William Lyon Homes Inc., the developers of Mountain Falls, recently approached the Nye County Commission with a request to revise an already approved final map to allow for more homes to be built in planning area six of the master-planned community but that request was met with almost unanimous denial.
The developer will now have to stick to the original map for planning area six, which was given the green light in November 2017 as part of the 3,200-home development agreement between William Lyon Homes and Nye County.
William Lyon Homes was asking for authorization to re-subdivide its planning area six map in order to carve out an additional 83 lots from the previously approved 42 single family parcels and 10 common elements lots.
Planning area six of Mountain Falls is one of the age-qualified portions of the development and the intent was to offer a new product, William Lyon Homes representative Scott Swapp explained during the commission’s Oct. 15 meeting. That product, called a “twin home” design, would constitute two single-family homes that share a center wall, placed on lots ranging from approximately 0.07 acres to 0.12 acres in size.
Nye County planning staff had recommended partial approval of that request, honing in on 26 of the existing lots for approval, as those parcels are located on “spine” streets. Those lots located on “T” streets, Nye County Principal Planner Cheryl Beeman said, were not recommended for approval due to concerns about access for emergency responders. Swapp said William Lyon Homes was amenable to the partial approval but the board members themselves were evidently not.
With commissioners already having expressed their concerns over water usage in the valley and their desire to see large lot sizes in Mountain Falls, it was a request that drew some raised eyebrows and a certain amount of discontent.
“Why do we need to add more condensed parcels? We are already in agreement to have 42 existing parcels, single-family residences. Now we want to add 83 and we might as well just build the beehive or rat trap,” Nye County Commissioner Debra Strickland stated as the item was opened.
Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox agreed, adding, “We still have a water issue in this valley … And I am sorry but I would like to make a motion to deny.” Strickland provided a second before Nye County Commission Chairman John Koenig chimed in with his thoughts.
“My comment to you guys again is, let’s talk about larger lots,” Koenig told Swapp. “They’re still not quite big enough. I am tired of having smaller lots made out of larger lots to just increase the amount of money you guys put in your pockets and putting more people on our streets, sucking up more water, all the rest of it. You know where I stand on it.”
Swapp interjected to state that the requested action was allowable within the existing development agreement that authorizes a total of 3,200 homes, but to no avail.
“Of course you are allowed to have that amount at the end built. We get that. But reducing and reducing (lot sizes) is not what we are after here,” Strickland replied.
Cox and Koenig both remarked that they did not want to see the area turn into an echo of Las Vegas, with extremely high-density housing and tiny streets and Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo said he, too, was hesitant to give the OK to a plan to create ever-smaller parcels.
“I appreciate where they are coming from,” Blundo stated. “They want to try a different product… I just don’t see this happening. I am trying to figure out how to let you guys build what you want to build, I shouldn’t tell you how to build it … But at the same time, we are cutting these lots down to nothing.”
When the motion to deny was brought to a vote, Nye County Commissioner Lorinda Wichman, who had remained largely silent throughout the discussion, was the sole voice against.
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