March 20, 2000













Prepared by the Amargosa Valley Planning Board




1.1 Process *

1.2 Plan Description *

1.3 Purpose *

1.4 Subject Matter *

1.5 Need for a Plan *

1.6 Planning Issues *

1.7 Philosophy *

1.8 Local Government Organization *


2.1 Public Land *

2.1.1 Existing Conditions *

2.2 Federal Lands *

2.3 Private Land Use *

2.3.1 Existing Use *

2.3.2 Countywide Versus Local Land Use Planning and Growth Management *

2.3.3 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Private Lands Within Amargosa Valley *

2.4 Mining and Milling *

2.4.1 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Mining *

2.5 Economy *

2.5.1 Existing Conditions *

2.5.2 Economic Development Opportunities *

2.5.3 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Economic Development *

2.6 Population *

2.6.1 Historic and Recent County Population Estimates *

2.6.2 Population Monitoring and Projections *

2.6.3 Population Projections *

2.6.4 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Population *

2.7 Water Resources *

2.7.1 Ground Water *

2.7.2 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Water Resources *

2.8 Transportation and Streets and Highways Plans *

2.8.1 Introduction *

2.8.2 Transportation Planning, Implementation and Funding *

2.8.3 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Transportation *

2.9 Solid Waste *

2.9.1 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Solid Waste *

2.10 Flood Control and Drainage *

2.10.1 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Flood Control and Drainage *

2.11 Community Design *

2.12 Conservation Plan *

2.13 Economic Plan *

2.14 Housing *

2.15 Public Buildings *

2.16 Public Service and Facilities *

2.17 Recreational Plan *

2.18 Safety Plan *

2.19 Seismic Safety Plan *

2.20 Transit Plan *





Figure 1. Map of Amargosa Valley, Nevada *

Figure 2. Amargosa Valley Population: 1940-1990 *

Figure 3. Nye County Population Projections 1990-2005 *

Figure 4. Amargosa Valley Population Scenarios: 1990-2005 *






Figure 1. Map of Amargosa Valley, Nevada




The Draft Amargosa Valley Comprehensive Plan, also known as the Master Plan (the Plan), consists of two parts:

  1. The Draft Comprehensive Plan Map (included at the end of this document); and
  2. the Goals, Objectives, and Policies portion of the Comprehensive Plan which presents relevant background information and goals, objectives, and policies for a series of topics addressed within the Plan.

The Comprehensive Plan will be developed and revised by the Amargosa Valley Planning Board (Board).


1.1 Process

What is the process for developing the Comprehensive Plan?

The Comprehensive Plan will be based on a review of growth, development, and land use issues in Amargosa Valley; a series of workshops conducted by the Board and effort to develop and refine the Draft Plan; and considerable research into Amargosa Valley socioeconomic conditions, local government systems, and fiscal circumstances.

The process for developing the Plan includes the following steps:

  1. Board Development of the Draft Plan
  2. On XXXXXX, 1999, The Amargosa Valley Town Advisory Board directed the Amargosa Valley Planning Board to begin work on a Master Plan. The Board will outline the topics to be addressed by the Comprehensive Plan and provided general guidance for the development of the Plan. Based on this guidance, a survey will be mailed to each property owner. The Board will review this survey and draft the concept for this document including preliminary goals, objectives, and policies in a public workshop on XXXXXX, 2000. Over the ensuing months Board members will individually review the document in detail and suggest changes to the goals, objectives, and policies, and background information. The Board will conduct another workshop on XXXX, 2000, to review the suggested changes, and prepare this draft for public review, comment, and revision.

  3. Public Involvement Process
  4. Workshop/public review sessions will be held over the next several months to present and discuss the Comprehensive Plan goals, objectives, and policies and to receive public comments, suggested revisions, and additions to the Plan.

  5. Board Review of Public Participation Process
  6. The comments obtained from the public hearings and public review of the draft will be presented to the Board for review at the XXXX, 2000 Amargosa Valley Planning Board meeting.

  7. Board Will Revise Draft Plan
  8. The Amargosa Valley Planning Board members will direct revisions to the draft based on public comment.

  9. Preparation of the Revised Draft Document
  10. A revised draft Comprehensive Plan goals, objectives, and policies document will be prepared and circulated back to the Board for review in XXXX, 2000. At the XXXX meeting the Board will suggest further revisions to the draft.

  11. Public Hearings
  12. A series of public hearings on the Plan will be held in the Summer of 2000 in the Amargosa Valley.

  13. Board Review of Public Comments
  14. The Board will review public comments on the Plan at the October, 2000 Board Meeting and direct further revisions to the Draft.

  15. Public Hearing and Board Approval
  16. The Board will hold a public hearing on the Comprehensive Plan in October, 2000. After the public hearing, the Board will set a Board workshop to address issues raised in public hearings.

  17. Board Workshop
  18. During October, 2000, the Board will conduct a workshop to address the issues identified in the public hearings. At the conclusion of the workshop, the Board will make certain revisions to the Plan and prepare for a public hearing to be held in December, 2000.

  19. Public Hearings
  20. In December, 2000, the Board will hold a public hearing on the Plan at the Amargosa Valley Community Center.

  21. Board Vote to Adopt the Amargosa Valley Comprehensive Plan
  22. At the conclusion of the December, 2000 public hearing, the Board will vote on whether or not to adopt the Plan.

  23. Board will pass resolution adopting the Plan as Amargosa Valley's Master Plan

At the XXXX, 2000 Board meeting, the Board voted to adopt the Amargosa Valley Comprehensive Plan as the County's Master Plan under the provisions of NRS 278.150.


1.2 Plan Description

What is the statutory authorization for a comprehensive plan?

Nevada statutes (NRS 278.150) say: "The planning commission shall prepare and adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of the city, county, or region which in the commission's judgement bears relation to the planning thereof" (emphasis added).

What is a "planning commission"?

NRS 278.030 (2) states: " . . . counties whose population is less than 25,000 may create by ordinance a planning commission to consist of seven members. If the governing body of any . . . county whose population is less than 25,000 deems the creation of a planning commission unnecessary or inadvisable, the governing body may, in lieu of creating a planning commission as provided in this subsection, perform all the functions and have all the powers which would otherwise be granted to and be performed by the planning commission."

The Amargosa Valley Planning Board will serve as the planning commission until such time that the Board determines that a planning commission is necessary.

What is a "comprehensive plan"?

Also known as "master" plans or "general plans of development," comprehensive plans present long-range goals and objectives for all activities that affect growth and development in the County.


1.3 Purpose

What will the Comprehensive Plan accomplish?

The Comprehensive Plan will act as a guide to the Amargosa Valley Planning Board (and Planning Commission, if appointed) on all matters of growth and development. This guidance is accomplished by establishing goals and objectives that address countywide issues and concerns and implementing policies and programs to accomplish the objectives.

The Comprehensive Plan is not the equivalent of a zoning ordinance nor does it regulate the use of land. However, the Board of County Commissioners may choose to enact a zoning ordinance or other growth management mechanisms to accomplish certain objectives of the plan. The Comprehensive Plan will also serve as a framework for local land use plans and other growth management mechanisms.


1.4 Subject Matter

What topics are included in Comprehensive Plan?

Nevada statutes (NRS 278.160) suggest that, to the extent that they are appropriate, a plan should contain the following elements:

The statute also states that other elements and subjects may be included in a plan, if the Planning Commission believes that the additional elements or subjects relate to the physical development of the County.

The Amargosa Valley Planning Board decided in a XXXX, 2000 workshop that Amargosa Valley's Comprehensive Plan should address the following topics in detail:

On May 5, 1993, the Board of Commissioners decided to include flood control as a Comprehensive Plan topic.

Amargosa Valley has a no professional planning staff and limited resources. Consequently, the Board decided to address the topics suggested in NRS 278.160 in phases. The Board determined to address the topics listed above in the initial stages of the comprehensive planning process. The schedules for the remaining elements are discussed in each section.


1.5 Need for a Plan

Why does Amargosa Valley need a Comprehensive Plan?

Figure 1 is a map of Amargosa Valley showing its communities and major highways.

There are several reasons why there is increased concern with planning and growth management issues in Amargosa Valley.

• The potential for rapid growth and decline

Certain areas of the County are experiencing rapid population growth. Pahrump virtually tripled in population between 1980 and 1990. Beatty nearly doubled between 1985 and 1990. Other areas have recently grown but may be facing decline immediately (Tonopah) because of changes in area employment or in the future (Beatty and Round Mountain) due to international market conditions or the exhaustion of mineral resources. Amargosa Valley needs goals and objectives for planning for the effects of population growth and decline. Amargosa Valley's historic boom and bust economy has had fiscal consequences for Amargosa Valley government. For example:

– Amargosa Valley issued bonds to develop public facilities to accommodate the growth from the ABC mining operations in Amargosa Valley. When the mining company ceased operations prematurely, the County had to supplement Amargosa Valley property tax revenues to help repay the bonds.

• Potential changes in management of public lands

Amargosa Valley needs goals, objectives, and policies concerning public lands and concerning changes in public land management policies. These goals, objectives, and polices are needed to protect the health, welfare, and economic well-being of Amargosa Valley and those residents whose livelihoods and way of life are dependent on public land policies.

– Amargosa Valley citizens must be protected from federal rules and regulations which conflict with local customs, laws, and decisions of the court and which adversely impact the economy and tax base of Amargosa Valley.

– Amargosa Valley citizens must be protected in their civil rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

– Amargosa Valley citizens must be protected from arbitrary federal regulation through the recognition that Article X of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

• The proposed development of a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain

The U.S. Congress has designated Yucca Mountain in Amargosa Valley as the single candidate site for the nation's first high-level civilian nuclear waste repository. Amargosa Valley needs goals, objectives, and policies concerning the establishment of this facility to protect the health, welfare, and economic well-being of the County and its residents, and to plan for the population growth and other effects of the repository should the Yucca Mountain site be approved.

