Southern Nevada Land Study Warns of Constraints

Posted on by & filed under Nevada by the Numbers Blog.

In case you missed it, the Theodore Roosevelt Institute (“TRI”), under the direction of Dr. Alan Schlottmann, has submitted a land study to a consortia including NAIOP-Southern Nevada (“NAIOP”) and the Nevada Contractors Association in order to provide regional economic analysis as it relates to land constraints and economic development in Southern Nevada.

The study shows that under present-day restraints imposed by the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) 2014 Draft Resource Management Plan (“RMP”), economic growth in the Las Vegas Valley will be restricted and will thus hinder the future growth of our economy.

As stated in the study, the impact of land use on economic growth and development is a complex issue that covers several interrelated factors. These factors include:

  • fundamental land availability
  • the distribution of parcel sizes for commercial real estate development
  • the impact on economic growth and diversification of Nevada’s key “targeted” industries, and
  • the intra-regional location of available land and regional goods movement including congestion issues.

The TRI study reviews four alternatives outlined in the RMP, including the BLM’s preferred alternative and finds that land use as it relates to Southern Nevada’s current and future economic growth and development is lacking. Further, the TRI study’s opinion is that, “Southern Nevada’s economic growth and development could face a regional competitive cost disadvantage.”

According to Schlottmann, the limited availability of large parcels in Southern Nevada for long-run development of Nevada’s targeted industries, such as high-tech manufacturing, may represent a serious constraint. (In the study, Schlottmann deftly put together an economic model that forecasts the amount of land needed, the deficit of land available, and the quantifiable impact of that deficit.)

The study recommends that the BLM seek further community input on the inter-relationship between land use planning and its impact on the economic growth and development of Southern Nevada.

The study has been submitted to both the BLM and the Governor’s Office to support the Governor’s Consistency Review of the Resource Management Plan. The NAIOP-commissioned study builds on another industrial land study that was commissioned in 2008.