Douglas growth cap debated |

Douglas growth cap debated

GARDNERVILLE – Residents will have another chance to comment on a proposed 2-percent growth cap on the valley side of Douglas County at Thursday’s commission meeting.

The proposal was introduced Feb. 15 by District Attorney Scott Doyle after last month’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Sustainable Growth Initiative, a measure to limit home-building permits in Douglas County, excluding Lake Tahoe, to 280 a year.

Building-permit allocation is one of five growth-management strategies in Douglas County’s master plan and the only one the county has never tried to implement, Doyle said.

The means for determining a base housing inventory, which is necessary to establish a limit, could be up for debate at Thursday’s meeting.

The program needs to consider a report from the U.S. Geological Survey concerning water availability, but that report isn’t complete. The county may have to consider refinancing debt that would otherwise have been paid through development.

Douglas County’s exposure to lawsuits over the growth cap is not significantly different than that posed by the Sustainable Growth Initiative and should be disregarded, Doyle said.

“All this administration of the master plan and possible amendment of the development code takes time and costs money, but it may culminate in a program palatable to the voters which does not have the legal and administrative concerns present in SGI,” Doyle said.

The Sustainable Growth Initiative was approved by voters in November 2002. Following that approval, Jumpers LLC and Douglas County appealed in district court, where Judge Michael Gibbons ruled against it.

Gibbons’ decision was appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Their ruling sends the issue back to District Court for a decision. District Court Judge Michael Gibbons won’t reconsider the issue until records are returned from the Supreme Court, which is expected around March 6, Doyle said.

If you go

What: Douglas County Commission meeting

When: 1 p.m. Thursday

Where: Courtroom of the Douglas County Administration Building, 1616 Eighth St. in Minden

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