• Withdrawal of public lands in Amargosa Valley from multiple use and other public land planning activities

From time to time activities are initiated to withdraw public land in Amargosa Valley from multiple-use status (e.g., to create wilderness areas, national monuments, or military facilities). Amargosa Valley needs to participate effectively in this and the periodic public land management and planning initiatives which occur. Withdrawal of public lands must include consideration of any private split estate rights which may be involved to ensure that private property is compensated for in accordance with the Article V of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution and Presidential Executive Order 12630. Any withdrawal of public lands must also consider the fiscal and economic impact on the tax base of Amargosa Valley with the objective being no net loss in tax base or economic output of Amargosa Valley. All withdrawals must be done in accordance with Article 1, Section 8, and Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution.

• To protect the County's water resources

The recent filing for currently unused water rights in Amargosa Valley by the Las Vegas Valley Water District highlights the need for Amargosa Valley to develop goals, objectives, and policies for use of Amargosa Valley water resources, which would be coordinated with the larger comprehensive planning process.

1.6 Planning Issues

The Amargosa Valley challenge: building consensus amidst diversity, a consensus resulting in a plan which upholds the rights of the citizens of Amargosa Valley as guaranteed by the Constitution of the U.S. and the Constitution of the State of Nevada with all the relevant statutes.

Developing a comprehensive plan that will be supported by a majority of Amargosa Valley residents is a challenge because Amargosa Valley residents have widely different values about regulating the use of land. Some have moved to or remain in Amargosa Valley because of the many personal freedoms available, including the few constraints on the use of land. Others have moved here from other places, bringing values which include protection of homes and property from conflicting land use. It should be noted that in 1990, over half of Amargosa Valley residents had lived in the County for less than 10 years!

Consequently, some Amargosa Valley residents are interested in developing a comprehensive plan that will protect the safety and value of their homes and businesses. Other Amargosa Valley residents are concerned that a comprehensive plan and other growth management mechanisms will restrict their freedoms and diminish the quality of life that they enjoy. Still other residents are interested in the ability of a plan to protect their interests on public lands.

The Amargosa Valley challenge has been to develop a planning document that considers the diverse interests of all of these stake-holders and folds them into the broader interests of the County as a whole. While it is unlikely that all Amargosa Valley residents will be totally satisfied by any comprehensive plan, there are certain steps that have been taken to ensure that all interests are considered.

• The process ensured that residents in all parts of Amargosa Valley were allowed to participate in the planning process and that all residents had the opportunity to express their opinions.

• The Plan is based on goals, objectives, and policies which address specific Amargosa Valley issues.


1.7 Philosophy

While Amargosa Valley bears similarity to many rural communities throughout the United States, some characteristics, when considered in combination, set Amargosa Valley apart from others. These include the following:

• Amargosa Valley is the largest town in the County in terms of land area.

• About XX percent of the land area in Amargosa Valley is currently withdrawn from multiple use for special federal purposes.

• Amargosa Valley contains three potentially hazardous facilities: the Nevada Test Site (NTS), the Beatty Low-Level Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility, and the Department of Defense Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility on NTS. A fourth site in Amargosa Valley, Yucca Mountain, is the sole candidate site for the nation's first high-level civilian nuclear waste repository.

• A large block of public land in Amargosa Valley (NTS) is used for restricted access or secret activities. This block of land shapes transportation and economic activities and complicates planning for the economic and population effects of such facilities.

The Comprehensive Plan considers these unique characteristics of Amargosa Valley's geography, economy, and land use, along with the lifestyles of its residents. The Plan is designed to deal with the specific issues facing the town today. It reflects the fact that elected officials and residents in Amargosa Valley have traditionally embraced a philosophy of minimal regulations and restrictions on personal freedoms and the use of land and property. The Amargosa Valley Comprehensive Plan contains goals, objectives, and policies that serve to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Amargosa Valley residents, enhance their economic opportunities, and preserve their quality of life. These worthy objectives are intended to be accomplished with the minimum regulations and restrictions possible.


1.8 Local Government Organization

The Town of Amargosa Valley has a Town Advisory Board.


County Government And Unincorporated Towns

County governments in Nevada typically provide a broad range of services to the unincorporated portions of counties. In addition, Nevada statutes allow the creation of "unincorporated towns" in areas where the provision of additional services may be desirable. Amargosa Valley is such an unincorporated town.

The unincorporated town mechanism allows the Board of County Commissioners or the residents of an area to define a geographic area where the provision of additional services may be desirable; create an unincorporated town encompassing that area; provide the desired services; and collect ad valorem taxes and other revenues to pay for those services.

The unincorporated town mechanism is often chosen over incorporation for financial considerations. An unincorporated town may provide certain services and may be allowed certain revenues to fund these services, depending on the form of unincorporated town. Unincorporated towns may provide a wide range of services, but are not required to do so; they also may use county services and benefit from the cost efficiencies of larger service systems.

Appendix A provides a general description of the powers of incorporated towns and a detailed description of the powers and duties of the three forms of unincorporated town government.





2.1 Public Land


2.1.1 Existing Conditions

Public lands are the first element discussed in the Comprehensive Plan because these lands have a profound influence on economic conditions in Amargosa Valley.

Public lands and the policies concerning their use have an influence on the lives of virtually every resident of Amargosa Valley.

These issues and concerns have induced the Amargosa Valley Planning Board to determine that it is necessary to conduct the following process:

• identify issues and concerns associated with public lands;

• research appropriate federal and state law and policies regarding these lands;

• formulate goals, objectives, and policies for the use of public lands; and

• insure that public land policies comply with the U.S. Constitution, Nevada State Law, the Equal Footing Doctrine and the Declaration of Independence.

This process will include specific provisions for input and guidance from the residents of Amargosa Valley. The resulting goals, policies and objectives will be incorporated into the Amargosa Valley Comprehensive Plan as the Public Lands element.


2.2 Federal Lands

The Federal Government owns and manages certain parcels of land within Amargosa Valley and has the ability to acquire additional lands pursuant to Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution and Chapter 328 of the Nevada Revised Statutes.

Amargosa Valley intends to develop goals, objectives, and policies for federal lands within Amargosa Valley.


2.3 Private Land Use

This topic involves an "inventory and classification of types of natural land and of existing land cover and uses, and comprehensive plans for the most desirable utilization of land."

Because of Amargosa Valley's vast land area and the diverse nature, the land use planning process envisioned in this Comprehensive Plan involves 1) outlining a general process for land use planning, 2) enacting a conditional use permit process for managing heavy industrial and potentially hazardous and noxious land uses, and 3) working with the County to develop more specific area land use plans. A parallel effort of the Amargosa Valley Planning Board is to develop a geographic information system (GIS) to record existing land uses by parcel


2.3.1 Existing Use

Land use on private lands in Amargosa Valley consists of residential, commercial, and industrial uses, largely but not exclusively within the boundary of the town, and agricultural and mining uses both within and outside the boundaries of the town. There is no inventory of the amount of land in each land use category, because, in the absence of mechanisms to regulate land use, much of the land is subject to mixed use. It is common to find residential, commercial, industrial, and even agricultural uses on adjacent properties and, at times, on the same parcel of property.

In relatively stable communities, mixed land use rarely presents a problem. In rapidly growing communities, the lack of land use ordinances can result in conflicts between new and existing land uses. In some cases, the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R's) associated with larger subdivisions serve as partial protection for residents of those subdivisions, with the caveat that the provisions of the CC&R's must be enforced by legal initiatives of the property owner or property owners' association. Residential Use

Many people have moved to or remain in Amargosa Valley precisely because of the broad personal freedoms available and the possibility to purchase land and develop and build on that land with limited restrictions. At the time of the preparation of this Plan, Amargosa Valley has in place no ordinances regulating the subdivision of land. The County has adopted the Uniform Building Code (although the County has no mechanisms to enforce the code), but has no zoning ordinance. These circumstances allow people in Amargosa Valley to build a home inexpensively and with very few impediments from local government. This has been an attractive factor for many people and has to some extent fueled the extensive growth that has occurred in the southern portions of the County.

Yet as Amargosa Valley grows, the conflicts between existing and new land uses can be anticipated to increase. Problems associated with the absence of enforced building regulations will also increase. The challenge for Amargosa Valley will be to develop planning and growth management mechanisms that minimize land use conflicts while preserving as much of the low-cost, hassle-free development climate as possible. Commercial and Industrial Use

Amargosa Valley has abundant, sparsely populated land, relatively minimal regulatory structure, and a clean environment. Amargosa Valley shares a relatively low tax structure with other counties in rural Nevada. Therefore, it is inevitable that the County will become attractive to many industries currently located in or desiring to serve the Las Vegas and California markets. It is important from an economic development standpoint to keep development requirements for new business and industry at a minimum. It is equally important to ensure that Amargosa Valley maintains its clean environment and quality of life for existing residents.

2.3.2 Countywide Versus Local Land Use Planning and Growth Management

Amargosa Valley needs growth management mechanisms that will allow the Board of Commissioners (or Planning Commission) to control potentially hazardous or noxious land uses throughout the County, including those areas within the boundaries of unincorporated towns (the incorporated City of Gabbs is excluded from County regulation).


2.3.3 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Private Lands Within Amargosa Valley Goal

To provide for the planned and orderly use of the lands located within Amargosa Valley in a manner consistent with the constitutional rights of individuals and organizations. Objective

To develop and implement regulatory techniques and other mechanisms to ensure that growth, development, and the use of land occurs in an orderly fashion consistent with constitutional rights. Objective

To develop the capability within county government to enforce the provisions of the Uniform Building Code, and to adopt all or portions of the Uniform Fire Code, the Uniform Mechanical Code, the National Electrical Code, and the Uniform Plumbing Code with such modifications as may be necessary to protect the health and safety of the citizens of the County. Objective

To protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public by preventing heavy industrial or potentially hazardous or noxious land use in inappropriate locations.

Policy. Develop and implement a conditional use permit ordinance for potentially hazardous or noxious land uses and heavy industrial uses such as airports, brothels, x-rated adult book stores, topless bars, massage parlors, cemeteries, race tracks, rifle ranges, gaming establishments, bars and other establishments intending to dispense or sell alcoholic beverages, auto wrecking establishments, and junkyards.

