We’d like to wish Justin McDougal a happy 5 year anniversary here at Wood Rodgers! Justin is a Senior Engineer in our Reno office. Thanks for being a part of our team Justin!

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“The variety of work and challenges thrown my way every day.”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“Probably working on a Diamond Peak roadway job in Incline Village, Nevada. I got to spend a day with a friend and co-worker, Sandeep Pandey, with a beautiful view while working on obtaining pavement cores.”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“Probably a project I’m currently working on for a large data center. I enjoy the large projects and the process of convincing a potential client that they will be in good hands if they award the contract to Wood Rodgers.”

We’d like to wish Judy Crawford a happy 10 year anniversary here at Wood Rodgers! Judy is a Project Coordinator in our Reno office. Thanks for being a part of our team Judy!

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“I really love my co-workers. They make my work day fun and I’m always giggling.”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“I have many great memories but the one that sticks out the most is the Survivor challenge we did a few years back in Sacramento.”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“All the projects I work on hold a little piece of my heart but the magic one is Harris Ranch. The client is an amazing person and very easy to work with. Makes my job so much easier.”

What Happens in Vegas. Stays in Vegas!

So what happened? We’ll let you in on the secret….We grew!

It’s not just by luck that this office grew. In a town that rarely sleeps and is a worldwide destination, Wood Rodgers continues to claim this city their “home”. We’ve been fortunate to be able to work on exciting projects, one of which includes the Vison Zero Program for the City of Las Vegas., among other exciting projects to help make our mark on this city.

Led and managed by Bryan Gant, Bryan helped to keep our Las Vegas going, even thru the most challenging times.

“Re-establishing an office in Las Vegas following the Great Recession was no easy task. But the Wood Rodgers’ culture of humble hard work, resiliency, and entrepreneurial drive has us moving into larger space for the 6th time since 2014. This steady growth is a testament to the hard work of our staff and the trust of our great clients. We hope this next location is but another steppingstone on the path to bigger and better things in Las Vegas.” – Bryan Gant, Principal


However, we didn’t just grow in size, we also expanded our services that started with transportation planning to include civil land development and water resources.

Mark Fakler, joined our Las Vegas office in July 2021, bringing over 33 years of civil engineering and management experience in residential development that helped to expand our land development services.

“Wood Rodgers is on the move!!  How exciting is that??  Not only are we on the move to a new office, we are on the move to new horizons and opportunities for growth and development.  We will continue to grow and foster our current business relationships and we will also look for new ways to meet the challenges and demands of development in this ValleyThese are indeed exciting times and I look forward to seeing all of you in our new office” – Mark Fakler, Principal


Las Vegas native, Jesse Patchett, started in our Sacramento Water Resources Department and the draw to return back to his hometown brought him back to Las Vegas. He has provided civil engineering services for various local hotel/hospitality and casino projects and is helping to grow our water resources department in the region.

“It’s been rewarding to be part of the office growth from a full-time office staff of two to 15+ (with more on the way) over the past few years! Rapid growth can be challenging, but we are fortunate to have a great team, an outstanding company culture, and great clients, so its been an enjoyable challenge for us. With the addition of some key staff and the hard work of the entire team, Wood Rodgers is becoming a recognized leader in the Las Vegas market. Moving to our larger location on Sunset Road will allow us to continue to grow and expand our service offerings to our clients. Wood Rodgers is on the Move in Vegas!” – Jesse Patchett, Principal



Come check out our new office at 8345 West Sunset Road, Suite No. 150, Las Vegas, Nevada 89113

Mr. Fakler has over 33 years of experience in general civil engineering design and management of residential developments as well as public and private site development projects. His experience includes the management of civil engineering contracts for master planned communities, large residential projects, and large commercial projects. He has been involved in the planning stages through the design and construction of master planned communities and he has been in responsible charge of the entitlement and design and of large and small residential subdivisions as well as site development projects from elementary schools to large commercial subdivisions. He is well versed in the mapping process as it relates to residential and commercial projects and he has a keen understanding of the vital role that mapping plays in the funding of development projects and its importance to the public and the land development industry. Throughout his career, he has been responsible for the management and successful operation of large design teams and land development departments of more than 50 people.

