Development spurs activism

Four months after an election in which infill development versus sprawl was a major issue and at a time when local governments are promising to reduce the carbon footprints of their communities, the Regional Planning Governing Board on March 12 approved a 12,000-home development at Winnemucca Ranch north of Reno, virtually guaranteeing substantial increases in the consumption of gasoline in this region. The going-and-coming commute for the development, Spring Mountain, will be about 60 miles.

While the project may be approved—there is still a court appeal before the Nevada Supreme Court—it will likely establish a considerable legacy. Concerns about Winnemucca Ranch helped enact ballot measure WC-3 and is fueling Assembly Bill 119, a water planning measure in the Nevada Legislature (“Another water war,” RN&R, March 19). It helped drive creation of the citizen organization Citizens for Sensible Growth and got the Sierra Club more deeply into development issues. It could be a costly victory for developers.