Douglas County tweaks growth ordinance |

Douglas County tweaks growth ordinance

by Scott Neuffer
Nevada Appeal News Service

The economic recession and very little residential construction has motivated Douglas County officials and county commissioners to introduce an ordinance amending the building permit allocation and growth management ordinance, making it easier for builders to obtain excess allocations.

“In today’s economy it’s a token,” commissioner Greg Lynn said during the first reading of the ordinance on Feb. 5. “In today’s economy, it’s the difference between paying bills and a mortgage.”

The ordinance, which was approved by voters in November, limits residential growth in the Valley to 2 percent, compounded annually, and follows a building permit allocation schedule.

The schedule is divided into quarterly periods, with a one-month application period and a two-month issuance period.

According to Community Development Director Mimi Moss, language in the ordinance has forced some builders to wait two to three months to apply for excess allocations, those unused or unissued allocations.

“There are over 100 (excess) allocations today,” she said. “This won’t essentially change the quarterly process, but will encourage people to come in outside of the quarterly process for those excess allocations.”

The revised code will allow the distribution of excess allocations on a first-come, first-served basis.

“When excess allocations exist,” the revision reads, “an applicant may submit an application at any time and an allocation will be issued or denied within 10 working days.”

Representatives from the Sustainable Growth Committee supported the amendment.

“Our committee is in agreement,” said SGC Co-chair John Garvin. “There is no point waiting to apply for those excess allocations.”

Commissioners Dave Brady and Doug Johnson also supported the change, but said they were left out of the amendment process.

“I completely support the change in the ordinance, but I didn’t know it was even here before seeing it on the agenda,” Johnson said. “I’m very offended.”

“Two commissioners who lived and breathed the document were left out,” Brady said. “This is no way of doing business in Douglas County.”

Moss said she had acted on former County Commission Chairman Kelly Kite’s request from last year.