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Request by owners to rezone residential area moves forward

A request brought by a petition from a group of homeowners to rezone 26 parcels in a Pahrump neighborhood is moving forward.

The parcels are located in the vicinity of River Plate Drive and Red Rock Drive, south of Amarillo Avenue and north of Hickory Street. The 26 parcels that were approved for rezoning are located in a rural estates zoning district which allows the keeping of livestock, to a suburban estates zoning district which is intended for low density single-family residential living and does not allow livestock.

The Nye County Planning Department director said a group of homeowners submitted a petition asking for rezoning. One of the neighborhood’s residents, Lynette Sandquist, had been earlier denied a multi-pet permit that would allow her to keep multiple livestock on her property, but because of the neighborhood’s zoning, Sandquist was still not in violation.

Residents previously complained about the smell and noise coming from Sandquist’s property.

“Some of the neighbors filed a code compliance complaint against Ms. Sandquist relating to the livestock she was keeping on her property. That is what has prompted the zone change request to the suburban estates zone,” said Steve Osborne, Nye County principal planner.

Osborne said the department received several letters of opposition regarding the request, however only one of those letters came from a resident whose parcel is one of the 26 parcels subject to rezoning.

“Anyone that has existing, current use of their property for livestock, they would be allowed to continue that use. Any vacant lots would not be allowed to have farm animals and they are going to have an existing use if they were to discontinue to keep farm animals for more than six months, then they would lose their grandfathered status,” Osborne said.

Those who have grandfathered use, such as Sandquist, would also be able to replace their livestock as long as there is no lapse of more than six months, officials said.

“Our code would say that they can continue on the level as they currently are, it doesn’t necessarily allow for changes or expansion of a grandfathered use,” Nye County Planning Director Darrell Lacy said.

Several members spoke in support of the proposed change.

Resident Judy Fesnock said the request was predicated by Sandquist bringing multiple animals into her yard.

“Our lifestyle has been negatively affected and we are now looking to preserve the integrity of our neighborhood,” she said.

In her letter to Pahrump planners, Sandquist said that she is opposed to the proposed change and stated that she has not been a problem in the neighborhood.

“My animals give me something to get up for in the mornings, to love and take care of,” Sandquist said in the letter.

Fesnock also added that during the last 40 years the subdivision has not developed.

“When the master plan was developed, those same restrictions were used as a guide determining the zoning designation,” Fesnock said. “It’s been 47 years and I believe it’s safe to say that this subdivision will never be what the original developer envisioned.”

“In those same years, this valley has diversified and grown where individuals like us seek to own larger lots, but with the land use that restricts the keeping of livestock or farm animals,” Fesnock said.

Eleven residents of the neighborhood were present at the meeting and Fesnock said there were 32 signatures on the petition for the residents of the 26 parcels.

Of the approved 26 parcels, nine are vacant and 17 are developed with single-family homes which are served by individual septic systems and domestic wells, according to the documents.

Currently, the zone change request to suburban estates is not in conformance with the master plan. If the master plan amendment is approved to change the rural density residential text description, then rezoning the subject parcels to suburban estates would be conforming to the master plan.

The change was approved by the vote 4-2. Commissioners Leah-Ann DeAnda and Bob Adams voted against the change.

Nye County commissioners are scheduled to take a vote on the item on March 21.

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

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