Mayor Lori Bagwell reviewed those new and ongoing residential developments Thursday morning at the Carson City Chamber of Commerce during her monthly “Coffee and Conversation with the Mayor.”
Compared to years past, this year’s 146 residential starts are relatively on pace with 176 in 2020 but lagging behind the 379 starts in 2019.
Bagwell pointed out that after developers get their subdivision maps approved, they often wait for good economic times to seek building permits and start construction.
“I’m working off of maps that were approved many, many years ago,” she said, specifically referring to the Silver Oak community as an example, where developers are on phase 23B of a multi-year building process.
A housing “start” is measured through building permits. Per the Carson City Municipal Code, developments need a permit to begin construction, and from the date the permit is approved, developers have 180 days to start construction. From the day they start construction, they have 180 days to finish. Building permits become void 18 months after the date they are issued if a developer does not request any extensions.
Carson City limits its building permits so that annual growth does not exceed 3 percent. Anything greater would put the city in danger of outgrowing its water resources.
Lisa Schuette, a member of the Board of Supervisors who attended Coffee and Conversation, said that she once speculated whether Carson City should further limit growth.
“We rarely reach 3 percent, but when you lower the percentage you send a message to (businesses and the community) that you are closed for business,” she said, referencing a conversation between her and Hope Sullivan, community development director.
Though new developments are spread relatively evenly across town, one area that’s expecting some more action is the intersection of Highway 395 and Highway 50.
The Clearview Ridge homes, Silver Crest Condominiums and Silver View Townhomes are all eyeing land nearby. Retailers are also hoping to add a Panera storefront, ice cream shop, and an AT&T facility. Both Sports Clips and the Joint Chiropractor along Cochise Street have permits to construct improvements.
Despite new developments, Bagwell added Carson City has still seen an increase in homelessness over the last year. Unhoused residents in Carson City rose from under 100 to over 300. Bagwell attributes it partially to unhoused individuals moving away from Reno to avoid sweeps along the Truckee River that would force them to shelter at the new CARES campus.
Carson City also gained approximately 90 unhoused residents after taking in refugees from the Caldor Fire, according to the mayor.