We recently asked him a few questions and this is what he had to say!

Who are your inspirations?

“No one in particular that I can think of. I do work with a lot of great people, and I try to emulate their work habits, commitment and follow through! I’ve learned a lot from people.”

What have been your toughest challenges in your career?

“I was probably my own toughest challenge. For the longest time I thought everybody else was crazy or had flaws and I was the one that was right. Me figuring out that I wasn’t the best thing since sliced bread was a huge a-ha moment for me.”

If you were to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?

“I would say committed, I’ve always been one of those people where if I decide I’m going to do something, I’m going to finish what I started. It’s probably why I have 2 degrees!”

What are your future goals?

“I want to develop the junior staff into the future leaders and partners into this company.”

What kind of advice would you give to others following in your footsteps?

“Make sure you have good listening skills, and if you don’t have good listening skills, develop good listening skills. If you’re in a meeting, listen to what that person has to say in its entirety verses butting in with your input. Work on your communication, both written and presentation. We do a lot of work at the podium, making presentations to agencies. It’s very important.”

If you’d like to learn more about Mark, check out his linked in at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-fakler-b71b4621b/

Wood Rodgers was contracted by the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District to design drainage system improvements at Simmons Slough along highway 37 near Bel Marin Keys, CA.  Wood Rodgers successfully prepared documents to migrate an existing Department of Water Resources grant to this Simmons Slough project. The purpose of the project was to reduce flooding resulting in overtopping at highway 37 by improving drainage and pumping capacity. Based on alternatives analysis in the Basis of Design Report, the recommended improvements were:

  • New 40-cfs (18,000-gpm) platform type pump station to replace the non-functioning trailer mounted diesel engine pump station
  • Gravity pipe (culvert) improvements at six (6) locations
  • Clearing of vegetation and sediment at Simmons Slough the Hwy 37 crossing
  • Gravel access road improvements to pump station site
  • Flashboard risers at two (2) locations
  • Duckbill check valves along Simmons Slough at two (2) locations

The shining star of this project was the pump redesign. The original temporary pump had failed, causing severe flooding along the highway. The pump, designed mostly by Lead Engineer Jeremy McMahon, has many unique features. Most notably, the maintenance access features.

The first thing Jeremy did, was split the pump in half and create a lower segment. This modular design makes it easier, safer, and cheaper to maintain and repair in the future. This allows the lower column (where the majority of corrosion is located due to the high and low water levels) to be replaced with a standard sized column, instead of a custom fabricated column like it would traditionally be. This has to be done every 20 to 40 years, and by not having to custom fabricate parts, it brings the overhaul cost dramatically down.

Jeremy also installed a lower level access platform. This is a low cost add on, that allows for easy cleaning of the trash rack, taking pressure readings to diagnose issues, and easier inspection. Normally, if they have to pull the pump, they have to bring in a crew to do a permanent confined space entry (which costs about $5,000 per day for a on-site confined space rescue team). Even with a rescue team, there is still a risk factor for the operations team. With this set-up, they are able to completely pull the pump without having to enter permanent confined space.

“The part I enjoyed most is that it was a completely blank slate design, which is fun for me. It’s not in a urban area, there is very few site constraints, so it allowed a lot of flexibility and creativity as far as the design.” -Jeremiah McMahon




We would like to thank Jeremy for bringing such innovative engineering techniques to our Water Resources department and Wood Rodgers Inc.!


The Beginning

Wood Rodgers, Inc., began with an idea + vision from two co-founders who wanted to start an engineering firm that was different. Rich Wood was an extraordinary visionary who had an unwavering determination to create a firm that focused on hiring talented and hard-working individuals – to create a team that was just as dynamic and enthusiastic with their craft as he was. During his early years in engineering, he worked at multiple firms where he was able to see the shortcomings that came with working for large-mega firms. He believed that a firm could be run differently, better. While working at these other firms, he met

Mark Rodgers, who shared the same vision that Rich had. Soon, a strong bond and friendship began; this bond will be later strengthened with their late nights, long hours, and cramped quarters working conditions which resulted in the formation of what is now known as Wood Rodgers, Inc.

