Council hears development proposal

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Developer Mark Teepen listens to city council comments on project. Photo by Burton Weast.

Developer Mark Teepen listens to city council comments on project. Photo by Burton Weast.

The Mesquite City Council heard the outline of a proposed 100 acre development at their June 24 regular meeting.  The proposal would develop land north of the Wolf Creek Golf Club that is outside the city limits and within Lincoln County.

Mark Teepen, owner’s representative for BLT Lincoln County Land LLC, told the council the property abuts Wolf Creek Golf Course and was the site of a now defunct development known as Wolf Creek Estates that attempted unsuccessfully to annex to the city.

Teepen said, “We now have a development agreement with Lincoln County to develop the property.”  The agreement would allow between 100 and 150 lots on the property according to Teepen.

“The development agreement also needs services from the City of Mesquite as the county has no infrastructure, so we have approached the City with an agreement,” Teepen told the council.  The services required from Mesquite would be public safety, road access and public sewer.  The project would also need services from Virgin Valley Water District and the Overton Power District.

Teepen told the council that the situation was a “win-win for both parties,” as the developer will pay the city for the services and the city would control “what is going on along their border.”  The developer plans to hire consultants to work with the city in determining how needed services would be provided and what they would cost.

In public testimony, Nancy Hewitt, representing the owners of Wolf Creek Golf Club, told the council that they “have no association with the development nor have they been approached by BLT Development.”

Councilor Kraig Hafen asked Teepen if he had contacted the owners of Wolf Creek Golf Club and had tried “to be good neighbors?”  Teepen said he had not, but that there was confusion because they had not named the development yet, and Wolf Creek Estates was a name used by a previous developer.  “I recommend you sit down with them and make sure they are comfortable with the development,” Hafen said.

Councilor George Rapson told Teepen “Just for clarification, what we are doing tonight is not approving anything; we are agreeing to pursue this as just a possibility under certain conditions.”  Rapson said the agreement would be similar to what the city has done with other communities in the area.

Rapson also said “I am a little bit concerned with the attitude of some of the commissioners in Lincoln County with respect to their position on this development.”  Rapson added “That is my biggest concern if there is going to be a bully then I am going to be the bully.”  According to Rapson a commissioner in Lincoln County had suggested that if the city didn’t approve the development they would approve a “trailer park” instead.

Councilor Geno Withelder said he had seen a lot of projects fail in the last several years due to lack of funding. “Are you folks ready to provide a financial statement so we can verify that you can go forward with this project?” asked Withelder.  Teepen replied “Absolutely.”

Rapson moved to direct staff to work out an agreement with the developer and bring it back to council.  “For me to approve something today would be to approve air,” said Rapson.  The motion was approved.

In other business the council heard a presentation by Aaron Baker, city liaison officer, and Gaye Stockman, CEO of Mesquite Regional Business (MRB).  Baker and Stockman outlined the various incentives that federal, state and local governments can offer businesses who wish to locate in Mesquite.

Baker told the council that the presentation was “to start a discussion” on incentives so that the staff and MRB could have direction.  “We’re looking for direction from you on what you esteem as value for incentives,” said Baker.

Councilor Cindi Delaney told Baker and Stockman that the presentation “was a great start,” and that they should look to local businesses such as Do-It-Best and see what incentives they believe would work best.

Delaney also suggested that an informal committee be formed to look at various incentives.  Baker also said he would welcome public comments on the subject and urged the public to contact him by email or call him at the city.

In council comments, Mayor Al Litman announced he was holding open office hours from 10:30 until noon and in the afternoon from 1:30 on.  Citizens are welcome to make an appointment or drop by to discuss city issues.

Mayor Litman also told the council that a draft of the city’s medical marijuana ordinance was finished and would be brought to the council for discussion on July 8.  Litman emphasized that in Mesquite, applicants would have to be approved by the state before submitting an application, unlike the process used in Clark County.

Litman also said that the city was “not sitting on its hands,” with regard to the sinking land issues in the Highland Hills subdivision.  “We hope to have this sorted out sooner rather than later,” Litman told the council.

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