Clark County sets priorities for growth, quality in first rewrite of master plan since 1983

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Clark County has set priorities on affordable housing, compact development, better transit choices and unique neighborhoods.

Those are among the items that stand out from the first comprehensive rewrite of the county’s master plan since 1983, dubbed “Transform Clark County,” released Monday.

While the focus 38 years ago might have been growth, that goal has been accomplished and the county needed a solid outline of what to do now after the valley more than quadrupled in population, going from 530,000 residents to 2.2 million. Quality of what’s being built is becoming a bigger concern as the valley matures.

“The pace of growth in recent years has led some to express concerns that the pressure to build seems to outweigh concerns about the quality, intensity, location, and type of development,” according to the master plan’s introduction. “As a result, there is a perception by many that the quality of development occurring in unincorporated areas is lower than that occurring in the incorporated cities. This has translated into a general desire to ‘raise the bar’ on county development.”

Among the strategies: filling in gaps in the valley rather than continuing to push development out of the edges of the valley, and redeveloping run-down areas rather than forgetting them.

A graphic identified as “Planned for Employment Areas” shows development along the southern 215 Beltway and the area around Allegiant Stadium, as well as parts of the northeast valley near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There’s also a large business development area identified east of the valley. The county identifies a sprawling area northeast of Las Vegas on the Interstate 15 corridor as a place for industrial development.

The “Disposal Boundary” — the existing outline of the Las Vegas valley — shows the area where development is currently allowed. The valley is surrounded by land controlled by the federal government.

The master plan identifies Spring Valley and Enterprise as “evolving communities” with a need for more frequent reevaluation of planning and zoning.

The area around Allegiant Stadium, which will be developed with restaurants, hotels, small businesses and new transit strategies, is a prime example of how the Transform Clark County plan could be put into action.

The 219-page plan, with additions that inflate the document by another 210 pages, relies on a framework of establishing core values to guide decisions.

Those six core values have been identified as:

  • Unique communities, neighborhoods, and lifestyles
  • Equitable access to services and amenities
  • A healthy and sustainable natural environment
  • A more connected Clark County
  • A diverse and resilient economy
  • Predictable growth and development

Master plans are typically in the news when a business, a developer or even an individual homeowner tries to do something that others see as “something you can’t do here.” Fights over zoning, for example.

This master plan, along with its additions, reads more like a checklist of getting various governments and agencies to work together on agreed-upon standards. At times, it also reads like a county inventory list of assets that need attention down the line.

The master plan takes into account the initiatives in the recently developed All-In Sustainability and Climate Action Plan — the county’s effort to recognize climate change. The county also acknowledges the authority of cities to control their own courses, specifying that the plan applies only to areas of unincorporated Clark County.

8NewsNow will look deeper into the master plan in a series of stories all week, and we will link to each report from this story as new articles are published. Find out more about each core value, as well as more highlights from the plan.

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