Three new land parcels were added to the city’s 2014 Land Management Plan on Tuesday, with a vote of the City Council.
The parcels, which will not be developed without council approval, include about 775 acres near the future Interstate 11/U.S. Highway 95 intersection for highway-related commercial development, 242 acres near Boulder City Municipal Airport for airport-related commercial development, and 480 acres in Eldorado Valley for a substation.
Tuesday’s discussion of the item was short, with only one concerned resident commenting on the additions.
Kiernan McManus seemed mostly concerned with the land near the future I-11 interstate, which the city hopes to develop into warehousing, truck stops and other highway-related businesses.
McManus, who favors slow growth, said in the years he had been following the discussion of the future I-11 route, he was led to believe the area near the bypass would not be developed. He questioned the effect of the “enormous development” on Boulder City.
“Are we to believe this will be it, or one of a number of things along the bypass route that will change the character of Boulder City?” he said.
And while the council agenda stated that the addition of the land into the plan wouldn’t affect city business financially, McManus said it would.
Community Development Director Brok Armantrout said he had never heard that there would be no development on the I-11 route.
McManus also questioned adding land near the airport, where the city hopes to attract the unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, industry.
Armantrout tried to address McManus’ concerns, saying the council has final approval of what is developed, even after a parcel is added to the plan.
Armantrout also said that Nevada, and Boulder City, is highly likely to be selected as a drone test site as part of a federal program beginning in January. The selection is supposed to be made by the end of the month.
“Drones are coming, and they’re coming to Boulder City whether we like it or not,” Armantrout said. “If they’re coming, we might as well reap some benefits from it.”
The city’s development vision, Armantrout said, is “to complement our business climate, not steal business away from our business climate.”
Councilman Cam Walker said there are no specific plans yet to develop any of the land near the intersection or the airport.
City code requires that land considered for development be added to the plan in an annual, multistep process that begins in the fall with the city seeking proposals for development. The city also can propose its own development.
The council and planning commission then review the proposals before the council decides which parcels to add. Many parcels have been added during the years and not developed.
Councilman Duncan McCoy said the process “forces the discussion about development into the daylight.”