’t was an oversight. Based on the staff report and testimony supplied I move to deny the application.”

The proposal does not meet the findings of Douglas County code, nor the requirements of Nevada law, Smith said.

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The vote at last Thursday’s meeting was 4-1, with Commissioner David Brady voting in favor of the project.

This is the second time the project has come before commissioners and developer Cole Smith made a number of concessions, reducing the number of lots from 25 to 21 and bringing the development boundaries more in line with those originally approved in 1996. “When the property was available in 1995, I assembled a talented team to create a legacy community,” he said. “This is sensitive, passionate, thoughtful, quality growth that doesn’t tax the community.”

The proposal also included dedication of almost 493 acres of open space, close to the original proposal defined when the project was first approved, Cole Smith said.

Residents and neighbors have expressed concerns about nitrate leaking into the water table from the Jobs Peak septic systems, but the development has approval from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and the required state-of-the-art denitrification systems are strictly regulated, he said.

Gardnerville resident Jennifer Ware disagreed. Neither the state nor county officials are taking the responsibility for monitoring these denitrification systems. That could mean nitrates leaking into the water table and downhill wells.

“Jobs Peak CC&Rs (conditions, covenants and restrictions) require annual inspections, but those same rules also state that Jobs Peak has no obligation to report their findings or fix the problems they find,” she said. “The responsibility falls to the people with wells down the hill. The consequences are too dire to leave to the good will of a community not in jeopardy.”

Foothill resident Margaret Pross said the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection limits the number of septics to 117 within a one-mile circle. Technically the proposal meets the criteria, but she isn’t sure it meets the law’s intent.

“The majority of the housing density is outside the one-mile circle,” she said. “This unfairly impacts neighboring properties and confers the private benefit on Five Creek LLC (Jobs Peak).”