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August 14, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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August 14, 1997
 

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Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, August 14, 1997 9 Freedom on hold in Nye County, Nevada by Brent Mathewson Americans today regard themselves, and are taught from early childhood to regard themselves, as the freest people on the planet earth. This assumption is generally agreed to and recognized by most people of all other nations. My family moved to southern Nevada in 1945 when I was quite a young person. As I was growing up my father use to explain to me that the greatest thing about living in Nevada was that citizens of this great state enjoyed more freedom than those of any other state in the union. This thought was welded into my brain and I knew it to be true. One right that a people must have in any free society is freedom of the press. To whatever degree this tight is deni- grated or abridged a people will be less free. In all western societies of the modern world the right and ability to own land without undue government interference and regulation is a bedrock cornerstone right against which all )other freedoms can be measured and meaningfully compared.  Nevada law, as expressed in the Nevada Revised Statutes, has recognized this crucial point since statehood and it is for this reason that the NRS carefully and clearly limits a govern- ing body of this state in regards to improvements which may be imposed by such a governing body when land is parcelled or to be sold. In addition a Nevada land owner has certain other rights when it comes to the subject of water. For instance: if you own a net acre or more of land, anywhere in the state of Nevada, and that land is not being supplied with a source of water from some other entity, you have an absolute right to poke a hole in the ground, pay your money and take your chances, and see if you cannot reach an underground source and supply yourself with enough water to service a domestic residential well. No edict, phoney or otherwise, from the state engineer's office claiming that a particular water basin's water rights have been over allocated can legally deprive you of this right. The Nye County Commission's present policy, written into what is being enforced as law, requiring a landowner to have or purchase water rights and then give those water tights to the state before allowing parcelling of land to take place, in complete and total violation of Nevada law. Water rights in Nevada are regarded the same as real property and can only be lost by failing to put them to beneficial use within a required period of time. To burden a landowner with the enormous costs of pur- chasing water rights and then forcing him to give those tights away before parceling his land only serves to increase the cost of playing the game, thus limiting the amount of available players. This is of course the true purpose and intent behind the regulation. The playing field has been effectively limited to large land developers alrfady in possession of thousands of small acreage lots and a handful of land developers with deep enough pockets that the requirement is not a hindrance. They will get their investment back many, many times over by building high density housing. Nye County Commissioner, Cameron McRae, has stated that this requirement is necessary, for without it, on any given square mile of land you could end up with 640 new water rights being created. If such a situation were allowed to exist, he says, then before long you would suck all the water out of the valley and laahrump would dry up and blow away in the wind. McRae's argument does not hold water. To see this point clearly let's imagine a land owner with a five acre parcel of land. If such a landowner could economically split this parcel in half then two 2 1/2 acre homesites could be created. Each 2 1/2 acre homesite would come with the legal right to drill a domestic well. On the other hand, if this same five acre parcel could only be economically developed by building high density housing, then this city block size property would end up with 24 homesites on it. Twelve on each side of the street. Under which scernario are you going to use the most water? Road improvement requirements that have been imposed by the Nye County Commission since the early 1990s are another critical example of your freedom and rights as a landowner in Nevada being trashed and ignored, When one !11 acre lots or greater in size are being created and no more than four lots are involved, the absolute maximum road improve- ment that may be required is limited to whatever type of road is in use on property zoned for similar use and within 660 feet of the proposed parcel. Attorney General opinions on record historically agree with this point. The related topics that have been touched on so far in this article by no means include all the violations of NRS that have I PAHRUMP COMMLINITY LIBRARY I  21Ol E. Calvada Blvd. " . |' 727-5930 k, New Hours Tues, Wed. & Thurs .... 9a.m. to 7p.m. Friday ................ 9a.m. to 5p.m. Saturday .............. lla.m, to 5p.m. Closed Sunday & Monday been written into Nye County and Pahrump Regional Plan- ning Commission (PRPC) parcel map regulations, but they do cover some of the high points. It is important for the reader to realize that for about 125 years all Nevada citizens enjoyed the freedoms and rights that went along with Nevada land laws that corresponded with those passed by the Nevada THIS MAN'S OPINION by Brent Mathewson : Legislature. All Nevada citizens except I  those living in Nye County still do. Before we go further, another impor- :; rant thing to recognize is that for all the :::::: booming growth that has taken place in this state in the last 50 years, including that in Clark and Washoe County, that growth took place, and is taking place, in a fashion and atmosphere that corresponded and still corresponds to the spirit, intent and letter of Nevada law. Because of this all Nevada citizens, other than those living in Nye County, who have a spark of the adventuresome, a touch of the entrepreneurial, a.streak of the capitalist running through their blood, have the freedom and the right, to reach out and take a chance, to speculate, to gamble if you will, to 'buy relatively small acreage parcels of land in relatively undeveloped areas, to think it out as best they can and make an affordable bet, to reap the rewards and build a nest egg for the future when they guess right, and to have the freedom to guess wrong. All arguments presented by the Nye County Commission in defense of the illegal parcel map regulations that have been written by the highest level people in Nye County Adminis- tration are nothing but more BS of the highest order. The proof of this fact is the Nye County Commission and administrative staffs complete unwillingness to present the questions involved to the Nevada Attorney General's office for resolution as has been recently requested by the Pahrump Planning Commission. They would rather be sued, as they undoubtedly will be. After all, they have what they consider the unlimited resources of the Nye County Treasury to pay for and hire outside council to delay and obstruct justice for many years to come in this matter. That is this man's opinion. Bishop Veterinary Hospital Tonopah Clinic L Dr. Lind will be in Tonopah IL August 20 II Front downstairs office-42 Belmont St. II [ Appointments/Info, Call 482-6458 after 5 p.m. [I [ Dr. Linda will be in every other Wednesday II I 8 a.m.- 1 p.m.: Dogs, cats and other small animals, II ] including spays, neutering, dentistry, minor surgery, etc. II I . 1:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.: Horses, cows, etc. ][ I lrTonopah 5:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. I :-'=-II t Round Mountain: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. [| I Same dates as Tonopah Clinic ii Save Additional Impressions Window Covering & Decor 92 ! S. Hwy ! 60 D405 Wheeler Springs Plaza Hours 727-1966 M-Sat 9:30a.m. - 6p.m. Locally owned Thurs- 9:30a.m. -8p.m. & operated other times by appointment Available00 e =