Only new or substantially modified uses would require a conditional or special use permit; existing uses would be grandfathered under the conditional or special use permit process. It is important to note that any use, new or old, is subject to state and local health, safety and nuisance statutes and ordinances. It should also be noted that existing uses which are currently in conflict with CC&R's and local ordinances would not be grandfathered.

Examples of uses which would require a conditional or special use permit are listed below. It should be understood that the uses in the following list are examples only. The actual list of uses requiring an Amargosa Valley Conditional or Special Use Permit will be developed as the provisions of such an ordinance are developed. Under the provisions of Nevada Revised Statues, the public will have an opportunity to comment on any proposed Conditional or Special Use Permit Ordinance. It is the Board's intention to avoid duplication of regulations addressing activities currently regulated by the state of Nevada.

Examples of Uses Which Would Require Special or Conditional Use Permit

Acetylene manufacturing and sales


Auto wrecking establishments

Asphalt manufacturing

Bars and other establishments intending to dispense alcoholic beverages



Bulk station (fuel including gas, oil, and propane)


Chemical manufacturing

Chromium plating

Coal and coke yard

Concrete batch plant

Creosote manufacturing


Disinfectant manufacturing

Dump, refuse, or disposal yard

Nuclear, hazardous, or medical waste storage or disposal facilities

Dye manufacturing

Electroplating works

Explosive, ammunition, and fireworks manufacturing or storage

Extraction and transportation of natural resources (e.g., oil and gas, minerals, water, timber)

Farmer's market

Farrowing pens

Feed lots

Flea market


Fuel dispensing facilities

Gaming establishments

Gravel/sand pit - top soil stripping

Horse corrals

Incineration of animals, garbage, medical, toxic, or hazardous waste

Insecticide manufacturing




Leather tanning

Livestock sales and shipping

Lubrication compounds, manufacturing

Massage parlors

Matches, manufacturing

Metal ore reduction

Milling company

Mining (including extracting or processing)

Mobile home storage and rebuilding lot

Ore dump

Oxygen manufacturing

Paint manufacturing

Plastic products manufacturing

Quarry, stone

Race track

Rifle range

Rock crushing and stripping

Sand and gravel excavations

Slaughterhouse, meatpacking



Tire manufacturing or recapping and the like

Topless bars

X-rated adult bookstores

Other uses which would require a conditional or special use permit are those which may produce excessive noise, gaseous by-products, obnoxious odors, by or of an inflammable or explosive nature, cause dust which may be offensive to adjoining property owners, or which the Board or Planning Commission may consider to be detrimental to the public health and safety. Objective

To ensure that detailed land use planning occurs at the community or planning area level and that community and area land use plans and other growth management mechanisms are developed at the initiative of and with the participation of community and planning area residents.

Policy. Develop a Amargosa Valley Zoning Ordinance. Establish an open use zone (which permits any use allowed by the State Health Department) for all unincorporated lands (including those within unincorporated town boundaries) within the County.


2.4 Mining and Milling

Amargosa Valley has an abundance of mineral resources, including but not limited to the following:





Diatomaceous Earth


Sand and Gravel

Landscape and Decorative Rock

Bringing Amargosa Valley's mineral resources into production depends on a combination of factors including favorable commodity prices, advances in mining and refining technology, environmental constraints, availability of capital and the initiative of mining companies. However, it is reasonable to assume that mining will continue to play an important role in the economy of Amargosa Valley.

Currently, the mining industry is heavily regulated by state and federal government. Virtually every aspect of mining exploration, development and reclamation requires a permit or permits, which, in turn, require an often costly and time consuming analysis. Amargosa Valley does not desire nor believe it necessary to regulate any aspect of the mining industry currently regulated, nor does the County desire to add to the time, effort and cost required to bring mineral deposits into production.*

Yet, Amargosa Valley and its communities play an important role in the development and operations of mining operations. The communities provide housing, infrastructure, schools, health care facilities and public services for mining industry employees and their families. Often communities are required to provide infrastructure and services before revenues from mining operations begin to flow to local governments.

Mineral reserves are finite; consequently the life of a mining project is also finite. When mining companies cease operations prematurely or without adequate planning, communities often face falling property values, and must bear the cost of funding excess capacity in local government facilities and services. Conversely, when mining companies plan for closure, and provide opportunities for workers and the community to make the necessary transition, community disruption is minimized and community infrastructure can be preserved as a resource for other economic and community development opportunities (including further mining development).

Amargosa Valley currently has several good examples of the community benefits and enhanced quality of life that flows from good planning and cooperation between local government and mining companies. But, over the years, there have also been examples of wasted investments and infrastructure that resulted from the lack of communication, planning and cooperation.

The following goals, objectives and policies have been developed to address this public interest.


2.4.1 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Mining Goal

To accommodate mining industry growth and decline cycles in Amargosa Valley and to maximize benefits to mining companies and to Amargosa Valley communities and residents. Objective

To ensure that Amargosa Valley is able to accommodate mining industry development, while maintaining quality of life for existing residents as well as the employees and families of new mining development. Objective

To ensure that Amargosa Valley will be able to accommodate mining development without undue financial burden for County taxpayers. Objective

To develop a process that allows Amargosa Valley and the mining industry to learn from past successes and failure. Objective

To ensure that the process is not unduly costly or time consuming for the mining industry.

Policy. Develop an Amargosa Valley conditional use permit process for new large-scale mining operations. The conditional use permit process would require the prospective mine operator to:

To avoid duplication, the applicant would be allowed to use any analysis prepared for other purposes to satisfy the requirements of the permit process. Objective

Ensure that the closure phases of mining projects are accomplished with the minimum amount of community disruption and taxpayer burden.

Policy. As an element of the permitting process described above, require the operators of any proposed new mining operation to describe their plan for preparing employees and the community for mine closure. Objective

To ensure that mining operations are developed in a manner compatible with other land uses.

Policy. Develop a conditional use permit process that requires any new mining operation to provide a description of the proposed operation and identify any potential impacts on public health and safety. An analysis prepared for a federal or state permit could be used to satisfy all or any part of this requirement.


2.5 Economy

Growth and development in any geographic area is largely dependent on economic activity. Future economic opportunity is in part dependent on policies and plans for activities on public lands. Therefore, future economic opportunity can be influenced significantly by the goals, objectives, and policies that Amargosa Valley establishes for growth and development.


2.5.1 Existing Conditions

In economic terms, "basic" industries are those economic activities that bring money into Amargosa Valley from outside the area. "Nonbasic," industries or businesses are those that circulate money within the area. Basic industries are important because without a steady supply of basic income, a county's economy soon stagnates. Historically, the economy of Amargosa Valley has been based on mining, agriculture, and federal government operations. Retail trade and service establishments developed first to serve the mining and farming communities and, second, to serve the visitors and tourists that travel to and through Amargosa Valley en route to other destinations. Key Employment Sectors

While mining, agriculture, and portions of the retail trade and service sectors continue to be important "basic" sectors of the Amargosa Valley economy, they have been joined by three other economic influences that have become substantial contributors. These are:

• Employment at Federal Facilities

With the development of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) during the 1950s, federal facilities employment became one of the major basic employment sectors in the County economy. Employment at NTS has been decreasing since the break-up of the former Soviet Union.

• Recreation and Tourism Visitors

Amargosa Valley, with its proximity to Death Valley and Las Vegas and its location on U.S. Highway 95, has been the beneficiary of the increasing trends of tourism and recreation spending in the U.S. community. Extensive subdivision activity and land sales during the 1970s and 1980s resulted in a substantial number of people becoming familiar with the area and, in many cases, purchasing lots. Recent Employment by Sector

Figure 2 displays Amargosa Valley resident jobs by sector for 1990. It is important to make the distinction between jobs located in Amargosa Valley and jobs held by Amargosa Valley residents. Federal employment in Amargosa Valley, including NTS, accounts for many jobs (approximately xxx in 1991); only a percentage of those jobs are held by Amargosa Valley residents.


The service sector is the largest employment sector in the Amargosa Valley economy, employing almost XXX residents or XX percent of total resident employment. This sector includes jobs at NTS and jobs at establishments that serve tourists and travelers. It also includes service establishments and professional services (e.g., doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.) that serve residents of the County.

The strength of this sector in Amargosa Valley reflects the large amount of federal facility employment and the substantial traveler and tourism industry. These segments of the service sector are considered basic. Other segments that serve Amargosa Valley residents are considered nonbasic. It is difficult to quantify either category because many establishments serve both residents and travelers.


Retail Trade

Retail trade in Amargosa Valley accounted for about xx jobs in 1990 or about XX percent of total employment. Like services, retail trade can be both basic and nonbasic. Retail trade is also closely tied to general economic conditions.


During 1990, government employment in Amargosa Valley accounted for about XX jobs or about XX percent of total employment. Government employment includes federal government (BLM, USFS, NPS, etc.), state government (Nevada Department of Transportation, Nevada Highway Patrol, etc.), and local government (county, town, schools, etc.). Government employment at all levels is tied to general economic conditions, although not as directly as the retail trade, service, and construction sectors.

Farming and Agriculture

The 1990 employment in farming and agriculture accounted for about XX employees or XX percent of total employment in Amargosa Valley. There are some indications that federal statistics may not accurately capture the number of people employed in farming and ranching throughout the nation. It is also important to point out that the economic significance of agriculture to the economies of rural counties goes beyond the number of workers that it employs. As long-time residents of counties, farmers and ranchers often purchase many goods and supplies locally. Additionally, farmers and ranchers, although certainly subject to good and bad years depending on weather and commodity prices, provide a measure of long-term stability to the County's economy. This is especially true when compared to resource-based industries such as mining or federal facilities which are at the mercy of annual budget cycles and the mandates of Congress.

Transportation, Communication, and Public Utilities (TCPU)

TCPU accounted for about XX jobs or XX percent of total employment in 1990. These jobs are primarily nonbasic and dependent on the larger Amargosa Valley economy.


