Clark County proposed opening thousands of acres for development

Clark County approved land expansion for development Tuesday. (FOX5)

On Tuesday, Clark County was scheduled to hear from residents about plans to open tens of thousands of acres of land outside the Las Vegas Valley for development. The two major areas targeted by the proposal are East of Interstate 15 toward Jean, and Northwest of the valley near Kyle Canyon Road and US-95.

The land is currently run by the Bureau of Land Management. The plan would ask the federal government to open up the swaths of land for bidding. County officials predicted the developments would be a mix of residential and commercial. The plan also adds new wilderness areas and areas of critical environmental concern.

"That is to offset these additional acres that we're looking at, so in areas where we might be losing recreational amenities it's balanced out with an additional conservation area elsewhere," Marci Henson, the director of the county's department of air quality, said. Henson added that the metro area just needs more space.

"Even thought it looks like there's a lot of vacant land, looks can be deceiving," she said. "There needs to be willing sellers of that land. It depends on what is it zoned for, what neighbors want that land to be used for." Environmental groups also have concerns about what the proposed development would mean for Southern Nevada's desert tortoise, calling the plan "dangerous."

There is an open house to discuss the proposal scheduled for Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Clark County Library near Flamingo and Maryland.

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