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Spring Mountain gets green flag on Pahrump expansion

Updated May 24, 2018 - 3:43 pm

The Spring Mountain Motor Resort &Country Club has gotten the green flag, so to speak, by the Nye County Commission to expand the race facility’s racetrack. Upon completion, Pahrump will be home to the longest track in the world—stretching further than the famed 13.1-mile long Nurburgring Grand Prix in Nurburg, Germany.

Nye County commissioners voted unanimously to approve a zone change on just under 605 acres of land currently owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management — with an address of 2831 S. Highway 160, according to documents from Nye County.

The site of the track’s expansion is north and east of the current race facility, according to the county documents. Plans by the race facility call for more than 15 miles in track.

The approval amends the zoning from reserve to heavy industrial with special projects overlay “for facilitating the expansion of the track area and auxiliary facilities at the Spring Mountain Motor Resort,” Nye County documents stated.

Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen was the first to make a motion to approve the item, noting the amount of work done by the raceway on the project and what he said is hundreds of jobs the facility has brought to Pahrump.

Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox and speakers who spoke during public comment questioned where the track’s expansion would be located, as Cox and other speakers found the presentation to be ambiguous.

Members of the public also expressed concerns about increased noise and pollution from the fumes of the high-performance vehicles that will run the track when it’s completed.

Expansion concerns

Cox laid out concerns that the map made it appear that the track would cross over Carpenter Canyon and Wheeler Pass roads, which concerned her, as it would eliminate access to the Carpenter Canyon area.

Brett Waggoner, director of planning for Nye County, explained that the track would not cross either road, rather it would sit between the two.

The confusion is attributed to the map provided in the backup for the item. The map showed a single parcel of some 13,100 acres, where the more than 600 acres in question was a part.

During public comment, Debra Strickland, candidate in Nye County’s District 5 commission race, also called for more definition in the geographic location of the 604 acres.

“I would like to say that the best way to get that job done is to further define the 604 acres by the township range and section,” Strickland said during the comment period. “It’s a full section being taken in.”

In response to Strickland’s comments, Waggoner explained that the more than 13,000-acre parcel is part of one Assessor Parcel Number (APN).

“Per statute, being that we’re dealing with this one large parcel, that we’re dealing with 604 acres that are contained within this parcel, by Nevada Revised Statutes, we have to notice everybody that touches that parcel,” he said. “So, in our mapping software, being that we don’t have an actual map for this 604 acres, that would be accurate to put into an agenda for your backup.”

“We have to shade out that whole entire parcel,” Waggoner said.

“In the backup that you have, there is a map that was provided by Spring Mountain that, I believe, does delineate what portion of the 13,000-acre parcel we’re talking about,” he added.

Earlier in the meeting, Waggoner said once the land is purchased from the BLM, it would be parceled out.

One area resident, Dwight Lilly, who is also running for the Nye County Commission in District 5, spoke in favor of the track’s expansion and was the last to make a public comment; though, he too, reiterated earlier calls for concern over the map provided by the county.

Lilly pointed to an increase of jobs that were brought to the area with the Spring Mountain race facility moving in.

Other concerns stated by area residents during the public-comment period were the potential of increased noise and the potential increase in pollution created from the high-performance vehicles on the track, along with concerns over water usage.

The Nye County Commission voted to approve sending a letter of support on the sale of the more than 600 acres in August 2017 to the BLM, who holds the property.

Spring Mountain is in the process of trying to purchase the land from the BLM, which had not designated the land for disposal in its 1998 Resource Management Plan. In order for the sale to occur, which would happen through a competitive bidding process, that plan must be amended, according to an Aug. 11, 2017 article in the Pahrump Valley Times.

County commissioners approved the recent measure to rezone the property, as requested, unanimously, after public comment closed.

The approval also came with several stipulations: Spring Mountain can only use up to 50 acre-feet of water annually on the parcel; the race facility must “provide buffers between adjacent disparate uses”; no homes are allowed on the property; along with other special conditions.

Nye County Commissioner John Koenig pointed out that he changed the wording of single-family homes to homes. This was altered, so the race facility wouldn’t try to build any condos or similar structures on the parcel, he said.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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