Manufacturing is a small sector of the Amargosa Valley economy with considerable growth potential. Manufacturing accounted for about XX jobs in 1990 or XX percent of total employment. Comparatively large gains can be made in this basic employment sector fairly easily. Resources for development of the manufacturing sector are discussed in the following section on Economic Development Opportunities.

Wholesale Trade

The wholesale trade sector in Amargosa Valley is relatively small (about XX employees or XX percent of total employment). Expansion of this sector is possible if some of the sales leakage issues discussed below are addressed successfully.

Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (FIRE)

With the exception of the real estate industry in Pahrump, the FIRE sector in Amargosa Valley is largely nonbasic and tied to the County economy. This sector accounted for about XX jobs or XX percent of total employment in 1990.

Sales Leakage

Metropolitan economies generally absorb a significant portion of business and resident purchases. Rural economies on the other hand often "leak" large portions of both business and resident purchases to larger communities, resulting in economic loss and a set of economic development needs different from those in metropolitan areas.


This problem in Amargosa Valley is compounded by the immense size of the County and the widely separated communities. For example, much of the business, retail, and service purchases in Beatty, Amargosa Valley, and Pahrump are "leaked" to Las Vegas; Gabbs and Round Mountain "leak" purchases to Reno; Tonopah "leaks" purchases to Bishop and Fallon, California, as well as Reno and Las Vegas; Duckwater and Currant "leak" purchases to Ely.

Leakage consequently is a substantial economic problem for Amargosa Valley and one (along with new business recruitment) that should be addressed in the goals, objectives, and policies of the Amargosa Valley Comprehensive Plan.


2.5.2 Economic Development Opportunities

In many cases, Amargosa Valley's economic future appears to be controlled by forces outside of its control:

• Expansion and creation of jobs at federal facilities (e.g., currently operational facilities such as NTS and TTR; potential new facilities such as the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository) are dependent on actions by federal agencies, the U.S. Congress, the Presidential administration, and the courts. Actions by these bodies are in part dependent on world events (nuclear disarmament) and political considerations.

• Development of mineral and petroleum resources are dependent on supply and demand, commodity prices, and environmental and other regulatory considerations.

In addition to these resources, there are constraints to certain types of economic development, particularly those that require a high level of commercial infrastructure.


2.5.3 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Economic Development Goal

Maintain a sound local economy by helping expand opportunities for existing business and encouraging new businesses to locate in the County. Objective

Help retain existing businesses by enhancing opportunities and increasing local markets. Identify and implement strategies for decreasing retail and service sector leakage. Objective

Attract new basic industry that is compatible with the existing economy and quality of life in Amargosa Valley.

Policy. Develop and refine ordinances, policies, and procedures to ensure that, to the extent possible, they support the economic development goals and objectives of the Amargosa Valley Overall Economic Development Plan. Objective

Provide increased employment opportunities for all residents of Amargosa Valley. Objective

Maintain strong agricultural and mining industries. Objective

Expand the tourism and recreation economy. Objective

Diversify Amargosa Valley's economic base by attracting industries not now represented in the Amargosa Valley economy. Objective

Identify areas suitable for heavy industry and other potential hazardous and noxious uses.

Policy. Communicate these economic goals, objectives, and policies and the elements of the Amargosa Valley Overall Economic Development Plan to the agencies that manage public lands in Amargosa Valley.



2.6 Population

According to NRS 278.160, this topic should involve "an estimate of the total population which the natural resources of the city, county or region will support on a continuing basis without unreasonable impairment."

Economic growth and development and population growth are obviously closely linked. Comprehensive planning can influence the amount and pace of future population growth.

The population element of Amargosa Valley's Plan presents estimates of existing population and projections of future population for Amargosa Valley and its communities. Because of the current small size of of Amargosa Valley, determining capacity for growth is a lesser priority for the comprehensive planning process. A population plan will be developed within four years of the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.


2.6.1 Historic and Recent County Population Estimates

For the purpose of this comprehensive planning effort, the decennial U.S. census counts are used primarily because they provide the historical perspective necessary for the planning effort. It should be noted that the 1990 census results have been disputed in Amargosa Valley (as well as many other counties and municipalities across the country).

Figure 2. Amargosa Valley Population: 1940-1990



2.6.2 Population Monitoring and Projections

Given the uncertainty that Amargosa Valley faces regarding its economic future, it is important to have the capability to examine alternate futures based on economic and population growth and decline. For example, what are the economic and population implications of the Yucca Mountain Repository? What are the economic and population implications of a nuclear test ban treaty? Of a large-scale cleanup of NTS?

The Amargosa Valley Economic/Demographic Analysis and Projection Model allows the County to examine the economic and population effects of potential economic events and to implement planning goals, objectives, and policies based on an understanding of them. The model provides Amargosa Valley with the capability to prepare population projections on an annual basis. These population projections can then be used to:

• Prepare the annual Amargosa Valley 5-year Capital Improvements Program based on a reliable, local assessment of population demand for capital facilities.

• Prepare the annual Amargosa Valley Budget based on a reliable, local assessment of County service demand and locally based revenue generation.

• Review the elements of the Comprehensive Plan and area land use plans to determine if they continue to respond effectively to the demands of growth and development.

Amargosa Valley suffered substantial population loss during the late 1980s resulting from the closure of the ABC industrial minerals facility. Recent partial reopening of the facility, spillover from Bond Gold's operations, and continued employment at other area industrial minerals facilities have resulted in slow but steady growth in Amargosa Valley since 1989.

There is some interest in Amargosa Valley as a location for land-intensive manufacturing facilities. Also, as the community nearest the proposed Yucca Mountain Repository, Amargosa Valley would receive population growth from construction and operation of that facility if the site is found acceptable.


2.6.3 Population Projections

Many economic and demographic forces are at work in Amargosa Valley. Some involve national and regional trends that affect Amargosa Valley's economic future. Others involve the particular economic circumstances of key current and potential Amargosa Valley employers. Still others involve changes in the interaction between Amargosa Valley and nearby regional centers. Finally, the entrepreneurial and diversification efforts of Amargosa Valley citizens, businesses, and governmental entities also influence economic and demographic forces within the County.

As a result, no Amargosa Valley community can rely on existing trends continuing unchanged. To the extent possible, Amargosa Valley must identify the various forces of economic and demographic change and trace through their implications.

In Amargosa Valley, extensive efforts have been made:

• To identify and collect information relevant to the economic and demographic forces at work in Amargosa Valley;

• To conduct analyses to better understand those forces. Reference Baseline Projections Summary

The following table (Table 1) summarizes what is known as the reference baseline projection for Amargosa Valley and its communities. This scenario is based on the existing relationship between economic activity and population in the County and in individual communities. It also reflects current assumptions about economic growth. Figure 3 presents this information in graphic form. Figure 3 also presents two other growth scenarios: a high-reference scenario and a low-reference scenario. Figure 4 presents population properties under these scenarios Amargosa Valley.

The report referenced in section 4.4, Baseline Economic and Demographic Projections: 1990-2010, presents the underlying assumptions, the analysis findings, and the projections themselves in greater detail. It should be emphasized that these projections reflect three of many possible sets of assumptions about Amargosa Valley's economic and demographic future. Amargosa Valley's E-D projection system can be used to examine many other sets of assumptions. It is a tool to project alternative economic and demographic futures for the County and its communities, and/or to assess the impacts of any specified economic change.

Figure 3. Nye County Population Projections 1990-2005 Applications, Maintenance, and Improvement

The baseline projections presented in this report are intended for use in other planning initiatives (e.g., solid waste planning, transportation planning, school and health system planning, etc.) It is important to remember, however, that there is no "crystal ball" for the future of Amargosa Valley and its communities. The economic-demographic models are tools that assist in tracing the implications of many contingencies for the County and its communities. Used in this way, the E-D projection system can help the County manage under conditions of uncertainty. The system can be used to evaluate many combinations of assumptions in addition to the three presented here. Each application will improve the system and develop additional insight into a complex dynamic county economy.


2.6.4 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Population

The historic and potential future volatility of population growth in Amargosa Valley highlights the need for continual monitoring and assessment of Amargosa Valley population conditions. Reliable locally based information will help County and community officials and staff plan and budget for population-related demand for local government facilities and services. Reliable population information may help the County avoid under- or overbuilding and the attendant fiscal consequences. Goal

To integrate population monitoring and projection data with comprehensive planning, budgeting, and capital improvement programming initiatives. Objective

To develop reliable, locally based population estimates and projections for use in comprehensive planning, budgeting, and capital improvement programming at the County and community levels.

Policy A. Maintain the Amargosa Valley economic/demographic monitoring and assessment/ projection systems. Produce annual population estimates and forecast for Amargosa Valley and its communities.

Policy B. Prepare annual population reports and circulate to Amargosa Valley and community officials and staff.

Policy C. Integrate population estimates and projections with comprehensive planning, budgeting, and capital improvement programming initiatives.




Figure 4. Amargosa Valley Population Scenarios: 1990-2005

2.7 Water Resources


2.7.1 Ground Water Existing Conditions

Water is essential for growth and development in Amargosa Valley, and for maintaining the existing economy, population base and natural environment of the County. Amargosa Valley has a desert climate. For the most part, the available groundwater resource for the Amargosa Valley water basin is spoken for via water rights (applications, permits, and certificates).

Amargosa Valley's residents receive water from groundwater, the source for agricultural, domestic, commercial, and industrial uses throughout the valley.

This water basin has been classified by the State of Nevada as "designated basin." Such a classification means the Nevada State Engineer feels the amount of groundwater associated with water rights in a basin exceed the estimated perennial yield of the basin.

Under Nevada Statutes, the State Engineer is allowed to designate water uses in areas where the groundwater is being depleted or is at risk of depletion (designated basins). For example, the State Engineer may:

• Prevent drilling of wells.

• Limit the depth of wells.

• Declare preferred groundwater uses.

• Approve applications for groundwater use out of priority.

• Award groundwater use permits to projects that have a high public interest use over projects that are for private use.

