A tale of two Dayton developments: one grows, other stunted by red tape | NevadaAppeal.com

A tale of two Dayton developments: one grows, other stunted by red tape

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Andy Delany, of Reno, glues sprinkler pipes together Wednesday for a landscaped area in front of the Jack In The Box, located in the Smith's shopping center, just off Highway 50 in Dayton.

DAYTON – After years of little or no commercial growth, residents here can now drive a short way down Highway 50 to find a mortgage broker or buy a fast-food hamburger at the burgeoning Smith’s shopping center. But consumers driving down Dayton Valley Road won’t find much there.

A commercial development promised in that area has been delayed because of a land usage conflict and poor communication between local government and the Dayton developer, which is something the county’s new planning director would like to remedy.

For a township with a population around 15,000, local officials say, the commercial development is long-awaited.

“What I’ve heard from Realtors is the housing market has kind of dropped off and it looks like to me that the commercial is picking up,” said Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ed Peck. “People are scrambling to pick up commercial along Highway 50.”

Before Dayton Delta LLC of Minden, owned by the Hone Co., began construction on the 6.5-acre project between Pine Cone and Retail roads, the majority of Dayton’s businesses were locally owned and operated.

Phase one includes Round Table Pizza, Jack In The Box and Taco Bell. Starbucks, Dollar Tree, and national chain sandwich and video stores are in the second phase.

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The $14 million office/retail village Como Gardens on Dayton Valley and Old Como roads is a different type of development. In February, developer Mike Walker, who also owns Dayton Valley Floral and Nursery, said this village would include small local businesses, such as a hot dog shop, hair salon and a doctor’s office, and perhaps a major chain restaurant. Phase one is 15 buildings with about 31,000-square-feet of building space.

But the announcement was nine months ago and the only things residents have seen on the lot, adjacent to the nursery, are piles of dirt.

Walker’s development was delayed because of a conflict over the use of a pie-shaped half-acre parcel that he purchased from Lyon County about three years ago. Before that the parcel was controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.

“Lyon County had illegally sold the parcel in question,” said BLM spokesman Mark Struble.

He said the parcel had been granted to Lyon County for recreation and public purposes. That’s covered under a 1926 law that directs the BLM to transfer land to a local government for community expansion. In 1984, the county acquired the land using this law to build Como Park, which is across the street from Walker’s development on Old Como Road.

Somehow this sliver of land was confused and sold by the county to Walker, said Steve Hasson, the county planning director. Land transferred to a local government through this law must stay within public use. It cannot be sold to a developer.

“The investigation found that it was not deliberate,” Struble said. “It’s something that slipped through the title search. If it were deliberate, that triggers a reversion of all the parcels applied for under the recreation and public purposes application and all improvements go back to the federal government. Since it appears that it was not deliberate, the BLM is giving the county time to get the title back from Mr. Walker and to set the record right.”

Struble said the BLM was alerted to the mistake by a Lyon County district attorney about four months ago.

Walker said Wednesday that he will move forward with his development in the spring.

“Our development has been redesigned,” he said. “We’ve enlarged it to seven acres. We’re going to be off and running in the spring. We’ll be under full construction.”

The development is a little more than eight acres and is assessed at $60,370, according to the Lyon County Assessor’s Office. Walker would not release the names of his future tenants, but he said about 40 percent of the development is either leased or sold already. The total project has 17 buildings.

Planning Director Hasson said this is a “happy ending to a convoluted mess.”

The issue may go before the county commission before the county can compensate Walker for the half-acre parcel, which cost him about $3,000, Hasson said. Walker declined to comment on the conflict, or what he will do with the parcel.

His next step would be to apply for a feasibility study and then submit a tentative map. By late February or early March he could start developing the property.

Hasson said this situation led the planning department to start weekly “round-table discussions” with Dayton developers. The process is similar to Carson City’s master plan review sessions.

He said in the past Lyon county has had a disconnected way of overseeing Dayton development. The county seat of Yerington is located about 47 miles from Dayton.

“We’ve got players from everywhere now and we have to be able to consistently explain (the development process) in a format that demystifies the process for the general public,” Hasson said.

Lyon County opened a county office in Dayton to accommodate the development activity.

“Because 97 percent of our development is north of the Carson River,” he said. “That’s the Highway 50 corridor: Mound House, Dayton, Mark Twain, Stagecoach, Silver Springs and Fernley.”

– Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

Tracking Progress

A brief history of the Smith’s shopping center

Seller: RBX Development LLC, a Las Vegas-based corporation dissolved in December 2004, sold 7.35 acres on the northeast side and south side of Smith’s grocery store, between Pine Cone and Retail roads

Buyer: Dayton Delta LLC, owned by the Hone Co. of Minden

The cost: $1.5 million

Sale closed: Feb. 19, 2004

Seller: Dayton Delta sold the Highway 50 and Retail Road corner parcel. The parcel is a little under one acre.

Buyer: Bladow Nevada LLC of Encinitas, Calif.

The cost: $477,795.

Sale recorded: Dec. 27, 2004

Seller: Dayton Delta sold the .84-acre parcel on the corner of Highway 50 and Pine Cone Road

Buyer: Dayton Bell

The cost: $525,000

Sale recorded: Dec. 30, 2004

Seller: Dayton Delta sold the 1.6-acre parcel, south of Smith’s

Buyer: SlotWorld’s Daytona Casino

The cost: $557,616

Sale recorded: May 13

The $1.8 million casino will be completed in December pending gaming license approval. The casino will open in December or January after the license is obtained, General Manager Kevin Hogan said.

Dayton Delta retained 1.8 acres directly south of Smith’s for development. Without improvements, that land is assessed at $92,420. Construction of the retail spaces should be completed in December. Tenants include: Dollar Tree, Great Clips, Starbucks and Farmer’s Insurance.

The development company also retained 1.4 acres northeast of the grocery store, along Retail Road, for development. Its net assessed value is $360,000, with improvements. This development includes Jack in the Box and Taco Bell. Both developments add more than 25,000 square feet of retail space to Dayton.

Source: Lyon County Assessor records