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☷ Churchill County Nevada - Striking  a Balance 18 April 2022

☷ Churchill County Nevada - Striking a Balance 18 April 2022

Churchill County , state Nevada
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   As a commissioner for over 11 years , I am aware of the growth that is headed to our community and how important it is to continue planning for sustainable development which helps protect and preserve our natural resources , while improving the value of our homes and quality of life . There’s been much talk of fears and concerns surrounding the topic of growth , although we have been strategically planning for it well over 25 years .  
   The housing projects Churchill County has been pursuing are for the most modern housing . Proposals presented to the Planning Commission and/or to the Board of County Commissioners are for housing which is higher quality than that of surrounding neighborhoods and would improve overall property values . Our current housing inventory is overwhelmingly single - family dwellings versus multi - family . We envision single - family homes to continue expanding with our population as driven by jobs in our region . In fact , there are developments on the books that would add over 3 , 000 single - family homes .  
   When considering conservation of resources , 400 single - family homes equal a footprint of 100 acres under county code , while 400 multi - family homes equate to only 35 acres of land . Our county has not had a modern multi - family complex constructed in the last 40 years and does not currently have a complex which features amenities such as a club house , pool , weight rooms , walking paths , dog parks , and other quality offerings . We want to be able to provide quality multi - family housing similar to that of which our service men and women , contractors , and veterans of NAS Fallon are accustomed to in other military base communities . We believe our community deserves this kind of quality housing option with amenities that improve quality of life .   
   Who are “those people” we are developing housing for anyway? Those people are our active - duty military and contractor families serving at NAS Fallon , veterans , couples , retirees looking to downsize , families , and children who have grown up in Fallon and want to continue calling it their “home” - that’s who . They are the people taking new jobs at Boot Barn , Tesla , Panasonic as well as our hospital Banner Churchill , CC Communications , and our school district . They are also the people who will take the new jobs in Hazen as it continues to see new business development and expansion . Currently , 22 percent of enlisted NAS personnel and their families live outside our community due to a shortage of housing , and over the next few years we expect an additional 1 , 400 jobs to support the new F - 35 aircraft coming here . We believe the people working and serving our community have a reasonable right and expectation to live in our community .  
   Where are those agricultural/rural lands that are being gobbled up by development? The only current planned unit development ( PUD ) submitted this year to the Planning Commission is along Birch and Casey Roads and was an approved development that has been on the books for the past 15 years , before I took office . No agricultural production is in place on this property . The proposed R3 zoning change would allow for 16 units per acre , while planned unit developments approved under current county code already allow for up to 24 units per acre .
   Churchill County has worked tirelessly to conserve agricultural land and water through conservation easements . Over 10 , 600 acres of ag land is under conservation easements , permanently protecting agricultural producing land and water rights . The conservation easement program established in partnership with the Board of County Commissioners and NAS Fallon nearly 20 years ago , protects the base from encroachment while keeping land in agricultural production and water rights in our valley . Our
   Master Plan
   identifies the north - west quadrant of our county for development where it may be served by existing water and wastewater infrastructure and located away from NAS Fallon . The county has been steadfast in its values of controlled , sustainable growth , while protecting our resources and rural way of life .  
   My family and I are proud to call Churchill County home . I have made my living in agriculture and continue to support and protect agriculture and the rural lifestyle many have come to appreciate here in Churchill County . I have lived here for 50 years and love this community and the people who choose to make their homes here . Growth has come slowly and sustainably with careful consideration . We are working diligently to address the housing needs of our community while preserving our quality of life .
   County Commissioner Pete Olsen
   

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