This "designation" does not prevent the owners or purchasers of water rights from using or developing those rights. Nor does it currently prevent the development of single-user residential wells. It would, in most cases, require other new users to purchase existing water rights.

It is also important to point out that "designation" of a water basin by the State Engineer does not necessarily mean that the groundwater resources are being depleted, only that the appropriated water rights exceed the estimated perennial yield. Actual groundwater use may be considerably less than perennial yield, which is the case in most of the basins in Amargosa Valley.

In October of 1989, the Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) filed applications with the State Engineer's office for over 860,000 acre-feet of water rights in rural Nevada, including virtually all the unallocated perennial yield water in northeastern Amargosa Valley. Since the initial filing, LVVWD has informed the public that it has revised the amount of water that is needed for the project, but LVVWD has not amended the filed applications to reflect this revision.

Given that a significant amount of Amargosa Valley's water resources have been spoken for via water rights and that water is a prerequisite for economic development and community survival/development, it is necessary that Amargosa Valley pursue all available means to ensure an adequate water supply.


2.7.2 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Water Resources Goal

Identify, develop, and maintain adequate water supplies to maintain the existing environment and accommodate future economic development needs. Objective

Amargosa Valley will develop accurate assessments of water supply and demand by participating in the Nevada State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of Water Planning's work program to assess water use, quantity, quality, and future water needs in each basin in the state. Objective

Amargosa Valley will identify future water demand based on locally developed economic and population projections and estimates of water necessary to develop those resources. This information will be coordinated with the Division of Water Planning's objective to define future water needs. The division's assessment will be based on "historical facts, planned land use, and local input."

Policy A. Ensure that all area land use plans include projections of water demand to support future land use and economic development needs.

Policy B. Research and develop possible water sources for future recreation potential.

Policy C. Review the output of the Division of Water Planning's forecast models regarding Amargosa Valley to ensure that they are compatible with Amargosa Valley's demand forecasts and acceptable to the Amargosa Valley Planning Board.

Policy D. Develop a conditional use permit process for all pipeline projects (excluding municipal, domestic, and agricultural pipelines within basins) including water transportation projects.

Policy E. Investigate, develop, and implement other policies and mechanisms to ensure the availability of water supply for future Amargosa Valley economic and community development needs.

Policy F. Established and granted state water rights shall continue to be recognized in support of state law. Water flow, even if originating on public land, even if originating in wilderness areas, shall be governed by the appropriate state laws. Water not currently under application shall not be granted to any federal, state, or local agency or any private entity without the express concurrence and approval of the Planning Commission.


2.8 Transportation and Streets and Highways Plans


2.8.1 Introduction

Transportation Plan: According to NRS 278.160, this topic should consist of maps and text "showing a comprehensive transportation system, including locations of rights of way, terminals, viaducts and grade separations. The Plan may also include port, harbor, aviation and related facilities." Amargosa Valley's Transportation Plan addresses many of these topics, and the County is currently upgrading its system for tracking and managing rights of way. Other portions of the Transportation Plan will be developed within two years of the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.

Streets and Highways Plan: This topic should consist of text and maps "showing the general locations and widths of a comprehensive system of major traffic thoroughfares and other traffic ways and of the streets and the recommended treatment thereof, building line setbacks, and a system of naming or numbering streets, and numbering houses with recommendations concerning proposed changes." Amargosa Valley's Transportation Plan addresses many of these topics.

Transportation in Amargosa Valley is almost exclusively dependent on vehicular traffic. Therefore, county roads and state highways are critical to commerce and industry as well as growth, development, and the general quality of life in Amargosa Valley. For this reason, the transportation and streets and highways plans are treated as one element of the Comprehensive Plan.

On XXXX, 2000, the Amargosa Valley Planning Board adopted the Amargosa Valley Transportation Plan. The Transportation Master Plan Element serves as a guide to provide safe and efficient transportation circulation within Amargosa Valley. It contains the recommended transportation plan, classification of Amargosa Valley roads, and standards for the construction of roads and installation of signage. This section provides a summary of the transportation element.

The Transportation Plan contains street and highway improvements that are recommended to meet transportation needs within Amargosa Valley through the year 2010.

In addition to the County network, the state network has also been reviewed for its ability to meet future transportation needs in Amargosa Valley. While the County does not have direct control over improvements to state roads, they are none the less critical links in the transportation networks for all areas. The County should maintain a proactive relationship with the Nevada Department of Transportation in developing the state highway system in Amargosa Valley.


2.8.2 Transportation Planning, Implementation and Funding

Transportation planning, implementation and funding in Amargosa Valley is performed on a cooperative basis between the Board of County Commissioners and the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC). The RTC is a body created by the Commissioners under the provisions of NRS 373.030.

Of the six sources of revenue available to counties in Nevada for road improvements (see Section, two (the 1/4 of one percent sales tax and the $.04 motor vehicle fuel tax) require involvement by the RTC.

• Proceeds from the 1/4 of one percent sales tax accrue to the "Public Transit Fund." The RTC has exclusive authority to spend money from the Public Transit Fund. These funds must be spent in accordance with the provisions of NRS 377A.080. If the RTC desires to pay for the cost of establishing and maintaining a public transit system by the issuance of revenue bonds, the Commissioners must authorize the issuance of such bonds under the provisions of NRS 377A.090.

• Proceeds from the $.04 motor vehicle fuel tax accrue to the "Regional Street and Highway Fund." As a precondition to the County passing the motor vehicle fuel tax, the County must have a Regional Planning Commission (RPC) which must produce a County Master Plan that includes within it a Streets and Highways Plan. A further precondition to imposing the tax is that there be in existence an RTC.

All street and highway construction, surfacing, or resurfacing projects in the County which are proposed to be financed from the County motor vehicle fuel tax must first be submitted to the RTC. In Amargosa Valley, all such projects are within the area covered by the Streets and Highways Plan because the Master Plan, and the Streets and Highways Plan therein, includes the whole of the County with no excluded areas.

When the project is within the area covered by the Streets and Highways Plan, the RTC evaluates the project in terms of (1) the priorities established by the Plan, (2) the relation of the proposed work to other projects already constructed or authorized, (3) the relative need for the project in comparison with others proposed, and (4) the money available.

If the RTC approves the project, the Commissioners may authorize the project. Money for the payment of the cost of a project may be obtained by direct distribution from the Regional Street and Highway Fund, by the issuance of revenue bonds, or by direct distribution and the issuance of bonds, as the Commissioners may determine. Sources of Revenue for Amargosa Valley Road Improvements

There are six tax bases that generate tax funds for improvement of roads in Amargosa Valley:

1. 1/4 of one percent sales tax based on NRS 377A.020.

2. $.04 motor vehicle fuel tax based on NRS 373.030.

3. Property tax and Forest Service Payments based on NRS 403.450.

4. 1 3/4 cents per gallon motor fuel tax based on NRS 365.190 and NRS 365.560.

5. 3.6 cents per gallon motor fuel tax based on NRS 365.180 and NRS 365.550.

6. $.01 per gallon motor fuel tax based on NRS 365.192 and NRS 365.196.

New Roads

Amargosa Valley generally obtains road rights-of-way by dedication of easements or conveyance of fee ownership. In the case of private developers, road rights-of-way are typically offered to the County when the developer is applying to divide land under NRS Chapter 278. The County considers the request, and either accepts or rejects the offer, depending on the merits of both the subdivision request and the specific road rights-of-way offered.

In many cases, the County has not yet acted on the offered dedication. Particularly in Pahrump, the large volume of subdivision actions and limited resources have prevented the County from considering each offer.


2.8.3 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Transportation Goal

Develop and maintain a road and highway system that provides safe, economical, efficient, and reliable movement of persons, goods, and materials at minimum cost to the taxpayer. Objective

Maintain an Amargosa Valley Transportation Plan which will serve as a comprehensive management tool, enabling the town to make objective and informed decisions relative to the maintenance and growth of the Amargosa Valley roadway network. Objective

Maintain the Roadway Management System to provide the necessary information to allocate maintenance funds in an economical and equitable manner. Objective

Coordinate construction and maintenance of federal and state highways with the Amargosa Valley Comprehensive Plan and the Amargosa Valley Transportation Master Plan Element.

Policy. Contact agencies responsible for federal and state highways managing public lands in Amargosa Valley and have officials inform them of the County's intention to participate in their respective planning processes. Objective

Develop and maintain reliable and accessible information concerning county road rights-of-way and easements.

Policy A. Review and refine County policies for accepting roads and rights-of-way. Coordinate with the Amargosa Valley Transportation Plan, Comprehensive Plan, and area land use plans.

Policy B. Review proposed area land use plans for conformance to the Amargosa Valley Transportation Plan. Objective

Ensure that county roads and state and federal highways provide safe, efficient, and economical transportation while protecting and conserving the resources of the County.

Policy. Review proposed roads and highway construction and improvement plans to ensure protection of mineral, grazing, recreation, scenic, and cultural resources.


2.9 Solid Waste

The Amargosa Valley Planning Board adopted a Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) on XXXX, 2000. A summary of the Plan and its goals, objectives, and policies is provided here.

The information contained in the Plan establishes the goals, objectives, and policies related to solid waste management and sets forth mechanisms for achieving and maintaining these goals. The purposes of the Solid Waste Management Plan are:

1. To develop a planning strategy to bring all landfills into compliance with recently adopted federal regulations (FT50978-5119), as well as revised State of Nevada regulations;

2. To revise the current Solid Waste Management Plan to reflect current revisions to the State of Nevada solid waste regulations (NAC 445.570 – 445.578) (included as Appendices 1 and 2 to the Plan) as required by Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 444.658; and

3. To assure that the citizens of Amargosa Valley are not left with the financial obligation to clean up any solid waste management facility, whether federal, state, or private, that has the potential to degrade the waters of the state, or degrade the quality of the environment. This responsibility is met by assuring that these facilities have complied with state and federal regulations by describing their plans of operations and their solid waste planning and operating documents.

