Carson City RTC grappling with having developers pay for future traffic impacts
CARSON CITY,Nev. — The Regional Transportation Commission is grappling with how to have developers pay for the traffic impact of new development in Carson City.
The RTC on Wednesday, Nov. 13, approved a developers agreement with Dutch Bros. Coffee, which is opening a new location in the fast-growing area in South Carson City near the highway bypass.
The agreement calls for a pro-rata contribution of $66,000, or 5.5 percent, toward the cost of installing a traffic signal at South Carson Street between Clearview Drive and I-580. The share was calculated based on the number of vehicle trips on South Carson Street the new business is anticipated to generate.
The current estimated cost for the signal is $1.2 million, but that does not include the possible acquisition of rights of way, which have yet to be determined.
The city is doing a study of traffic circulation at the south end of town, which will better calculate the cost of the signal, but that won’t be completed until the spring, said Lucia Maloney, transportation manager.
But, development there is already underway.
“I feel conflicted because we negotiated with the business and I do not want to hold up his building permit, but I am unhappy. I don’t want future developers to think they can get the same deal,” said Supervisor Lori Bagwell, who sits on the RTC.
Bagwell’s main concern was that the cost of the traffic signal, which won’t be installed for years, will likely increase, between possible right of way acquisitions and a rise in the cost of construction.
Before that item, the RTC decided to table an item to approve a template for a developers agreement that would be used for all new development going forward.
After discussing it, the RTC directed staff to continue to work on the template and bring it back at the next meeting.
The RTC also heard a presentation on the re-timing of eight Carson Street traffic signals between Koontz Lane and Mica Drive. The new timings were started in May and have resulted in a 36 percent drop in travel times and 65 percent reduction in stops.
The work was done by University of Nevada, Reno, Center for Advanced Transportation Education and Research under contract with the city.
The Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which meets before the RTC, awarded the RTC $143,900 for operation of the Jump Around Carson bus system and $122,405 to acquire two buses. All the funds come from Federal Transit Administration grants.
Per the agreement, Caesars will continue to operate Harrah’s for the first half of 2020 before it’s redeveloped into a non-gaming hotel and mixed-use development.