Future of Reno floodplain development focus of new BANN website | nnbusinessview.com

Future of Reno floodplain development focus of new BANN website

Special to the NNBV
This map shows where floodplains exist across Reno, in addition to several key landmarks built on them — farthest north is Reno City Hall; south of that, middle, is Reno-Tahoe International Airport; southeast of the airport is The South East Connector; southwest of the airport is the Reno-Sparks Convention Center; and farthest south is South Reno neighborhoods, including Damonte Ranch.
Courtesy BANN

RENO, Nev. — The Builders Association of Northern Nevada recently launched a website designed to help Reno residents and developers understand how innovative engineering techniques allow safe and environmentally sustainable new neighborhoods in floodplains.

The site, FloodPlainFacts.com, isn’t focused on any single housing project, said Don Tatro, chief executive officer of BANN.

Instead, the industry group wants to improve public understanding of Reno’s long history of development in floodplains, as well as the engineering and planning requirements that dramatically improve flood protection in new projects.

Reno grew up in floodplains, Tatro notes. Considering City Hall, Reno Sparks Visitors and Convention Authority and many neighborhoods in south Reno sit on the floodplain, the city has established clear guidelines to protect development in those areas.

But the question of development along the edges of floodplains has become even more critical, Tatro says, as Reno struggles to provide housing for middle-class families.

It’s all the more difficult for homebuilders to meet the needs of middle-income families because limited supplies of developable land remain within the city, said the top executive of the builders group.

As the organization’s educational website notes, the combination of regional flood-control measures, new development techniques and improved flood mitigation combine to create opportunities to build new homes.

In fact, Tatro says, innovative, environmentally sustainable engineering design often preserves floodplains, enhances natural stream channels and wetlands and creates neighborhoods focused on the natural world.

The alternative — development on the hillsides above floodplains — is more expensive because it requires substantially higher costs to prepare sites for construction, professional members of The Builders have explained. Those higher costs, in turn, push the price of new hillside homes above the prices that most working families can afford.

“Housing is our community’s critical issue. How we respond to our community’s call to house our middle class, our seniors, our entrepreneurs, and our college graduates will shape Reno for years and generations to come,” says Tatro.

He said FloodPlainFacts.com provides information that allows the public and community leaders to carefully balance state-of-the-art flood protection and responsible development.

This article was provided to the NNBV by The Abbi Agency.