LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A plot of land in the northwest valley, currently owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), could be sold to the City of Las Vegas soon, but residents fear there is not enough water to support the plans for what will go on it.
The BLM released details of the possible exchange that would transfer almost 1,000 acres of land near the corner of Moccasin Road and Sky Pointe Drive to the City of Las Vegas. A city spokesperson told 8 News Now a “master-planned community” is anticipated to occupy the parcel.
The City of Las Vegas would purchase this parcel for approximately $94 million, or $100,000 an acre. The area is already inundated with new developments, with scenic views of the Paiute Tribe’s Snow Mountain Reservation and the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument.
However, a concern of several who live in the valley: what specifically will go in? Eva Klein said she lives nearby and does not “know exactly what’s going on,” despite her research efforts.
But what she does know is that Lake Mead, where 90% of Southern Nevada’s water supply comes from, is getting lower.
“In the last year, we couldn’t even put our kayaks in (Lake Mead) because the water dropped so much that we cannot find a place to put in,” Klein said while walking her dog in the rain Thursday afternoon.
Their water concerns are shared with Pete Foley, who points to the 8% of Nevada’s water allocation that was cut in the new year.
“Every time we build, we come closer to the point where we have less water than we have available,” Foley said on his front porch Thursday afternoon.
However, water rates continue to increase. Foley showed 8 News Now a recent notice from the Las Vegas Valley Water District that showed his monthly rate went up at the beginning of the new year.
8 News Now took these concerns to those in charge.
The BLM did not answer questions and instead directed them to the City of Las Vegas. The city spokesperson says they could not reveal more other than the anticipated master-planned community.
So, how many homes and businesses will be on the parcel? How much water will each one use? Those answers remain unclear as of now.
Documents say the sale is “designed to strengthen community development opportunities in the northwest part of the Las Vegas Valley” while “providing employment and services for the surrounding population and serves as a gateway to recreational opportunities in the area.”
“It just doesn’t seem very fair, that the people of Vegas are being asked to conserve at the same time when they’re building more,” Foley said. “The whole thing feels like it’s really about money, it’s not about conservation.”
According to the BLM, 85% of the money the city will pay “will be used throughout Nevada for projects such as the development of parks, trails, and natural areas, capital improvements on Federal lands, acquisition of environmentally sensitive land, hazardous fuels reduction, and landscape restoration projects.”
Another 5% goes to the state of Nevada General Education Fund and 10% to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, according to the BLM.
The BLM is asking for the public’s input on the sale through Feb. 21, but only by written mail. Comments should be mailed to BLM Las Vegas Field Office, Assistant Field Manager, Division of Lands, 4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas 89130.
The Las Vegas City Council already chose a developer, Olympia Companies, back in 2019.