“Rich and I both shared the common vision, to create a workplace that checked the corporate attitude at the door, gave talented folks the tools, and got out of their way. Our drive and energy to provide quality service was and still is unmatched in the industry. Through sharing the successes and failures together company-wide has created a solid foundation of strength that we feel is unmatched in the marketplace. Our flat sense of management coupled with an unselfish commitment to work at any level to help get the job done has made Wood Rodgers not only a great place to work, but also a solid choice for our Clients. We are simply an exceptional consulting engineering firm.”, stated Mark Rodgers


Illustrated by Leo Smiley


What Rich and Mark brought was the “perfect synergy” that caused what we call a “Tsunami of Momentum” that made Wood Rodgers one of the fastest growing engineering firms in the Sacramento region for three years in a row, making colossal waves with the competition. By the end of 1997, the third partner, Steve Balbierz joined Wood Rodgers. “We were very fortunate, for example, that Steve Balbierz, who is an engineer, joined us as a full partner at the end of 1997. He has a real interest in the environment of our office, the personnel, and he’s done some amazing things around here to keep everybody together.”, stated Mark Rodgers in an interview with the Sacramento Business Journal in August 2000. The trio of Rich, Mark, and Steve balanced out the business and the environment so well, that our competition was forced to take notice of our successes, and we skyrocketed with company growth, expanding offices outside of Sacramento. Today, as we hit our 25th anniversary, we have eight offices and 340+ employees.

From the beginning, I was excited about creating a culture like no other. It’s a tall task to jump into an industry with big companies with a long history of squashing startup firms. We knew it would take long hours and hard work to be “the company” and I didn’t want to miss out! Office culture and comfortable working conditions were both something that I constantly thought about and I knew it was something that had to be nurtured on a daily basis, not just at the end of the year with a Togo’s sandwich or a frozen turkey. It’s not rocket science. If you find great people, provide them a comfortable environment to work, feed them well and don’t micro-manage them, they will do amazing things! I am humbled (and not at all surprised) by the success and so grateful for Wood Rodgers. Many of my best friends and favorite people on this planet are part of my life because of Wood Rodgers. Happy 25th Anniversary and never forget Rule #1!”, stated Steve Balbierz

“In the very early days, I heard Mark Rodgers and Rich Wood almost coming to blows late one night. They both worked too hard and needed to let off some steam. (I think Steve Balbierz heard it too?). I don’t know for sure, but it seems that at that point I knew that Wood Rodgers was going to be different.”, stated Dan Matthies

First Client + Opportunity

River West Development was the very first client to give Wood Rodgers a shot with two 30-lot subdivisions in Laguna West located in Elk Grove, CA. Rich and Mark took this opportunity to deliver the project ahead of schedule. They were able to deliver the project in only two weeks, whereas it would have taken others many weeks to design. How did they do that, you ask? They worked + slept in the office until it was done. This was the pivotal moment that broke open the doors of opportunity…River West had another project in North Natomas and they came to Rich and Mark to ask if they could design a large drainage pump station to serve their project and have it operational in one year. It was a very intricate and difficult project, with several disciplines involved, one that Rich and Mark had never done. Overcoming their fears and reservations they accepted the work. The next thing they did, which is something that remains in our current approach, was to get the best, most knowledgeable, and talented people to help us out. They brought in Dan Matthies and teamed up with Gerardo Calvillo to deliver the project on-time.


When Rich and Mark started the firm, they never dreamed to where it would be today. Rich Wood passed away in 2012, but his legacy lives on through the pulse of the company. With eight offices in California and Nevada encompassing comprehensive civil engineering, urban/land planning, landscape architecture, surveying, mapping, transportation, transportation/traffic planning, structures, water resources, water supply, geotechnical, environmental, GIS, UAS, and aviation engineering services who knows what tomorrow will bring!

