Residents Asked to Complete an Online Survey About Future of Clark County

Clark County has reached a milestone in its “Transform Clark County” Master Plan & Development Code Rewrite and is urging residents to take an online survey now through Oct. 31 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ClarkCounty2. One may also find the survey at www.TransformClarkCounty.com

 Additionally, officials invite the public to join them at a virtual open house on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 1 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 10:30 a.m. to learn more about the newly developed “preliminary plan framework,” ask questions and share ideas about the future of Clark County. Those interested are asked to RSVP at https://www.TransformClarkCounty.com/events

Clark County announced its “Transform Clark County” initiative in June and recently completed a preliminary framework for a new master plan, which one may view on the project website at www.TransformClarkCounty.com. These preliminary findings provide an opportunity to check in with stakeholders and the community on three questions: Have we heard you correctly? Are we on the right track? Are we missing anything? Based upon public input, the County’s project team will refine the plan framework and begin to develop countywide policy directions to be discussed later in the year.

One major goal is to improve alignment between the master plan and the development code. The master plan is the leading policy document guiding growth and day-to-day decision-making. The development code establishes regulations, development standards and procedures needed to implement the guidance provided by the master plan. The development code must be based upon the updated master plan, which is being reviewed as part of this process first.

Key themes have emerged so far concerning changes to the development code, including to make it more user-friendly, one size does not fit all, reduce reliance on waivers and nonconforming zone changes, provide more flexible PUD options(for integrated residential/commercial construction), improve the efficiency of procedures and administration, modernize uses and broaden the lineup of zoning districts, raise the bar for development quality and remove regulatory barriers to infill, redevelopment and adaptive reuse. There will be more in-depth discussions on the code later this year.

Based upon the preliminary feedback received so far, residents have clear cut ideas for what they would like the future of Clark County to be, officials found. More than 2,800 residents provided input and officials found they value:
  • Access to the outdoors and recreation – By far the most frequently cited aspect about Clark County that residents appreciate today is that they live in a beautiful location. The value attached to the County’s parks and open spaces, access to public land, and the ability to get outdoors and enjoy it all is very high.
  • Affordable cost of living – Residents appreciate the relatively low cost of living, at least in part because of low taxes. This contributes to the overall affordability of the County and is an aspect of life that residents do not want to change.
  • Entertainment, culture, food and gaming -- Tourists aren’t the only ones to benefit from all the attractions that make Las Vegas one of the foremost vacation destinations in the world – residents do, too! They are glad to have an array of excellent restaurants, world-class shows, 24-hour casinos and entertainment at their fingertips.
  • Diversity and openness -- Residents value the fact that sometimes their neighbors aren’t just like them. Diversity is an asset, as are the openness and inclusivity that come with living in a place alongside such a wide variety of people.
  • Tourism -- Residents enjoy tourism’s benefits along with visitors. Everyone is waiting to see a rebound of the tourism industry after the pandemic, where visitors can resume their important role in supporting the region’s economy, and residents can resume their role in supporting visitors’ experience
What challenges do we face as a community? They expressed concerns about the future and identified opportunities for improvement. There seemed to be broad consensus about the most pressing issues along with a high level of awareness of the interrelationship among the most frequently cited concerns, including:
  • Pace of growth – Residents worry that the recent rate of expansion is not sustainable. The present, they feel, is an opportune time to turn to more “guarded growth” that includes a stronger focus on growing up versus out.
  • Affordability -- Residents perceive that growth pressures have reduced the affordable cost of living the County has long enjoyed, with particularly noticeable impacts on the cost of housing. They recognize the need for action on this front, particularly in relation to lower-income residents and vulnerable populations.
  • Economic resilience -- The 2008 recession and the extended recovery timeframe brought home to Clark County residents the vulnerability of an economic base highly concentrated in the tourism and entertainment industries, and current events are proving a difficult reminder of that lesson.
  • Sustainability -- Concerns about growth are inextricably linked to concerns about the environment, with water availability, air quality, and transportation issues at the top of residents’ lists in this regard. Residents also mention a need to rely more heavily on one of the resources that is most abundant in the Las Vegas Valley: sunshine.
  •  Transportation -- Residents hope to diversify their transportation options. There are three clear transportation priorities where residents want to see a focus in the coming years: public transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities. Few believe – or hope – that driving is going away, but there is a shared disposition to expand the alternatives.
  • Rural/urban conflicts -- As developed areas have expanded, many residents fear rural areas being eliminated. They hoped to see the possibility for a rural lifestyle preserved, particularly in areas outside the valley. Within the valley, they hoped for limited encroachment and transition areas between dense development and more dispersed communities.
  • District-focused decision-making -- Residents feel that decision-making tends to be very district-focused. While they grasp the advantages of this in individual districts, they point out that in the larger context, it leads to a sense of fragmentation within the County organization and a perceived lack of transparency. Residents expressed the importance of having a set of common goals and priorities that serve as the guide for consistent decision-making throughout the County.
The preliminary plan framework for a new master plan represents a shift away from the current topical or “element-based” master plan structure that Clark County has had in place for many years. This approach is intended to help make the master plan more user-friendly and accessible to all users, and to more clearly convey a cohesive vision for the County. Planners suggest establishing goals and policies that will set the County on a more sustainable and resilient path. This will require a continual focus on six core values:

  • Unique communities, neighborhoods, and lifestyles
  • Equitable access to services and amenities
  • A healthy and sustainable natural environment
  • A more connected Clark County
  • A diverse and resilient economy
  • Predictable growth and development
“We need a clear vision for making our community more livable and sustainable,” said Commissioner Justin Jones, a vocal advocate for the updates. “For that reason, public input is critical so that we can come to a shared understanding of the kind of community we want today, tomorrow, and for future generations.”

The master plan rewrite portion of the Transform Clark County process will be the primary focus initially and is expected to be completed by summer 2021. Adoption of the development code will occur in late 2022. 

Community input is an important part of reshaping both documents, which will help guide how future tax dollars are invested to improve our quality of life.

One may track the project on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, NextDoor and other social media channels using the hashtag #TransformClarkCounty.   

“We all want to see our community quality of life improve,” said Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “The work that goes into this roadmap for the future will help get us there. I encourage all our residents to take the survey and tell us what they want the future of Greater Las Vegas and Clark County to be.”
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Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability.  With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 9th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.