Las Vegas has entered into a new era of master plan community development, one that allows the city to grow but in a sustainable way that protects its unique quality of life.
On Wednesday, the Las Vegas City Council adopted the Kyle Canyon development agreement and development standards and design guidelines. This 1,712 acre community is an innovative concept in master planning, preserving the natural resources and incorporating them into the project.
“In addition to this being a sustainable community, this project is also an example of smart growth and protecting families,” said Ward 6 Councilman Steven D. Ross, who represents the area where the project is located. “The developer is required to help fund roads, schools, parks, police and fire facilities. This development will also be on the cutting edge when it comes to public safety. Every building will have sprinkler systems, even the homes. This will help save lives and protect our fire resources.”
The development agreement sets the standards by which the master-planned community will be designed. Residents will have input on the standards governing the areas planned as mixed-use. The developer will be holding public meetings to get neighborhood input on the design standards for the areas planned for mixed use and the proposed gaming enterprise district.
The agreement and its standards and guidelines will apply to the lands acquired by the Kyle Acquisition LLC via a Bureau of Land Management public auction in 2005. The property is commonly referred to the Kyle Canyon Gateway area.
These agreements are a culmination of an extensive planning process that began when the land was initially designated for disposal by the BLM. The city met with area residents and their shared vision was reflected in the Kyle Canyon Gateway Plan. This plan has been the guiding influence for the negotiations between the city and the master developer. A main objective is to ensure that the primary arroyos running through the property are retained as open space.
The Kyle Canyon development agreement and its development standards and design guidelines are the result of the master developer and the city of Las Vegas working together to meet these council-adopted objectives. The agreement requires the incorporation of innovative design and planning tools that emphasize the pedestrian and neighborhood connections called for in the traditional neighborhood development zoning designation.
The design guidelines include detailed descriptions of how the developers are to incorporate and provide access to the area’s natural environment and the proposed trail system. The arroyos are excluded from development and are integrated as a part of the community’s parks and open space. For example, the developer is required to provide pedestrian access points from all developer parcels that are adjacent to these natural features. The trail and pedestrian pathways system within the master plan area is quite extensive, making the entire master plan area pedestrian accessible.
Additionally, the plan maintains links between neighboring developer parcels using both vehicular and pedestrian paths. Streets will be pedestrian-oriented with protected sidewalks and trails that are separated from the roadway by landscaping buffers of varying widths. Additionally, collector and neighborhood streets will provide on-street parking lanes to add an extra layer of separation between pedestrian and vehicular traffic. A key principle of traditional neighborhood development is that the residential density is related to street type – wider, more heavily traveled streets warrant higher density and less dense, detached single-family neighborhoods warrant narrower, quiet streets.
Various housing types are encouraged within a given collection of housing product. Specifically, within the Neighborhood Residential Parcels, each builder is required to produce at least two single-family building types and no building type can exceed 60% of the units in that developer parcel. Within this master planned community, solid block walls will be minimized and fencing that has an open design will be utilized. The wall heights are variable based on the topographic constraints of the individual site.
The plan also limits the number of gated communities within the plan area to a maximum of 4,000 units or 25% of the master plan’s residential offerings. Solid perimeter walls to enclose the development are prohibited and fencing that has an open design is encouraged where possible. These gated communities will also be required to provide secured pedestrian access points to neighboring developer parcels and village streets.
The Kyle Canyon Development Standards and Design Guidelines will be available on the city’s Web site at www.lasvegasnevada.gov/planning (select Master and Special Area Plans). Copies will also be available at the Planning & Development Department’s front counter at the city’s Development Services Center located at 731 S. Fourth Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101.