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Council OKs land sale to StoryBook Homes

The City Council made history at its meeting on Tuesday by moving forward for the first time in 20 years with selling land under the existing controlled growth ordinance.

At the meeting, the council members unanimously approved moving forward with Wayne Laska of StoryBook Homes in the sale of Tract 349, at the southeast corner of Bristlecone at Adams Boulevard.

Laska was the only respondent to the bid for that piece of land, which voters approved selling at the 2014 general election. Laska plans to buy the land in three phases from May 2017 to May 2019 and build a total of 128 lots.

His plans for the development are built around the city’s current restrictions of 30 permits per fiscal year per developer.

Laska’s proposal offers the minimum asking price of $300,000 per acre, which would bring the total price of all three phases to approximately $9.1 million.

His offer does include the conditions of utilizing 41-foot private streets to allow for a sidewalk on one side of the street and a reduction for the lot width for 115 of the lots. All the lots would still meet the minimum square footage requirements of 7,000 square feet.

His proposal also includes three parks for the subdivision.

The approved resolution allows the city and Laska to move forward and negotiate the land sale.

“This is just the first step of many for this,” City Manager David Fraser told the council members. “We would have at least eight more public meetings before building permits are issued for it.”

Laska was at Tuesday’s meeting to introduce himself to the council. He said that he knew there were still details that needed to be worked out, which benefited him and the city.

“We’re just trying to get the first step done in order to move forward,” he said.

“I think we want a success for the community. … It’s important that we create longevity for the community,” said Councilman Cam Walker. “I appreciate that you’ll work out details with staff and help work it out beneficially for both.”

Councilman Rich Shuman said he thought building in three phases would be challenging and felt Laska’s estimated price range of $350,000 to $400,000 was a little bit low.

After the meeting, Laska said the plans are still in such a preliminary stage that the prices could be more in the $350,000 to $450,000 range.

Council members and several residents in attendance agreed with moving this land sale forward.

As to why he’s developing in Boulder City, Laska said he has a long history here, having first visited when he was a teenager, and got his start in development with Lewis Homes in the 1980s.

“I think it’s a great community,” he said. “It’s just a small town where buyers will want to live.”

He also believes with its proximity to Green Valley, commuting won’t be difficult and families who don’t want to live in Las Vegas can live here.

“I think Boulder City would be a great place to raise a family,” he said. “We’re excited to work with the city and come up with something that works for both parties.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, council:

n Approved forwarding land parcels 1, 11 and 12 from the residential land management workshop to the planning commission for further recommendations.

n Approved increasing the water sold to the Las Vegas Valley District from 75 gallons per minute to 160 gallons per minute. The contract would still run through 2035 and bring in an additional $150,000 annually.

n Approved a water conservation plan that no longer allows spray irrigation on Sundays during summer.

n Read a proclamation declaring Thursday Arbor Day in Boulder City.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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