County officials reject code changes for now

The county’s comprehensive land use planning and zoning code relating to multi-pet permits will remain unchanged for the time being after county commissioners rejected a bill that proposed to amend it.

A bill presented by the Nye County Planning Department was aiming to amend the current Nye County Code Title 17 Comprehensive Land Use Planning and Zoning relating to multi-pet permits tier I and II. Commissioners rejected the bill Dec. 15 and gave direction to the staff to eliminate the tier I permit.

A proposition for the change to the Pahrump-centric ordinance was driven largely by complaints about noise and flies that had been made by the town’s residents, officials said.

The situation also highlighted the county’s dire financial situation as officials said they have problems with enforcement of the rules due to the shortage of staffing.

“Because of budgeting and everything else we have had to close the shelter, we had to not hire the people that we need and on and on,” Nye County Commission Chairperson Lorinda Wichman said. “So, we are short of staff at the sheriff’s office, we are short of staff at Animal Control, we are short of staff everywhere in every department.”

The proposed change would allow up to five animals anywhere without a multi-pet tier I permit with a permit from Nye County Animal Control and in suburban estates and rural estates residential zones with 1 and 2-acre minimum parcel sizes with a conditional use permit. A multi-pet tier II permit would be allowed only in rural estates with a 4.5-acre parcel size rural homestead residential with a 9.5-acre parcel size with a conditional use permit.

Several residents and officials spoke against the proposal questioning whether the proposed change would remedy the issue.

“I don’t think it’s time to do it when you have a shelter that is housing the animals for the court and not really running for Pahrump,” Pahrump resident Linda Hatley said.

Scott Shoemaker, chairman of the Nye County Animal Advisory Committee said tier I and tier II were instituted in 2013 in an effort to alleviate the issue of zoning.

“It’s now 2015 and the reality is, tier I, tier II permit holders, there’s no complaints against them,” Shoemaker said. “The people that are in the court cases are either people who refuse to get their permits or they had cruelty issues, so making it more restrictive and an additional step for conditional use permit, taking an option away, I’m against it personally.”

The current code allows up to five dogs and cats anywhere with no permit required, while six to 10 animals require a multi-pet permit tier I from Nye County Animal Control and are allowed as a permissive use in suburban estates and rural estates residential with a 1-acre minimum parcel size and larger. Ten or more animals require a multi-pet permit tier II and are allowed with a conditional use permit in 1-acre and larger zones.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at On Twitter: @dariasokolova77