A crowd of west-side residents persuaded the Pahrump (Nev.) Regional Planning Commission June 9 to unanimously reject a plan to construct a 620-site recreational vehicle park with recreational park trailers on the southwest corner of Barney Street and Betty Avenue.
Rockingham Realty Nevada 2 LLC requested the rezoning of 60 acres from rural homestead to mixed use for the development. The company also requested a major master plan amendment and conditional use permit, according to the Pahrump Valley Times.
The RPC had reviewed proposed development standards for recreational park trailers in the zoning code. The board considered the development at a March 10 meeting, but continued the item until Rockingham Realty representatives could host a neighborhood meeting June 2 at the Bob Ruud Community Center.
That neighborhood meeting failed to still some complaints. Seven people came to the microphone to voice concerns. Commissioners were also given a petition in opposition, signed by 130 people.
“The potential to become a blight on this community is incredible,” neighbor Lois Mills said.
Mills said the project was tabled so the developers could address issues about density. The only change was coloring the green spaces to make them stand out, she said.
“It’s still too dense to be placed next to a low density housing area. Where’s the buffer?” Mills asked.
She also criticized plans called for 12 acres of commercial development.
“We lived 40 years in Las Vegas. We moved out here to get away from the lights, the inconvenience of all the noise and we wanted some peace and quiet in our elderly years,” Shirley Jewell said.
She said there would be too little visitor parking.
“I have spoken to practically all the people in this neighborhood. Not one of them is in favor of this zoning change. They all want to keep the zoning the way it is,” Harold Jewell said.
He questioned where the water would come from.
“We purchased this property to get away from the congested, overcrowded, cookie-cutter development. This area was all zoned RH 4.5 and was designated on the master plan as low density development. We believed it would provide a quiet, rural setting where we could raise animals,” Christine Leason said.
She estimated 620 units would translate into 6,237 vehicle trips per day.
County planner Steve Osborne said they estimate 10 vehicle trips per day per resident. But RPC member Mark Kimball said that’s for a single-family resident. The intention of this development is to provide facilities for residents that may keep them on the site, Kimball said.
Dave Richards, from CivilWise Services, representing Rockingham Realty, said there’s a lot of open space, with a common area and a yard around each unit. It is intended as an age-restricted community for people 55 years and older, Richards said.
“Pretty much all the amenities an RV park will provide, but this is intended for an extended stay. There will be no campers, motorhomes allowed on the site. They’re specifically park models which are like a little cottage, a small home intended for one or two people,” Richards said.
Issues regarding traffic, drainage and landscaping will be addressed in the design phase, Richards said. A six-foot, decorated, block wall with landscaping on the outside shouldn’t interfere with neighbors’ views of the mountains, he said.
But Richards admitted: “You drive around Pahrump, you look at RV parks that have been put in, they tend to turn into dives or slums.”
But Richards said the lots will be owned by the company and rented or leased to occupants. He said the company intends to have a strict set of requirements.
Kimball noted the same developer outlined plans for the Beverly Park planned unit development, approved in September 2007, in which Rockingham Realty planned to build 864 two-story condominiums on 72 acres across the street. That project was to include amenities like a senior center, a medical center, gas station and golf cart paths.
Marianne Barrett noted that PUD has a three-year time limit, set to expire this year.
“Mr. Richards says that proposed development is going to share facilities with Beverly Park development across the street. I might point out that development does not exist,” Leason said.
Kimball suggested cutting down the density by downsizing the project. He thought 350 RV units would be a more appropriate number.
Kimball said he was originally excited about the Beverly Park project.
“I suspect part of the reason that (rezoning) is about to expire is the difficulty we have in this valley with infrastructure. The cost to bring the promised utilities to that project is probably astronomical at this point,” Kimball said.
RPC member Carrick “Bat” Masterson said he didn’t have a problem with the project, it was the location, too far from the center of town.
“It’s in a rural area and that’s my problem. These people do have the right to the type of life they wanted,” Masterson said.
RPC member Nevada Tolladay said it was nice to have development in tough times, but it’s his belief not all development is good development.
RPC member Norma Jean Opatik felt the 55 and older crowd was more active than proponents said.
“You’re going to have much more activity in this community than what’s being presented,” she said.
Opatik said she anticipates Rockingham Realty requesting an extension of time to develop Beverly Park.
“When people bought property and they see the master plan, they anticipate that master plan will stand,” Opatik said.