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Amargosa Valley to wait on new land regulations

A suggestion to amend minimum lot sizes and water rights relinquishment requirements in Amargosa Valley has been halted once again.

The bill that was proposing to amend several chapters of Nye County Code with the exception of the Pahrump Regional Planning District was continued from the Feb. 2 meeting to allow the Amargosa Valley Town Board to make additional recommendations for the bill. County commissioners tabled the item on April 5 and passed it back to the Amargosa Valley Town Board for a “concurrence.”

“If the town of Amargosa (Valley) wants to remain with the first language, there’s no real substantive difference between the two,” Commissioner Lorinda Wichman said.

Town Administrator Mike Cottingim said that new additions about water issues made to the document by the Nye County Planning Department “are not needed.”

Under other regulations, a minimum lot requirement for subdivisions is 2 ½ acres and 5 acres for parcels. The change was recommended to Amargosa Valley by the County Planning Department.

“We did that for a number of reasons because in the past, when you would reparcel a property, let’s say you took a property from ten acres to 4 1/2, when you did that, there would be two acre feet of water would go with your original parcel and then each of the other parcels would automatically get two acre feet (of water). So, you were literally creating water rights out of thin air,” Cottingim said.

Under the new deal, for every new parcel, property owners have to bring water to the table. The measure is supposed to help the town to avoid water overappropriation.

Amargosa Valley is in Basin 230. Cottingim said the water table there runs anywhere from 160 to 250 feet depending on location.

“What they tell us right now (is) we are on about even keel, with what we have appropriated as far as our water rights versus what they see,” he said.

“We do not want to go overappropriated as far as our water goes.”

The new regulations would also manage new commercial development in Amargosa Valley that doesn’t have zoning regulations.

The town has a number of lot sizes that range from an acre to an acre and a quarter.

“We’ve had very little commercial growth in 20 years,” Cottingim said. “The last big project we had was Longstreet (Inn) in ‘95.”

In June 2015, Nye County commissioners gave licenses for the cultivation and production of medical marijuana for Acres Cultivation at its medical marijuana facility in Amargosa Valley.

Before the proposal is brought up again at the commissioners’ meeting, Cottingim wants to talk to the County Planning Department “to get ducks in a row.”

“So, when we go before the BOCC this time, it’ll go right on through,” he said.

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