Sometimes you just never know how a simple idea takes off. Wood Rodgers went thru a branding process a few years ago to revisit our firm and to solidify who we are. What was clear was that our core beliefs never changed. Wood Rodgers’ goals remain simple and with the growing firm, most all decisions always round back to our core beliefs…. Creating an environment where employees are happy and want to come to work every day. We feel that this directly impacts the projects we work on and creates a positive experience for our clients in being able to provide better services than any other engineering firm can provide.

Our flat organizational structure doesn’t involve the bureaucratic hoops and processes to make decisions and implement action. This is what makes us nimble and highly responsive. It’s not about “if we can” it’s more about “how we can make it better!” Our principals, project managers, and staff are directly involved in every step of the project process, making each project seamless for our clients.

As we continue to operate as a mid-sized engineering firm amongst the various acquisitions we see in this industry, we have been able to continue by strategically diversifying the private land development and public works divisions early on and having an ownership transition plan to continue our legacy.

Being the first, non-founding partner, President of Wood Rodgers is one of my proudest career moments. Although I have giant shoes to fill, Mark and Rich created the blueprint that sets our path for continued success.  I am honored and humbled with the trust that has been bestowed upon me to help continue this great legacy well into the future.”, stated Mark Rayback.


We are proud of our history, but more importantly, it is the next generation of leadership and staff that is critical in our continued success and longevity.


Wood Rodgers continues to grow, win work, and share the profits, despite the pandemic and the very competitive, high demand for good employees. Perks at Wood Rodgers include a fully stocked kitchen of food and snacks, pizza every other Friday, Anniversary Wheel Spin (where employees spin for cash prizes with a multiplier for anniversaries), year-end + mid-year bonuses, up-to-date equipment and software, newly renovated spaces, random paid days off, and fancy coffee machines that make your morning brew just as delicious as any Barista can…Wood Rodgers continues its spirit in providing a place where people come to enjoy their work and the people they work with.

Our tagline “Building Relationships One Project at a Time” doesn’t just mean the relationships that we build with clients, but also includes our partnering consultants and our internal team.

Can there be more? Along with competitive benefits and retirement plans, employees who have been at Wood Rodgers for over five years get a paid day off for their birthday. After 10 years, you accrue additional vacation hours. You can count on a company-wide potluck during every holiday occasion as well as team building activities, such as our “Survivor” event. We celebrate Rich Wood Day every April near his birthday with time off and some company festivities. The tight and close-knit bonds that are fostered among the staff creates an ideal team – willing to work through any challenging deadlines and projects without missing a beat.

Words to Remember….

One goal that I had when first starting the company was to create a special company. A company that was not like all the others. A company where you could wear shorts and flip flops to work, while your suit was anxiously waiting, on a hanger behind the door. A company where things were casual, yet serious. Families, kids, and dogs were at the office all the time. The kitchen was better stocked than mine at home. We would have BBQ’s at lunch. We would work hard and play hard. Our office space would be comfortable, more like everyone’s home. We would offer our employees freedom. How you got the job done was not as important as getting the job done. We would allow people to work from home. We would create a company of the future, not one like from the 1950’s. A company where everyone felt a little bit like an entrepreneur. The goal was to create a truly special company, different than all the rest!” – Rich Wood



It’s National Marketing Day! On January 11th, we at Wood Rodgers want to take the time to recognize and celebrate all of those working in the marketing industry. We also want to recognize the ones who make up our marketing department!

Tina Cooper – Corporate Communications Director

What is your favorite part of marketing?

“I like the variety of things that you can work on. I especially like the people I meet and the creative collaboration that comes with it. I enjoy the writing and communication and connecting the various aspects of marketing to help tell the story. I like that it is an ever-changing field that are always posing a variety of challenges that keeps expanding my mind and skillset.”

Why did you get into marketing?

“I like that marketing has many avenues that you can pursue and not locked to just one thing. I especially enjoy the creative aspect as well as the people you meet with marketing. I also like that there is an aspect of problem-solving mixed with creativity and analytics.”

