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County planners discussing mixed use, business opportunity zoning

On Wednesday, the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission mulled current zoning districts and exchanged ideas on how they can create more connectivity within the Pahrump Master Plan.

Cheryl Beeman, county principal planner, said revisions to mixed-use zoning districts and business opportunity overlay zoning would be up to the community.

“I’m not sure if we need both of these zoning districts in our ordinances and again, that’s up for community discussion as to what it is we are trying to accomplish with these mixed-use changes,” Beeman said.

The distribution of mixed-use zoning throughout Pahrump currently isn’t necessarily appropriate for multifamily housing, she said.

“Multifamily housing should be situated in areas where there’s access to goods and services in our community,” Beeman said. “It’s spread out, whereas the original intention was to allow single-family residences and business activity on the same property.”

Mixed-use zoning allows for multifamily apartment housing.

Additionally, officials removed mixed-use zoning as a category from the 2014 Pahrump Master Plan update.

“We moved away from the single-use master plan category to allow greater flexibility,” Beeman said.

The zoning ordinance needs to be updated in concurrence with the master plan, she added.

“Now, we have to figure out if we want to keep mixed use or if we want to keep business opportunity overlay, whichever is going to be more useful for the community,” Beeman said.

Pahrump Regional Planning Commission Chair Gregory Hafen said the board could consider merging mixed-use zoning district and business opportunity overlay zoning.

“This is definitely something that we do need to look at, because business overlay really can’t exist as it’s currently written because we’ve gone away from the master plan designation of mixed use,” Hafen said.

The Pahrump Master Plan was previously condensed to incorporate multiple zoning categories to allow more flexibility.

“We went to the district’s neighborhood, the community development district,” Beeman said. “We kind of changed it up in that way to allow a lot more flexibility in zoning districts.”

Officials said a lot of parts in the Nye County Code would have to be amended to conform to one another, should any changes take place.

“It’s very difficult to take our zoning code and make the changes we need because there’s so much interconnectivity,” Beeman said.

The business opportunity overlay zoning has more flexibility and usability than mixed use zoning district when it comes to the permissive uses, Nye County Planning Department Director Darrell Lacy said.

“The business opportunity overlay allows significantly larger number of activities than mixed use does. If we were to eliminate mixed use, we would need to evaluate what the impact would be,” he added.

“I’d like to back up and go to the actual (mixed use) zoning ordinance and see if there’s any actual comments on verbiage that’s been proposed by staff,” Hafen said.

Lacy said the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission under the direction of the Nye County commissioners and the Nye County Water District Governing Board will be looking at the Nye County Code and zoning to address density of development and development standards that address water usage and recharge.

“We have made lots of changes already, like the five-acre minimum new parcel size from a parcel map and the three acre-foot water dedication for new parcel maps. We will be making changes to almost all of the zoning classifications and zoning maps. I would expect lower densities, tougher landscaping and conservation standards and a reluctance to approve new developments,” Lacy said.

The Pahrump Regional Planning Commission’s next meeting will take place on Nov. 9.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dskolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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