New land use, zoning designation gives developers more flexibility

A proposed development in Stagecoach that could eventually include residential, commercial and industrial projects will need to obtain approval under a new category.

The Lyon County Commissioners approved altering the text of the 1990 master plan and zoning ordinance to include a "specific plan" land-use designation.

The commission's actions also alters the master-plan text to include "The Highlands" as a community, though the land is currently vacant. It is located on land expected to include the route for USA Parkway.

For Paul Kenner of the Highlands Group, along with Nevada Reno Industrial LLC, which has more than 20,000 acres from the Storey County line to just north of central Stagecoach, the designation means they will have to gain commission approval of the overall plan, then go back as sections are phased in.

After approving the designations, the commission then approved changing the Highlands Group property from open space to specific plan.

Lyon County Planning Director Rob Loveberg said that the text change is not conferring something specific to the Highlands and would provide opportunity to all developers.

He said the language was planned for the new master plan now under review, and the zoning change would provide flexibility for later phases.

Loveberg said that for master plan amendments greater than 160 acres, the developer would have to do a specific plan.

Commissioner LeRoy Goodman called the language change "common sense."

"I realize we are dealing with the ancient text of the 1990 master plan," he said.

State Sen. Mark Amodei, serving as the applicant's attorney, said the three items, the text amendments and the master plan amendment was appropriate for Lyon County with regard to proposed large developments.

"It doesn't give the applicant the ability to do anything without coming back and going through the application process, coordination process and public hearing process in Lyon County," he said.

He said if the specific plan designation becomes a problem the commission can always alter it later.

Commissioner Bob Milz said specific plan designations were being done in Carson City and Douglas County, and in other states.

Commissioner Larry McPherson formally proposed the changes to the zoning ordinance, which requires a later public hearing.

Amodei said that USA Parkway was expected to come through the property and could connect with Highway 50 or branch off with one leg going to Silver Springs and another to Stagecoach to provide an alternative road to Highway 50.

- Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or call 881-7351.


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