What was your career path to get into marketing?

“I first got involved with graphics while taking yearbook in high school as an elective. I enjoyed developing layouts and design for the yearbook and managing the various components of that goes into the production. However, my parents said that graphics and marketing would never pan out as a sustainable career and wanted me to be an engineer. As a result, I started my college route as a physics and engineering major and quickly realized that that was something I did not enjoy. After my junior year, I took a leap and changed my major to Communications and Fine Arts, while taking night classes to complete a digital design certificate. My parents were furious, but I assured them that I would make it work. After college graduation, I started my career in graphic design, thinking that I would work for an advertising agency. Then, after working at an advertising agency, I quickly found out that that was not something I fully enjoyed. I then worked at a public relations agency and for a publisher managing graphics for monthly and bimonthly magazines, developed conference exhibits and collateral, and was their primary advertising designer and really enjoyed what I did.”

What is your advice for anyone looking to get into Marketing?

“Do and learn as much as you can. If you do not have an open mind and embrace technology and change, you won’t do very well in this field. There are so many areas of marketing that you cannot be afraid to just jump in and find your way and develop your specific niche.”

Craig Hensley – California Regional Marketing/Proposal Lead

What is your favorite part of marketing?

“That rewarding feeling I get when we win a project after putting in a quality proposal and/or delivering a winning presentation.”

Why did you get into marketing?

“Via recommendation from an old co-worker/friend to make the shift from providing administrative support to marketing.”

What was your career path to get into marketing?

“It all kind of fell into my lap and then found myself enjoying the challenge. Pretty much everything I learned was from all on the job training except for a few classes and seminars here and there to further develop skills.”

What is your advice for anyone looking to get into Marketing?

“It’s a challenging field that sometimes requires long hours and high-stress situations, but is never boring and comes with a great feeling of accomplishment when you help your team win a large project.”

Amber Harmon – Nevada Regional Marketing Lead

What is your favorite part of marketing?

“I like that am able to be involved in a lot of different projects which allows me to interact with employees in all of the offices. Marketing is all about the relationships you create!”

Why did you get into marketing?

“Marketing was something that was just kinda fell into my lap. I was the front desk person at an engineering firm right after graduating from high school and after about 6 months it was noticed that I was good at multi-tasking and putting specs together so the marketing director started giving me proposals to put together, package up and deliver. After a year or so I started formatting the proposals and putting together resumes and project descriptions while continuing all of my front desk duties.”

What was your career path to get into marketing?

“A/E marketing is not something you can get a degree in, its something that just happens, and it worked out for me, because I love what I do!”

Crystal Miller – Marketing Proposals Coordinator

What is your favorite part of marketing?

“Learning! Whether it’s about marketing in general, the programs we use, the CRM we input our data into, or the newest Caltrans guidelines, there is always something new to learn to keep us on our toes!”

Why did you get into marketing?

“I love to be organized, multi-task, and deal with people so I knew marketing was a great career choice for me. When I was looking for a new job I new I wanted to stay in the AEC industry and this position just kinda fell into my lap (which I feel like is a common response from many of us in this business!)”

What was your career path to get into marketing?

“Very untraditional! I wanted to be an event coordinator and then slowly realized that I couldn’t be tied to working nights and weekends. So as I thought about what I wanted and what could give me a good work/life balance a career in marketing became more and more appealing. Then I worked in the AEC industry doing something I really didn’t like (just to get my foot in the door) as I started looking into marketing jobs, Wood Rodgers had an opening and the rest is history!”

What is your advice for anyone looking to get into Marketing?

“Research what type of marketing you want to do; there are several different fields you can go into. Once you find what you want, intern somewhere asap. The sooner you get your foot in the door the better.”

Audra Wells – Senior Graphic Designer

What is your favorite part of marketing?

“Marketing thrives on innovation, constant change, and the use of the latest technologies… My favorite part is having the opportunity to be creative in this environment!”

Why did you get into marketing?

