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BC City Council adds to land plan

The City Council decided Tuesday to move forward in the process of adding three new parcels to the city’s 2014 Land Management Plan, voting to forward the development proposals to the Planning Commission for review.

Two of the proposals came from city staff and one came from a private company in response to the city’s annual request for use proposals, which were due Sept. 30.

Staff proposed that land near the U.S. Highway 95 and future Interstate 11 intersection be designated for commercial development, along with land near Boulder City Municipal Airport.

The land near the I-11 intersection, with each quadrant including anywhere from 10 to 40 acres, would be designated for highway commercial activity such as travel centers, distribution facilities and warehousing, Community Development Director Brok Armantrout said.

Armantrout told the Boulder City Review that the development would be “ideal” for the city, because it “gets the benefits of lease revenue, and no growth.”

Since the Clark County Commission passed a fuel tax increase last month, providing funding for the I-11 construction, Armantrout said the city has been contacted by two companies interested in building a travel center and a warehouse along the interstate.

He told the council Tuesday that data warehouses, where companies store massive amounts of computer hardware, are also an attractive possibility.

“What we see in Las Vegas and what we hope to capitalize on here in Boulder City are data warehouses,” Armantrout said.

Staff proposed that 500 or more acres bordering the western and southern sides of the airport, be designated for aeronautical and nonaeronautical land use.

But the Council, uneasy with the size of the land proposal, modified it to include only land south of the airport.

The reason for the modification was “the size and the (public) perception (of development),” said Councilman Cam Walker, who envisioned the airport parcel being scaled down to about 200 acres.

Armantrout said after Tuesday’s meeting that he was not yet sure what the acreage of the adjusted parcel would be.

The city wishes to open up land near the airport for light industrial park development in an effort to lure aeronautical industry and more specifically the unmanned aerial vehicle industry to Boulder City.

Nevada is awaiting the announcement of whether it will become a testing location for the Federal Aviation Administration’s integration of UAVs, or drones, into the national airspace.

If Nevada is selected — because Boulder City Airport will be one of the state’s three testing sites — it is believed industry will want to locate here.

Although he voted in support of the airport parcel, Councilman Duncan McCoy said he would like to see the city’s existing industrial areas developed first.

“We do have industrial lots for development and it’s not like it’s a stampede,” he said. “I would like to see those developed before we develop raw land.”

City staff also proposed Tuesday that 160 acres at the end of Buchanan Boulevard be designated for agricultural purposes.

The city currently discharges up to 1 million gallons of treated wastewater daily into the desert in the area, and Armantrout said the water could be used to grow hay, which could be sold to local horsemen and farmers.

“We’re trying to find something to do with our wastewater,” he said. “We’re trying to see if there’s a way to make money off it.”

But concerned that the size of the parcel and its distance from where the wastewater is actually discharged, the council decided not to act on the staff recommendation.

It instead included an additional designation of agricultural development for the modified airport parcel, which is closer to the discharge area.

Council also approved a proposal from Transwest Express LLC, a private company that would like to lease land for a transmission substation in Eldorado Valley.

The company is completing its environmental impact study, and plans to construct a transmission line that would transfer wind-generated power from Wyoming to the desert Southwest.

Although Transwest Express is seeking 155 acres, city staff designated a parcel of about 400 acres to provide the city leeway in regard to the exact location of the substation, Armantrout said.

The council approved a staff request that two parcels in Eldorado Valley added to the Land Management Plan in 2005 be removed because they conflict with the parcel for the I-11 interchange and are no longer relevant. The parcels were designated as 50 acres for a motorsports park and 20 acres for outdoor recreation.

The council’s initial approval of the proposals is the first step in the actual development of land.

The proposals will next be reviewed by the Planning Commission at its November meeting, and council will make a final decision on what parcels will be added to the 2014 plan at a December meeting.

In January, the council will direct the city manager what to do, if anything, with the 40 parcels identified in the plan. Many parcels added to the plan have not been developed.

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