The SWMP describes the processing of solid waste in Amargosa Valley, Nevada. The Plan is intended to inform the public, to meet Nevada Division of Environmental Protection requirements, and to provide guidance to current and future public officials in the Amargosa Valley Administrative branch.

The SWMP was published in draft form for public review in XXXX, 2000. A total of XX meetings were held during daytime and evening hours. The influence of public comments is reflected in the final recommended Plan. The basic provisions of the Plan, especially as regards the landfills, will be implemented before XXXX, 2000, and the Plan will be updated each five years, to reflect conditions of population, waste generation, and waste processing that exist at the time of those revisions.

Five landfills are projected to serve the major population centers in the County, with transfer station operations to serve the smaller communities. The landfills will operate under full-time supervision of a contractor or County employee for eight to ten hours each day. Provisions will be made for access control to the landfill, with locked gates after hours. The landfills will have provisions for out-of-hours dumping in the form of an area outside the locked gates; this area will have waste containers and signage similar in concept to the transfer station operations located in the smaller communities.

Recyclable materials and hazardous and special wastes will be dealt with at both landfills and transfer stations. Programs are under development to provide containers and pick-up for each type of waste, in support of community needs and community-initiated programs. Proper disposal of infectious wastes is the responsibility of the generator; incinerator facilities for infectious waste are available in Tonopah and pick-up by contractors is available elsewhere in the County.

The SWMP is organized into five parts:

• Part I is an overview of the state and federal regulations, and the formal responsibility for solid waste planning and processing. This part also includes a conceptual description and policy statement as to the County plan for processing each type of waste.

• Part II contains descriptions of the processing of solid waste. The community plans include population projections, waste generation projections, and a description of how waste will be processed to meet the present and future needs of the community.

• Part III contains listings of the mines located in Amargosa Valley, the name of the person responsible for waste processing at each mine, and a description of the solid waste planning documents and plans approved for each mine.

• Part IV contains listings of the federal facilities located in Amargosa Valley, and lists the names of the person(s) responsible for solid waste processing at each facility.

• Part V lists the unauthorized dump sites known to exist in Amargosa Valley, the responsible party or agency, and clean-up action planned for each site.

• Appendices include the full text of the federal and state regulations, population projections, previous solid waste planning efforts, and conceptual design of the landfills and transfer stations to be constructed and operated by the County DPW.

The goals and objectives of the Plan are:


2.9.1 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Solid Waste Goal

To provide a summary of actions taken, with recommendations for future planning for solid waste management in Amargosa Valley. Goal

To project operating methods, and provide a basis for budgeting solid waste and wastewater management and operating each fiscal year. Goal

To provide a sound basis for compliance with state and federal requirements for solid waste management practices within the County. Objective

Amargosa Valley will develop ordinances to regulate or prohibit the disposal of out-of-state and out-of-county waste within the boundaries of Amargosa Valley.



2.10 Flood Control and Drainage

The flood hazard areas of Amargosa Valley are subject to periodic inundation that results in loss of property, creates health and safety hazards, disrupts commerce and governmental services, causes extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairs the County's tax base — all of which adversely affect the public health, safety, and general welfare. In order to avoid, minimize, and/or mitigate damage or destruction due to flooding, the Amargosa Valley Planning Board has developed the following goals, policies, and objectives.


2.10.1 Goals, Objectives, and Policies for Flood Control and Drainage

To promote the public health, safety, and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas. Objective

Protect human life and health. Objective

Minimize expenditures of public money for costly flood control projects. Objective

Minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding. Objective

Minimize damage to public facilities and utilities located in areas of special flood hazard. Objective

Help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the sound use and development of areas of special flood hazard so as to minimize future blight areas. Objective

Ensure that potential buyers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard. Objective

Ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.

Policy A. Restrict or prohibit uses that are dangerous to health, safety, and property due to water or erosion hazards, or that result in damaging increases in erosion or flood heights or velocities.

Policy B. Require that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities with such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction.

Policy C. Control the alteration of natural flood plains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers, which help accommodate or channel flood waters.

Policy D. Control filling, grading, dredging, and other development that may increase flood damage.

Policy E. Prevent or regulate the construction of flood barriers that will unnaturally divert flood hazards in other areas.


2.11 Community Design

This topic is concerned with standards and principles governing the subdivision of land and suggestive patterns for community design and development.

Amargosa Valley has no currently established principles regarding the subdivision of land, or any subdivision and parcel ordinances.


2.12 Conservation Plan

This topic is concerned with "the conservation, development and utilization of natural resources, including water and its hydraulic force, underground water, water supply, forests, soils, rivers and other waters, flood control, prevention and control of the pollution of streams and other waters, regulation of the use of land in stream channels and other areas required for the accomplishment of the conservation plan, preservation control and correction of the erosion of soils through proper clearing, grading and landscaping, beaches and shores, and protection of watersheds, the Plan must also indicate the maximum tolerable level of air pollution."

Because XX percent of Amargosa Valley's land area is public lands, any conservation plan must address resources on public lands. It is anticipated the Amargosa Valley will develop a public lands element within XX months of the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan. It is anticipated that the Conservation Plan element will be developed within one year of the adoption of the Public Lands Element.


2.13 Economic Plan

This topic should "show recommended schedules for the allocation and expenditure of public money in order to provide for the economical and timely execution of the various components of the plan."

During each annual Town budgeting process, the Town Board will determine Plan elements which will be completed during the ensuing fiscal year and allocate funds for preparing such elements. Additionally, the Board will review Comprehensive Plan elements completed during the past fiscal year to determine needed funding requirements.


2.14 Housing

This topic concerns a "survey of housing conditions and needs and plans and procedure for improvement of housing standards and the provision of adequate housing." The availability and quality of housing are growing issues in Amargosa Valley. The availability of affordable housing for senior citizens and low- and middle-income residents and the ability to obtain financing for entry level buyers are topics of particular concern. However, before a housing plan can be developed, Amargosa Valley must develop mechanisms to insure that housing is constructed in a manner that ensures quality and protects the health, safety and welfare of County residents. Therefore, the Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan is anticipated to be developed within two years after the County develops the ability to enforce the Uniform Building Code, pursuant to Policy of the Comprehensive Plan.


2.15 Public Buildings

This topic involves a map and text "showing locations and arrangement of all public buildings."


2.16 Public Service and Facilities

This topic involves a map and text "showing general plans for sewage, drainage and utilities, and rights of way, easements and facilities therefore, including any utility projects required to be reported pursuant to NRS 278.145." Amargosa Valley currently has no Facilities Services and Expenditures Information System which describes public facilities.


2.17 Recreational Plan

This topic includes maps and text "showing a comprehensive system of recreation areas, including natural reservations, parks, parkways, reserved riverbank strips, beaches, play grounds and other recreation areas, including, when practicable, the locations and proposed development thereof." Amargosa Valley will develop a recreation element within four years of implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.


2.18 Safety Plan

Amargosa Valley currently has no Flood Control Ordinance, which is an element of the Comprehensive Plan. Amargosa Valley will develop the other components of a safety plan element within three years after implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.


2.19 Seismic Safety Plan

This topic should "consists of an identification and appraisal of seismic hazards such as susceptibility to surface ruptures from faulting, to ground shaking or to ground failures." Amargosa Valley will develop a seismic safety element within three years after implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.


2.20 Transit Plan

Amargosa Valley does not currently plan to develop mass transit systems.




Incorporated Cities

Article 8, Section 8 of the Nevada Constitution states:

"The legislature shall provide for the organization of cities and towns by general laws and shall restrict their power of taxation, assessment, borrowing money, contracting debts and loaning their credit, except for procuring supplies of water, provided, however, that the legislature may, by general laws, in the manner and to the extent therein provided, permit and authorize the electors of any city or town to frame, adopt and amend a charter for its own government, or to amend any existing charter of such city or town."

NRS 268.005 states that:

"The corporate powers of any incorporated city are vested in the city council or other governing body of such city."

NRS 268.008 describes the general powers of an incorporated city as:

"An incorporated city may:

    1. Have and use a common seal, which it may alter at pleasure.
    2. Purchase, receive, hold and use personal and real property wherever situated.
    3. Sell, convey and dispose of such personal and real property for the common benefit.
    4. Determine what are public uses with respect to powers of eminent domain.
    5. Acquire, own and operate a public transit system both within and without the city.
    6. Receive bequests, devises, gifts and donations of all kinds of property wherever situated in fee simple, in trust or otherwise, for charitable or other purposes and do anything necessary to carry out the purposes of such bequests, devises, gifts and donations with full power to manage, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of such property in accordance with the terms of such bequest, devise, gift or donation."



Town Advisory Boards

Town Advisory boards are created following directives from the "Unincorporated Town Government Law." Residents can vote on becoming an "unincorporated area" at the same time they vote on the establishment of a town advisory board. With a 51% positive response rate, the board of county commissioners may create a town advisory board, (including boundaries, list of services, and number of members in the ordinance). With a 10% positive response rate, the board places the proposal on the ballot at the next general election or at a special election (including the statement that tax will be levied with an affirmative vote). Subsequently, if there is a majority vote among residents, the board can enact the ordinance creating the town advisory board.

The board of county commissioners may also enact an ordinance in the regulation of unincorporated towns to provide services required by state or federal law, such as solid waste disposal. Any such ordinance defines the boundaries of the unincorporated towns, list services, and the number of members of the town advisory board. At any time, the board of county commissioners may amend an ordinance to adjust the list of services.

Any one service or combination of services may be the foundation for the creation of an unincorporated town and governing body such as: cemeteries, dump stations and sites, fire protection, flood control and drainage, garbage collection, police, parks, recreation, sewage collection, streets, street lights, swimming pools, television translators, water distribution, and the acquisition, maintenance or improvement of town property. If two or more unincorporated towns in a county provide a common service and are contiguous, the board of county commissioners may, by resolution, levy a common rate of taxes.

Initial appointments for a three member board are as follows: the first member’s term is no more than one year; the second and third members terms are for more than one, but no more than two years. Each term ends/begins on the first Monday of January of the appropriate year. For a five member board: the first two members serve no more than one year; the remaining three members for more than one, but not more than two years. Again, each term begins/ends on the first Monday of January of the appropriate year. As the initial appointment terms expire, the board of county commissioners appoint members for terms of two years thereafter. There is no compensation for members in counties with less than 250,000 in population.

