By Mark Waite
Rockingham Capital, a company owned by dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey Gunter, had plans before for a senior community that included building a new Pahrump senior center on the far west side at Barney Street and Wilson Avenue.
That community, called Beverly Park, consisted of 864 two-story condominiums on 72 acres, complete with cart paths and local businesses such as pharmacies and hair salons. That idea was hatched in the boom years in 2007. It never materialized, partly because of the high cost of extending utilities.
But Rockingham Capital on Wednesday received unanimous approval of a conditional use permit from the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission to build a mobile home park with 165 spaces on 13.5 acres at 440 E. Wilson Road that will include building and donating a Pahrump senior center to either the town or county. Already a sign on the site boasts of the location of a new Pahrump Senior Center coming in 2011.
A long closed donut shop would be razed as part of the project, the RPC had approved a conditional use permit in June 2008 to convert that into a sports bar that also never materialized.
The developers plan to build a 10,000-square-foot senior center and almost 50,000 square feet of retail space, Nye County Planning Director Steve Osborne said..
Rockingham Capital is a partner in the latest venture along with Fely Quitevis, owner of Precious Properties, chairman of the Nye County Republican Party Central Committee and former Nye County Commissioner. The third party is Wilson Capital Nevada LLC, which includes Dr. Gunter, whose corporate address is on Rockingham Avenue in Los Angeles and Keith Gross of Beverly Hills, Calif.
The project exceeds the minimum lot size for a mobile home park, which is allowed in the mixed use zone, subject to the approval of a conditional use permit, the planning department report said. The RPC has the final say in approving a conditional use permit.
Rockingham Realty 2 LLC had been denied a rezoning last June for a 620-unit RV park featuring Park Model Homes on 60 acres at Barney Street and Basin Avenue after an outcry by local residents.
Osborne said the density for this project will allow 12.1 mobile homes per acre, compared to 13.2 units per acre for the 161 Park Model RVs Rockingham Capital proposed on 12.2 acres at this same Wilson Road site.
Besides the Rockingham Capital donation, there have been other plans before to build a new Pahrump Senior Center, at one time there was a proposed location behind the Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino. The existing senior center at 1370 W. Basin Ave. is a building that was relocated from the Nevada Test Site in the 1960s.
George Gingell, a member of the Pahrump Senior Center board, said his board has been looking at this latest plan for the past couple months.
“We’re doing anywhere from 100 to 125, 130 people, feeding them per day and with other activities that are there, we just don’t have room. This will give us probably twice the room we have and probably every bit of it will be used in one form or another,” Gingell said. “We are busting out at the seams. I would like to see you approve it.”
Consultant Dave Richards, of CivilWise Services, said the mobile home park would be for seniors aged 55 and over. The Park Model development would have been too limiting on space for retirees, he said.
“The decision was made they just wouldn’t cater to the needs of the seniors. So what we did and what the owner did was go out and look at something that would be compatible. They found mobile units that are 14 feet wide with two bedrooms and all the facilities they need approximately 200 square feet larger than the Park Models,” Richards said.
Amenities like a swimming pool and clubhouse were moved to the back of the property where the senior center will be located, he said.
“I think it’s really an improvement over the previous thing,” RPC member Mark Kimball said. “Having seen the size of the homes that will go in there, they’re actually much larger and they’re more comfortable, real bedrooms and bathrooms and room to move around.”
Residents won’t own the sites, occupants will own their mobile home that fits the criteria for the park, Richards said. He indicated the construction of the senior center won’t have to wait for the completion of the mobile home park.
The retail space would include businesses like a pharmacy, hair salon, that would make the mobile home park self-contained with services the retirees will need on a daily basis, Richards said.
The developers can tap into water and sewer facilities built by the owners of Ishani Ridge subdivision, or if that is too cumbersome, extend water and sewer lines down Wilson Road or from the backside at the Cottage Grove development, he said.
Nye County Commissioner Gary Hollis, who was sitting in the audience, said it would have cost $12 million to extend water and sewer lines to the development on Barney Street.
RPC member Norma Jean Opatik didn’t want the mobile home park to be jam packed. She said residents will need room to park their vehicles.
Richards said there’s 10 feet of parking space in front of each of the units.