University of Nevada Struggle to Maintain Ag Status Continues

University of Nevada Struggle to Maintain Ag Status Continues

Upcoming meeting will probe fate of farm research station land.

In the ongoing effort to maintain the agricultural integrity of the University of Nevada in Reno, a community forum to present and discuss information about the proposed rezoning of UN's 104-acre South McCarran parcel, part of the institution's 1,049-acre Main Station Field Laboratory, is set for Feb. 21 for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Joe Crowley Student Union.

The 104-acre parcel, located south of I-80 on South McCarran Blvd., was annexed into the City of Reno last year and the University has a rezoning request before the City Council to change the zoning from LLR-1 (large-lot residential) to a Planned Unit Development.

The effort is under protest by some, who have gathered signatures on a petition to prevent the rezoning effort, which is recommended by the City Planning Commission.

At UN's request, and with support of many expressing concerns at the action, the Reno City Council postponed the item to March to allow time for further discussion of issues, to inform the public and correct misinformation about the rezoning which may exist.

The forum – which is expected to draw a crowd of hundreds – will include short presentations by university officials and a panel to field questions from the audience about the rezoning and UN's plans for the Main Station Field Lab – the sole university farm research facility of its type in the state.

"We don't have any plans to sell or develop the South McCarran parcel at this time," says University President Marc Johnson. "The rezoning is being put in place to preserve the value of the parcel and protect the possibility of development in the future."

The university's request for the rezoning of the parcel to the Planned Unit Development option is compatible with planning codes and the regional Master Plan requirements, says Johnson.

UN-Reno became a controversial news source a year ago when it attempted to close its ag school. Public response prevented the action.

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