The board of county commissioners may, by resolution, designate any one or more services as properly within the power of a town advisory board to manage. The board solicits the advice of the town advisory board in formulating a budget for the town, and allows the town to propose its own ordinances. The board allows town advisory boards to control any expenditures which are a part of a county-approved budget. Any non-appropriated fund available for town purposes may be expended at the discretion of the town advisory board.

Town advisory boards establish their own bylaws. Copies of ordinances have to be made available to the public from the chairman of the town advisory board or the county clerk. Two or more town advisory boards may join in a single codification of their ordinances.

Audits of unincorporated towns are conducted as a part of the county audit.

The town advisory board can request that the board of county commissioners dispose of property, by ordinance, from the unincorporated town limits. The board of county commissioners may amend boundaries of unincorporated towns, or upon request of town advisory boards, merge two or more towns.

Following a public hearing, the board of county commissioners may dissolve, by resolution, the unincorporated town (specifying reasons for the dissolution).


Town boards

A "town board" can also be established for an unincorporated town in the state of Nevada. This form of government can be established similarly to other governing bodies, however the procedures are more extensive.

Nevada Revised Statutes 295.085 to 295.125 must be followed. Generally, the board of county commissioners and residents (by election) have to approve of the adoption of a town board form of government for the area. These statutes include that voters participating in the initiative petition have to have been residents for at least 30 days. Initially, five qualified resident electors are selected by the board of county commissioners to serve on the town board. At the next general election, five persons must be elected by the registered voters in the town. Elections can be held at the same time as the proposal of a town board. Subsequently, those elected shall serve until the next general election.

The term of office for members is four years, beginning on the first Monday in January after the general election. Lots are drawn by initially appointed members for the length of terms - some serve two years, some four years, the purpose being so that half will be replaced at each subsequent election. Subsequent members are elected on the Tuesday next after the 1st Monday of November in each odd-numbered year.

The town board selects a chairman, town clerk, and deputy town clerk. The chairman presides over meetings, and completes other duties as assigned by the board. The town clerk keeps records of the proceedings of the town board, and forwards copies of proceedings to the board of county commissioners.

The board of county commissioners may put on the ballot at any following general election the question of dissolution of a town board. If a majority vote for discontinuance of the town board is brought about, the town’s assets and liabilities revert to the board of county commissioners.



Town Board Officers and Employees

The town board holds regular meetings at least once a month, on a day of the week previously fixed by the board, for the purpose of transacting town business. The chairman of the board can call special meetings of the board. A meeting held with a majority of the members constitutes a quorum to carry any question.

The county clerk performs the duties required under the provisions of this chapter, and can be held liable of his official bond for the faithful performance of duties. The clerk can be ex officio clerk of the board of county commissioners in the execution of the provisions of this chapter of the Nevada revised statutes. The county clerk also keeps the records of the meetings of the board of county commissioners.

The county treasurer performs the duties required under the provisions of this chapter, and can be held liable of his official bond for the faithful performance of duties. The treasurer pays any fee received by him into the treasury, and apportions the money to the fund of the town from which it is collected.

The district attorney, county auditor, county assessor, and others, perform duties required of them, and are liable on his or their official bond for faithful performance. All such officers pay fees to the county treasurer to be distributed to the appropriate funds of the proper towns. No officers shall demand or receive any compensation.

It is unlawful for any member of a town board to become a contractor authorized by, or for the board of which he is a member, or to have any interest in any contract, directly or indirectly. Any member violating this is guilty of a misdemeanor and forfeits his office. It is unlawful for a member to be interested in any contract made by him, or be a purchaser under a sale made by him. Any member violating this is guilty of a misdemeanor and forfeits his office.

Town treasurers have to refuse to redeem warrants, scrip, orders or other evidences of indebtedness against the town whenever they know that they have been purchased, sold, received, or transferred in violation of the law.

All town officers have the right to sell or transfer evidences of public indebtedness for services rendered by them to the town.

All employees of unincorporated towns are paid their salaries without diminution on account of time spent away as volunteer firemen.

When an employee other than a department head has been employed for 12 or more months and is dismissed, he may request, within 15 days of his dismissal, a written statement stating the reasons. This statement is provided to him by his employer within 15 days. Within 30 days of the receipt for this statement, he may in writing, ask for a public hearing. The town board grants the public hearing within 15 days after receiving the written request. At the public hearing, technical rules of evidence do not apply.

The board of county commissioners audit and allow all claims payable out of the funds of any unincorporated town. All taxes, fines, forfeitures or other moneys collected and received by any officer or person are paid to the county treasurer. The county treasurer keeps the fund solely for the benefit of the town for which the funds were received, and records the activities of the fund. The treasurer divides the fund into two equal parts, one for general fund, the other for as a debt service fund, and does not pay out of the general fund except upon warrants drawn upon him by the county auditor.

When claims payable from the debt service fund are satisfied, the fund ceases, and any money therein is transferred to the general fund. If there is more money in the general fund than is necessary to meet current or anticipated expenses, the board of county commissioners can direct the county treasurer to transfer the surplus into the debt service fund.

Whenever there is surplus money in the fire, police, or general funds, the town can transfer the surplus into other funds as needed to protect credit. The salaries and expenses of officers are paid out of the general fund. Claims for such salaries and expenses are presented to the town board who consider and allow or reject the same.

Upon presentation of any warrant, the county treasurer pays, unless there are no funds, at which time he endorses the warrant "Not paid for want of funds", adding the date. He then pays as money comes available.

Before 12 noon on the first Monday of each month, the county treasurer posts a notice in his office showing the number and amount of each outstanding warrant, which there is money in the treasury to pay. Upon payment of the warrant, the county treasurer writes across the face of this notice, in red ink, "Paid" with the date of payment, and signs his name. This represents official settlement. The chairman of the board of county commissioners examines the books of the county treasurer once a month, and reports the results to the board. Town boards have access to the books and vouchers of the county treasurer which relate to their respective towns.

When a town is disincorporated, any funded debts or outstanding bonds are paid off substantially in time, manner, and form as provided by law or ordinance. If no such ordinance exists, the debt is paid for out of the debt service fund of the town. The board of county commissioners takes possession of all books, papers, documents, money, credits, claims, demands and other property of the town, and collects, holds or disposes of the same for the use and benefit of the residents of the town. If the town has other indebtedness, the board of county commissioners ascertains the amount, and causes evidences of indebtedness bearing interest on the principal sum thereof from that date, at the legal rate of interest per annum, to be issued to the holder of the indebtedness.

No such evidences of indebtedness are issued upon any account, claim, demand, bond, warrant, scrip or other, unless filed with the clerk of the board of county commissioners within 3 months after the disincorporation of the town.

The county treasurer can only use the money of the debt service fund for the payment of preexisting bonds or funded debt not otherwise provided for.

The board of county commissioners can levy a tax, not exceeding 1.5% per annum, upon the assessed value of all real and personal property, including proceeds of mines, situated in the town, made taxable by law for state and county purposes. In addition, the board of county commissioners can levy a tax for the payment of interest and redemption of outstanding bonds in the town.

Annually, the board of county commissioners can assess, fix, and designate the amount of taxes that should be levied and collected for town purposes on all real and personal property, including the proceeds of mines. The revenue laws are applicable to the levying and collection of these taxes. The same form used for other assessment, levying, or collection of taxes should be used for the same under this chapter. All suits instituted to collect state or county taxes on real or personal property includes unpaid taxes authorized to be levied.


Public Works

In any region of the state of Nevada for which there has been established by interstate compact a regional planning agency, the powers of an unincorporated town for the location and construction of all public works are subordinate to the powers of the regional agency.


Property, Public Services and Franchises

The town board has the authority to hold, manage, use and dispose of any real and personal property of the unincorporated town. The board of county commissioners collects all dues and demands belonging to or coming to the town. The market value of the property is determined by one or more disinterested, competent real estate appraisers, who are taxpayers in the town, appointed by a district judge of the county. If there are no disinterested, competent real estate appraisers who are taxpayers in town, then one or more non-taxpaying appraisers may be appointed by the district judge. The property cannot be sold for less than: one, three-fourths of the appraised value, if there is only one appraisal, or two, three-fourths of the lowest appraised value, if there is more than one appraisal.

A town board may: apply for and hold any license required to provide television broadcast translator signals; contract with any person, corporation or association to provide the equipment, facilities and services necessary to furnish television broadcast translator signals for ten years; enter into contracts which exceed the term of office of any member of the board or commission; levy and collect a property taxes within the unincorporated town to cover costs of providing television broadcasts.

In the provision of adequate, economical and efficient services to the town residents, promote the general welfare of the residents of the town, the town may displace or limit competition in any of the following areas:

  1. ambulance services, taxicabs and other public transportation, unless regulated by the state;
  2. collection and disposal of garbage and other waste;
  3. operations of concession stands, but excluding police and fire protection;
  4. water and sewage treatment, unless regulated in that town by an agency of the state;
  5. concessions on, over, or under property at an airport, including but not limited to the leasing of motor vehicles and the licensing owned or leased by the town, and;
  6. the operation of landfills.

The town board has the authority to:

  1. Provide these services, exclusively, or by ordinance, adopt regulations for the provision of the services (or for controlling development on an exclusive basis), and
  2. Grant an exclusive franchise to any person to provide these services.


Condemnation of Property for Town’s Use

The board of county commissioners may condemn property for the use of the residents of the unincorporated town. Any real or personal property, determined necessary for the public use of the town or city, or residents, may be condemned and appropriated according to statute.


Suits and Prosecutions

The town board establishes and maintains any suit necessary to enforce any right of the unincorporated town. These suits will be prosecuted in the name of the town board for the use and benefit of the residents.

