The Henderson City Council unanimously approved a major modification Tuesday to the existing development agreement for 1,600 acres of the massive Inspirada housing project, which is emerging from bankruptcy.
Planning Commission members unanimously approved the changes Thursday.
The amendment applies only to the seven residential villages in the planned community and does not include Inspirada Town Center, the 350-acre mixed-use commercial development. It also does not apply to the already-constructed portions of Villages One and Two.
City Council members unanimously approved the original development agreement for the planned community, then known as South Edge, in May 2005. The council approved a separate development agreement for Town Center about two years later.
The development in southwest Henderson offered a design concept known as “New Urbanism” or “neo-traditional” and sought to mirror pre-World War II towns where people could walk to the market and their children could walk to school.
But after the housing market slumped in 2008, construction on the project slowed tremendously.
Andy Baron, principal at andersonbaron, a land planning and landscape architecture firm in Chandler, Ariz., said his firm was hired in early 2011 by Inspirada Builders LLC, the umbrella company for the developers.
“We were brought in to sort of re-master-plan the master plan to make it successful and still maintain the character and feel of the community that was established in Village One,” Baron told the Review-Journal.
Neighborhood meetings were held in November, and a joint Planning Commission/City Council workshop was held in December.
The amended development agreement includes a change in the “product mix,” or the combination of housing type and architectural influence. Baron said the proposed mix is less prescriptive, “so we could actually come in and build a variety of product.”
“You can’t have a competitive sales market if everybody’s building the same thing,” he said.
Baron said the maximum number of housing units for the seven villages — 8,500 — has not changed.
“We’re not decreasing lot sizes,” he said. “We’re actually allowing flexibility to offer larger lot sizes.”
The villages are centered around parks and open space, but the amount of park space will decrease under the amended agreement. KB Home is developing about 72 percent of the land that falls under the amended development agreement.
Senior facility decision delayed
After a lengthy discussion, the City Council also voted unanimously to delay until Aug. 20 a decision on a controversial senior facility planned near the intersection of Carnegie Street and Horizon Ridge Parkway.
Las Vegas architect Howard Perlman, who also designed The District at Green Valley Ranch, plans to build Carnegie Senior Living, an assisted-living and skilled-nursing facility, at 525 Carnegie St.
Concerns about the project center around traffic, parking and its potential effect on property values in the area.
Expediting Plan Reviews
At the behest of members of the construction industry, Henderson has developed an expedited plan review process.
“It’s not our idea,” City Manager Jacob Snow told the Review-Journal. “It was our customers’ idea.”
The City Council approved an amended fees schedule for the Development Services Center that includes a fee for expedited plan checks. The fee for expedited checks is four times the regular plan review fee.
A fee calculator can be found on the city of Henderson website.
“For a typical project, the expedited review process shortens the staff review time to one week for the first review, which normally takes three weeks,” city spokesman Bud Cranor said. “It also shortens the second review from two weeks to one week.”
For larger projects, the schedule will be worked out with the customer.
The expedited review program is voluntary and is limited to building permits, civil permits, traffic studies and hydrology studies.
Street SWEEPERs REPLACED
The city of Henderson will spend about $572,000 to replace three of its street sweepers.
City Council members approved the purchase from TYMCO Inc., a Texas company, and H&E Equipment Services, the company’s dealer in North Las Vegas.
According to background included in the agenda item, Henderson’s Public Works Department operates nine street sweepers to comply with clean air requirements, but three have exceeded their economic life expectancy and will be replaced at a cost of $190,515 each.
Each of the sweepers being replaced will be about 8 years old and will have had more than 4,000 hours of use at the time of replacement.
“These sweepers have additional down time due to breakdowns and repairs,” according to the background information. “If this action is postponed or not taken the cost of maintenance will rise substantially.”
Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at email@example.com or 702-384-8710.