The Clark County Commission unanimously approved a housing project on Wednesday that had been fiercely opposed by a contingent of neighbors who saw it as a threat to their rural way of life in the far south of the Las Vegas Valley. .
By a 6-0 vote, in the absence of Commissioner Justin Jones, lawmakers gave the green light to a 22-house, seven-acre project inside a rural neighborhood preservation area where lots of ‘at least half an acre is required.
The approval came with terms agreed to by developer Pulte Homes after lengthy discussions with neighbors over the past few months. Among them: The development will include all single-story homes on lots of at least 10,000 square feet and will not provide direct access to the rural neighborhood.
Commissioner Michael Naft, who represents the region, has sought to allay concerns that allowing the non-compliant zone change would set a precedent for a similar outcome on another 30 acres in the rural neighborhood area in the future.
Even neighbors who backed the Pulte Homes plan, which will connect to its existing 58-home project directly to the south, said they would oppose any further higher density encroachment on the rural community.
The project approved on Wednesday, at the southeast corner of Chartan Avenue and Placid Street near Bermuda Road and East Starr Avenue, upset some neighbors who said higher density homes did not fit not to the area and that they feared that the water drainage problems would worsen.
Biagio Guerra and Jerry Pavelec, two residents who were opposition leaders, said this week they had collected between 150 and 200 signatures from other neighbors against the project.
But others said the housing plan’s closest neighbors were converted to supporters after Pulte Homes took sufficient account of their privacy and traffic concerns. Many residents’ opinions wavered throughout the project process, Naft and others acknowledged.
Mary Coulombe Jones, who lives near the project site, told commissioners on Wednesday that the developer’s wish to build only one-story homes would be in keeping with the aesthetics of the area and that the homes’ target price wouldn’t would not significantly affect the values of neighboring properties.
During the last two government meetings on the plan, some neighbors have expressed support only to avoid the potential of Pulte Homes looking to build two to three story homes.
John Sullivan, an attorney representing Pulte Homes, said there had been a lot of collaboration between the developer and neighbors who were ready to come to a resolution that he said made sense to both. But he also acknowledged that it is “difficult to move” anyone firmly against higher density development in a rural neighborhood.
“This neighborhood has been through a lot on this,” Naft said, adding that he would not consider any future projects on the site during his tenure even if the property is sold.