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Site development plan requirement delays RPC approvals

The audience was left clearly confused awaiting action by the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission Wednesday on several items but the RPC was informed by Deputy District Attorney Tim Sutton they all had to be continued because of a requirement not enforced before, requiring conceptual site plans for projects not in compliance with county code.

Residents waited for public hearings that didn’t occur, staying after the items were continued, confused about the process. They didn’t leave until the meeting was coming to a close.

Property owner Mary Miller wanted a conditional use permit to reopen a kennel at 6091 E. Gills Way. For a long time it was K-9 Kastle Bed and Bone.

Belaluz Solar LLC had a request for a minor master plan amendment and non-conforming zone change to convert 75.97 acres at 6631 N. Sharpe Ave. and 6630 N. Crest Ave. from village residential to rural homestead for a 15-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility. Solar uses of this scale aren’t permitted in the VR zone but are allowed in the RH 9.5 zone as a permissive use. Randall M. Bell, of Belaluz Solar LLC, said the solar photo voltaic site would generate enough power for 2,000 homes.

Rene Morales had a request for a minor master plan amendment, non-conforming zone change, conditional use permit and waiver to open a 61-space recreational vehicle park on three parcels totaling 4.266 acres at 5211 and 5241 S. Homestead Rd. and 3090 E. Mickey St. Property owner Millennium Investments LLC has entered into an agreement with Lakeside RV park nearby to use irrigation water at different times. The conditional use permit would be needed for a decorative water feature larger than 250 square feet, the plan is for a 900 to 1,600 square foot water feature. Two of the three parcels are zoned neighborhood commercial which allows RV parks, but a third parcel is zoned village residential.

“We would expect that from a major developer, we need to discuss how to handle that with Joe Smith down the road who just wants a conditional use permit to build a garage somewhere, an ordinary guy like us,” RPC Chairman John Koenig said.

“I saw this in the code and I got really excited,” Sutton told the board. He said Nye County Code 17.04.950 allows administrative exceptions to requirements for conceptual site plans if it’s onerous for particular projects, the request for a waiver must be submitted in writing with an explanation why it should be granted, as part of the application.

“In the future have people submit a request for an administrative exception for particular criteria then those applications can be either granted or denied by the zoning administrator and those applications can be submitted with backup material for the land use application,” Sutton said.

RPC member Greg Hafen II said he didn’t think a conceptual site plan was needed for an existing building. He suggested the zoning administrator waive some of those requirements.

“The whole conceptual site plan requirement really doesn’t pass the common sense test at some level of these and we may be wrapping ourselves around the axle too much by being too specific here. We maybe even want to change that up a little more to give more flexibility. The flip side of that is we have some fairly extensive commercial developments and other things that come to you when we have findings we have to make that the information is not provided by the applicant,” Planning Director Darrell Lacy said.

“If the information is not all there I would rather not see it,” Koenig said. Because the RPC has been doing that for a number of years doesn’t mean they have to continue doing it, he said.

Lacy did add a requirement to present conceptual site plans eliminates speculative plans for projects that may not be constructed soon.

Sutton told the RPC they had the right to impose conditions on granting zone changes.

“They have to have a project in mind. They can put a conceptual site plan together for this,” he said.

“You can’t present a site plan for a berry farm and then build a nuclear power plant,” Sutton added.

But Lacy said proponents of a project can spend more money on architects, engineers and surveyor in doing the design, engineering and drafting than on building the project.

“I want to see some common sense in it. We’re slammed constantly for being the bad guys and hard to do anything around here,” Koenig said. “A big project I want to see a site plan, I want to see all the information they got.”

County code states conceptual site plans are intended to provide basic information related to proposed development projects, such as land use, location of buildings, parking, landscaping, character, scale, and manner of operation. They must include a north arrow, property dimensions, all existing and proposed structures and their generic uses, proposed setbacks, drainage paths, driveway locations and traffic flow, conceptual parking plan, proposed open space, landscaping, street names and names of adjoining streets.

Morales had a conceptual site plan for his RV park but it was missing drainage paths.

‘Koenig remarked a guy building a garage in his backyard doesn’t need to show drainage paths.

RPC member Bill Dolan wanted to set up a subcommittee to discuss the requirements.

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