All prosecutions arising under the provisions of this chapter are conducted by the district attorney of the county, who collects such fees as provided by law or ordinance and pays the same to the county treasurer. The district attorney prosecutes and defends all suits brought by or against the town under this chapter. The town board can appoint a town attorney to act in lieu of the district attorney



All public printing required by the town is placed with a bona fide newspaper within the county in which the town is located. There is no requirement for towns to pay the newspaper any commission for public printing. Required printing will be done within the state, except for town bonds and the like which can be printed out of state.



Ordinances adopted by the town board are not effective until thirty days after adoption.

The town board or board of county commissioners has the authority and duty to pass and adopt all ordinances, rules and regulations for any unincorporated town.

Ordinances are passed using one of two methods:

1. Ordinances signed by the chairman of the town board and attested by the town clerk, except as provided in subsection 2, are published in full, in a newspaper published in, and having general circulation in the county at least one week, for a period of two weeks before the ordinance is effective.


2. Ordinances are published with the names of the town board in the local newspaper for a period of 2 weeks before they are effective. This publication also notes that copies are available at the office of the town clerk.

Ordinances in force at the time this chapter is conferred, and not inconsistent with this chapter, shall remain in full force until changed or repealed by the board.

The town board fixes the punishment for the breach of an ordinance. No fines may be imposed for one offense in a sum greater than $1,000, and no term of imprisonment may be more than six months. In lieu of imprisonment, a person may be made to do public work. To that end, a chain gang may be formed, continued and operated.

Any justice of the peace within the town has jurisdiction over violations of ordinances and may pass judgment, hold to bail, fine or commit any offender to the county jail, or suspend sentences. All commitments to imprisonment must be directed to the county sheriff, and all fees/fines collected, submitted to the county treasurer.

Town Code

The town board can revise all general ordinances, and may provide for the indexing and publication of ordinances in the form of a town code. The ordinances in each town code are arranged in appropriate chapters and sections, excluding the titles, enacting clauses, signatures, attestations and other formal parts. Copies of the town code are sold to the public, with the proceeds being deposited in the general fund of the town. The town board may hire professionals to prepare the town code.

The town code is adopted by ordinance. The proposal is adopted by reference and need not be read aloud at a meeting of the board if the board:

a) Files three or more copies of the proposed code with the town or county clerk at least one week before final adoption of the ordinance.

b) Publishes a notice of filing in a local newspaper at least one week before final adoption of the ordinance stating that copies are available for review in the office of the town or county clerk.

Subsequently, the ordinance adopting the town code is published by title only once a week for a period of two weeks in a local newspaper, stating that copies are available for review in the office of the town or county clerk.

The ordinance adopting the town code takes effect after:

  1. at least 25 copies of the code have been made,
  2. at least 3 copies of the code are filed with the town or county clerk, and
  3. the newspaper publication has been completed.

Two copies of the town code are filed with the librarian of the supreme court law library after the code is effective.

The town code (and general ordinances) may, by ordinance regularly passed, adopted and published, be amended or extended. No section of the code is amended by reference only, but the section, as amended, is reenacted and published at length. Three copies are filed with the town/county clerk, and two copies are filed with the librarian of the supreme court library.


Licensing and Regulation of Professions, Trades and Businesses

The town board or board of county commissioners may, in any unincorporated town; fix and collect a license tax on, and regulate, having due regard to the amount of business done, all places of business.

No business license to sell tangible personal property can be granted unless the applicant presents written evidence that:

a) The department of taxation has or will issue a permit for this activity, or

b) Another regulatory agency of the state has or will issue a license.

Any license tax levied for the purpose of a county fair or recreational facility, constitutes a lien upon the real and personal property of the business until the tax is paid. The lien is enforced the same as liens for ad valorem taxes on real and personal property. The town board may delegate the power to enforce the lien to the county fair or recreation board.

The boards of county commissioners may in any unincorporated town in their county, license, tax, regulate, prohibit and suppress all tippling houses, dramshops, public card tables, raffles, hawkers, peddlers, pawnbrokers, gambling houses, disorderly houses and houses of ill fame.

The board of county commissioners may by ordinance issue all licenses mentioned in this chapter, fix terms and sums for licenses.

The town board or board of county commissioners has authority to require an additional license if a pawnbroker uses motor vehicles as collateral for a loan. The fee for the additional license is not more than $500.


Vehicles and Traffic

Town boards have the authority to regulate traffic, such as speed, parking, stopping, and turning by ordinance, rules or regulations. The boards also authorize signage at school zones and crossings, designating the hours and speed limit that apply.


Public Health, Safety and Morals

The boards of county commissioners may establish and maintain a board of health in any unincorporated town within their county.

A town board may prohibit hogs, goats, cows or other animals from running loose within the unincorporated town limits. A board may also, when petitioned by 25% of the taxpayers of the unincorporated town, pass an ordinance to prevent the running at large of any horse, mule, ass, kine (cow), hog, sheep or goat in the town. Ten days before the ordinance is passed, it must be published in the local newspaper. Violation of this ordinance is a misdemeanor.

The town board or board of county commissioners has the authority to determine what is a nuisance, provide for punishment, prevention and removal of nuisances. The state defines nuisances as filth heaps, garbage, unprotected sewage, drainage pipes or boxes, cesspools, obstructions to the safe and convenient passage of vehicles and pedestrians through and over public highways, streets and alleys, and other such nuisances as defined by the board of health.

Any resident can complain of a nuisance, and have the sheriff or constable declare the nuisance to the property owner. The property owner is told to remove the nuisance within 10 days. If this action is not effective, the sheriff or constable can have the nuisance removed at the expense of the owner of the property. If the property owner or inhabitants are not found, the property is posted with a written or printed notice. If the sheriff or constable takes action to have the nuisance removed from the property, the cost cannot exceed $50. An unpaid sum to remove a nuisance can be claimed against the property and recovered in an action at law in any county court.

A town board has the authority to prevent, punish and restrain any disorderly conduct, and can enact and enforce loitering and prowling ordinances. They can regulate the storage of gunpowder and other explosive or combustible materials.

The legislature regulates the transfer, sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transportation, registration and licensing of firearms and ammunition in Nevada. However, a town board can pass an ordinance to regulate the unsafe discharge of firearms.

The board of county commissioners may levy and collect an annual tax on dogs, and provide for the extermination of all dogs for which the tax has not been paid. In addition, the town board can pass an ordinance for the control of rabies. This ordinance has to include the requirements established by regulations adopted by the state board of health.

Fourth paragragh removed in accordance with Nye County Resolution #94-20.


Police Protection

The town board or board of county commissioners appoint one chief of police and no more than seven officers. Two-thirds of the officers must be named and appointed by the majority of the board, one-third by a minority. Each officer gives bond, in such amount as designated by the board. The chief’s salary cannot exceed $250 per month, and officers salaries cannot exceed $225 per month. Officers collect for licenses and taxes (other than property tax), and are authorized to perform police duties as designated by the board. Officers transfer monies collected to the county treasurer.

The board of county commissioners levies and collects taxes not exceeding one-half of 1% upon the assessed value of property within the town for the benefit of the police department of the town. The boundaries for collection of these taxes must not extend beyond the limits of the town. The tax is assessed and collected at the same time as state and county taxes, and by the same officers. The county treasurer keeps this money in a separate fund. Funds are paid out of this fund at the order of the board. Any warrant drawn on the police department fund, when there is not sufficient money in the treasury to pay the whole amount of the warrant, is void.

A town board has the authority to appoint and dismiss police officers at any time. However, the majority of property owners have to petition the board of county commissioners and levy the tax for compensation of the officers.

Any officer must order a force sufficient to keep the peace at a public hearing (when he is satisfied that a breach of the peace is to be apprehended).

Victims of accidents are provided police reports for a small fee.


Fire Protection

A town board provides for the prevention and extinguishment of fires. The board can organize, regulate, establish and disband fire departments; provide for the payment to fire departments, and appointment and payment of officers. Payments are made from a separate department fund. The department operates only within the town boundaries unless the county reimburses the department for county service. A majority of the town board appoints two-thirds of the officers, and the minority appoints one-third of the officers. The town board determines the salaries of the fire chief and other fire personnel, and can designate arson investigators as peace officers.

The board of county commissioners has the authority to levy and collect a tax not exceeding 1.5% upon the assessed value of the property within an unincorporated town for the fire department. The board prescribes the boundaries within which the taxes are to be collected, but this boundary must not extend the limits of the town. The tax is collected at the same time as state and county taxes, by the same officers. The county treasurer keeps the money in a separate fund which can only be drawn upon by order of the board.

Policemen are ex officio fire wardens in unincorporated towns. Fire wardens examine buildings in the daytime, including chimneys, stovepipes, flues, ranges, grates, furnaces, etc. If any of these are found to be defective, the inhabitants or owners of buildings are notified. Alleys, streets, outlots are also examined and inflammable materials are removed under direction from the warden. Any person, after being directed by a warden, to repair materials or structures, must do so within 24 hours, or be fined not more than $500.

Any person, after receiving notice to remove inflammable materials from the town, has 48 hours to do so or be fined not more than $500. The court then issues the order. If the person fails to comply within 24 hours, the fire warden removes the material at the expense of the person against the court order was issued.


General Obligation Bonds for Public Improvements and Facilities

A "town" as defined here, is an unincorporated area in the state of Nevada having a population of less than 7,500.

A town board has the authority to make public improvements (see statutes in summary). The board has the authority to issue: 1. general obligations, payable from taxes; 2. general obligations, payable from taxes, which payment is additionally secured by a pledge of gross or net revenues derived from the operation of such capital improvements or other income producing project of the town or from any license or other excise tax; and 3. special obligations. The town board has the authority to borrow money on behalf of the town, and evidence obligations by the issuance of bonds and other town securities.

In order to insure payment of obligations, the board establishes and maintains a schedule of fees, rates and charges for services, facilities and commodities rendered by or through such improvements and other income producing project. A schedule of excise taxes is kept sufficient to discharge any covenant in the proceedings authorizing the issuance of bonds or other securities, including reserve funds No town shall ever become indebted for town improvements by the issuance of such general obligation bonds and other securities.