“My journey started with art/painting. I took a class in High School that introduced me to Graphic Design, and I loved it. It became my career choice and major in college. Graphics naturally overlapped with Business Marketing. They were crucial elements to one another… Marketing became my second focus.”

What was your career path to get into marketing?

“I graduated with a BA in Graphic Design/Minor in Business Marketing. My first job was for a company that worked with the tourist industry, creating designs to help market and sell. Graphics naturally was a part of the Marketing department… In every position I held as a designer, I worked with Marketers. They go hand-in-hand.”

What is your advice for anyone looking to get into Marketing?

“Do it! If you are a creative person and enjoy a sometimes fast-paced environment… This is perfect for you!”

Michael Pohl – Social Media Specialist

What is your favorite part of marketing?

“My favorite part of marketing is getting to see the looks of my clients faces and they see the content I create for them. I love being able to highlight what people do and make them look good while doing it!”

Why did you get into marketing?

“I have always been very creative and love how marketing can be done in a variety of fields.”

What was your career path to get into marketing?

“It was a little weird in my opinion! I was always very entrepreneurial, and when I was in 5th grade (roughly 2008) I started selling Duct Tape wallets, “paintings”, hair bows, ties, and more through Facebook and YouTube. This was my first real experience with marketing. I joined yearbook in middle school, and quickly became the Editor-In-Chief and became very interested in photojournalism. I carried this on through High School, but actually started freelancing for the local news outlets and doing portrait photography. After Highschool, I started my own portrait/commercial photography business. After a year of doing that, I met my soon to be business partner through the Chamber of Commerce and we created a online Content Creation/Social Media Strategy firm. He also owned a local news outlet, so I was able to continue working on journalism as well! I worked with him for several years creating and managing content for our public and private sector while also creating my third business, an online aquarium education platform through YouTube and a private website. After Covid hit, my business partner and I lost a lot of clients due to it. I started to look for a full time position and was lucky to find Wood Rodgers. I started here in the fall of 2021 and have been loving it!”

What is your advice for anyone looking to get into Marketing?

“Learn everything you can. There is so much information available for free online. The best education, in my experience, is hands on. Get out and do something!”

Please join us in congratulating Wood Rodgers newest Associates and Principals. Congratulations! Stay tuned for individual interviews with each of them!


Carley Stephens, Sacramento Accounting

Jilian Wilbrecht, Reno Civil

Ashley Verling, Reno Civil

Shawnee Dunagan, Reno Civil

Eric Rice, Reno Surveys

Katie Wrightson, Sacramento Civil

Kathryn Kim, Sacramento Landscape

Andrew Tapley, Sacramento Surveys

Tony Alvarado, Sacramento Surveys

Dean Zurcher, Sacramento Transportation


Karl Meier, San Diego Water

Matt Roulias, Reno Civil

Mike Davidson, Reno Transportation

Brian Martinezmoles, Reno Transportation

Recently, Wood Rodgers’ own Amber Harmon was appointed as the Education Chair for the Society for Marketing Professional Services Sacramento Chapter. Amber is the Nevada Regional Marketing Lead for Wood Rodgers. We caught her and asked her a few questions, and this is what she said!

What do you do as the Education Committee Chair?

“As the committee chair, I am responsible for leading the committee in developing the educational events for the chapter throughout the year and making sure the events run smoothly.”

Why is it an important position?

“My position allows other marketers to gain knowledge about the industry and their careers and also gives certified marketers the opportunities to get credits to keep their certification up to date.”

Why did you join SMPS?

“I found SMPS in 2019. I had no idea there was an organization that catered to A/E/C Marketers and I signed up as soon as I looked through their website and saw all the benefits I could get from being a member.”

What is the benefit you get from SMPS?

“Knowledge is one of the biggest benefits. I have learned so much from the webinars, monthly events and the yearly conferences!”

What is your favorite part of your job?

“I love how marketing allows me to work with almost every department and different people throughout the company.”

What made you decide to go into Marketing?

“I actually just fell into marketing. I was doing admin work for an engineering firm and the marketing manager started asking me to help her with proposals production and 20 years later I am doing marketing full time.”

Wood Rodgers had two projects recently receive awards at the Nevada State Conference of the American Planning Association (APA). Let’s take a look at what we won!

2021 Outstanding Rural Plan or Project – Douglas County 2020 Master Plan

Derek Kirkland (Wood Rodgers) and Sam Booth (Douglas County)

Wood Rodgers was retained by Douglas County to help their planning staff with finishing the Douglas County 2020 Master Plan Update.  The primary scope of work included reorganization of the update work that was started in 2016, consolidation of goals and policies, and creating a plan that was easy for the public to understand and heavy in graphics.  The scope of work also included innovative public outreach given the current pandemic.  In a very short time frame our team provided the final plan, including the final outreach, within a 5-month period. Our Team assisted with conducting a joint planning commission and board of county commission workshop virtually, developed a community wide survey, and assisted with virtual presentations as well as reservation only workshops.  The initial work on the plan included an extensive goals and policy audit that ultimately lead to a complete overhaul of the goals and policies within a few months.  This plan was approved by the County Commission December 2020.


2021 Outstanding Individual Project – Talus Valley (Daybreak Planned Unit Development)

Eric Hasty, Andy Durling & Derek Kirkland (Wood Rodgers)

The Talus Valley master planned community encompasses 980± acres, formerly known as Butler Ranch, located in southeast Reno. The Talus Valley project, formerly identified as the “Daybreak Planned Unit Development” received final approval by the City of Reno on July 22, 2020 for up to 3,995 units, approximately 45 acres of commercial, and over 350 acres (approximately 35%) Parks, Greenways and Open Space.

The master planned community will include a number of community elements such as school sites, three neighborhood parks and a larger centrally located community park, and town center with commercial and retail opportunities. An area of focus for Talus Valley was ensuring the community would be well connected through a series of shared use paths that not only connect residential areas to the town center and open space, but will also connect to the surrounding trail network along Veteran’s Parkway and the Damonte Ranch area to the south. Thomas Creek flows into the property before entering Steamboat Creek and was historically disturbed and dammed to construct a pond to provide irrigation to the ranch’s agricultural uses. The Project includes plans to restore Thomas Creek through the property with new enhanced wetlands that will include trail connectivity and interpretive signage for the community to enjoy. In addition to the restoration of Thomas Creek and other site wetlands, the Project also includes a large area that will be used for increased flood storage providing benefits for the region at large.

One of the more important aspect of Talus Valley are the new housing products focused on addressing desperately needed housing, particularly “missing middle” housing, for the region. The Developer, Newport Pacific Land Company, have introduced new housing products to the region that will be “affordable by design”. These new product types make up more than half of the proposed homes and will provide future buyers more affordable options with both an attached and detached concept targeting the 80%-120% of Washoe County Area Median Income (AMI).

As part of the Talus Valley Project, the Developer has agreed to provide additional mitigation measures to support community needs, including public safety services for police and first responders, provide funding for new fire equipment, provide additional funding for storm water improvements near the Project area, and provide additional funding to support youth sports in South Reno. The Project also includes numerous off-site improvements that will improve the overall transportation network in the surrounding area including a bridge over Steamboat Creek connecting South Meadows Parkway with Rio Wranlger Parkway and complete street improvements on Rio Poco Drive. The Developer will establish a Landscape Maintenance Association that future home owners will contribute to ensuring the parks, open space, trails, drainage areas, and community enhancements are maintained well after the master planned community is completed.

The Talus Valley master planned community has gone above and beyond what a typical master planned community would provide, and the Developers have ensured the project will not only be a nice place to live but will provide region wide benefits, including more attainable options for housing. Talus Valley challenges the way things have been done in the past, incorporates sustainable development best management practices, and has incorporated many of the planning techniques we as planners all strive to accomplish. Implementation of Talus Valley is already underway and the Developers have focused efforts around the town center including some of the most needed attainable housing product types to help solve the region’s largest housing needs in the initial phase of the project.