Our Vision # 2: Invest in Complete Communities

Siting more parks within easy walking or biking distance or a short transit ride from residential neighborhoods will contribute positively to the health of the region’s residents.
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Neighborhood Safety and Health

The way our built environment is designed can influence public health. The transportation system provides opportunities for exercise, influences our exposure to air pollution, addresses physical safety and more. The public sector has the ability to:

• Protect environmental quality;

• Create complete neighborhoods with housing for all ages;

• Reduce the community’s exposure to environmental hazards;

• Create public spaces that promote physical activity and social cohesion;

• Support educational and occupational opportunities;

• Encourage healthy foods and services that are physically, economically and culturally accessible.

Southern Nevada has key risk factors related to public health including substance abuse, mental health issues, crime, and environmental health issues like brownfields.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

The region has higher than average rates of drug and alcohol use than national averages, as shown in Table 7. In the 2012 national survey, about 17 percent of Southern Nevada residents had used illicit drugs in the past year.

Table 7: Drug Use in the Southern Nevada Compared with U.S.

Las Vegas MSA U.S.
Any illicit drug (past year) 16.8% 14.7%
Binge alcohol (past year) 25.6% 23.2%
Unprescribed prescription-type pain relievers (past year) 6.7% 4.9%
Cigarettes (past month) 24.1% 23.2%
Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health – Las Vegas-Paradise MSA. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUHMetroBriefReports/NSDUH-Metro-Las-Vegas.pdf

Between 2005–2010, about 10 percent of persons ages 12 or older were classified as having a substance abuse disorder in the region, as compared to nine percent nationwide.63

Between 2005 and 2010, about eight percent of persons ages 18 or older were classified as having a major depressive episode, as compared to 6.6 percent nationwide.64

Crime

Crime can impact neighborhoods by creating a sense of insecurity and can lead to disinvestment. The region’s violent crime rate was 80 percent higher than the national rate at 697 crimes per 100,000 people (compared with 387 per 100,000 people nationally). Property crimes are slightly above average at 2,966 per 100,000 people in the Southern Nevada region (compared with 2,859 per 100,000 people nationally).65

Brownfields

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The region has a number of brownfields, which can impact public health at the site level. A brownfield site is any real property, the redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a contaminant, such as hazardous waste and/or petroleum. As shown in Figure 26, the region has approximately 165 brownfield sites, of which many are leaking underground storage tank (LUST) sites.66,67

Source: Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.


Resource Consumptive Development

Over time, Southern Nevada has been a powerful growth engine. The fact that growth has been relatively under-regulated contributes to the environmental concerns confronting the region. In addition, the region is located in a valley with one of the world’s most arid climates with very little rainfall; increasing the pressure on local environmental resources. This calls for comprehensive, long-term thinking and planning to account for environmental impacts and environmental health, emphasizing ways to mitigate impacts on the environmental resources upon which we rely.

High-Quality, Resource-Efficient Housing and Development

Southern Nevada’s climate demands energy efficiency and enhanced quality of construction suited for the desert environment. By doubling the current “lifespan” of construction (25 to 50 years), the tax base and neighborhoods could remain stable longer. The region also could consider developing shared renewable energy and energy-efficient models for higher density neighborhoods and public spaces, including solar charging stations and NetZero cooling stations. This would enhance the energy efficiency of housing and create oases within and between neighborhoods to make walking, biking and access to public transportation more viable during extreme summer temperatures.

Water Supply and Conservation

Since annual rainfall averages less than four inches per year (according to UNLV’s Existing Conditions Report produced for Southern Nevada Strong in 2012), Southern Nevada depends upon the Colorado River for its water supply. Diminishing water supply is a threat to regional livability and the economic base. The region only draws about three percent of the Colorado River’s total flow, but that accounts for almost 97 percent of the region’s entire supply.68 The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation forecasts that Colorado River flows will be lower by 2050.69 Hydrologists estimate that there is a 50 percent chance that Lake Mead will be dry by 2021 if drought conditions persist.70 Already, reduced snowfall and runoff from the Rocky Mountains has lowered Lake Mead’s water level by about 100 feet since 2000.71

The region has long used conservation efforts to curb water use. In 1997, the SNWA created a water resource plan that identified water management strategies that reduced water consumption by more than five percent between 1996 and 2000. However, after consumption rates grew and conservation measures began to falter, SNWA released a conservation plan in 2004 that established rebate incentive programs focusing on xeric landscapes, irrigation clocks, and water-efficient technologies. It also introduced regulatory programs including water use ordinances, development codes, and drought watering policies aimed at curbing water misuse. In addition, SNWA designed public education and outreach programs to promote a water conservation culture.72

Air Quality

Air pollution challenges stemming from motor vehicles, construction, and commercial and industrial enterprises, have grown in proportion to the population and economic growth in the valley. The region’s geography presents a unique problem in terms of maintaining high air quality. Surrounding mountains create a bowl, which frequently traps pollutants like ozone and particulate matter. In addition, regional air quality deterioration is due, in part, to increasing amounts of pollution produced by the growth in vehicle miles traveled and traffic congestion that accompanies sprawl, which has led to the RTC naming the improvement of air quality as a primary goal.73

Although Clark County recently achieved attainment status by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for two air pollutants: particulate matter (PM10) and ozone, the region should continue to closely monitor air quality. This improvement may be due to the slowdown in the construction industry over the last several years and as the economy recovers, these pollutants may worsen. Las Vegas received an “F” for ozone levels from the American Lung Association and was labeled the 16th most ozone-polluted city. Ozone can cause acute respiratory problems, contribute to increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits, and impair the body’s immune system defenses, making people more susceptible to respiratory illnesses, including bronchitis and pneumonia.74

Energy Supply

Southern Nevada has untapped potential in renewable energy markets, and currently only generates less than 10 percent of energy from renewable forms such as solar, geothermal, biomass and hydrological sources. Nevada uses less coal for electricity production than the country. In 2011, the EPA reported 16 percent of electricity production from coal for Nevada, compared with over 40 percent for the U.S. as a whole. The region is a leader in green building technology and features CityCenter, the largest LEED certified project in the U.S.. New housing stock of the region is more efficient in its energy use than the older housing stock and includes the use of Energy Star appliances and high SEER-rated A/C units. A recent study shows that climate control in warmer climate regions can be more energy-efficient because cooling uses less energy than heating.

Solid Waste Recovery

The valley has one of the lowest recycling rates in the nation. According to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), Clark County recycled only 22 percent of its municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2011, compared to 34.1 percent nationally. EPA’s national solid waste goal is to recycle 35 percent of the waste stream.

Recycling creates new businesses that haul, process and broker recovered materials, as well as companies that manufacture and distribute products made with these recycled materials. The recycling and reuse industry generates billions in federal, state and local tax revenues (estimated at $12.9 billion in 2001). The amount of energy saved differs by material, but almost all recycling processes achieve significant energy savings compared to virgin material production. For example, recycling of aluminum cans saves 95 percent of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from virgin sources. Each can that is recycled generates enough energy to run a television or computer for three hours.

Achieving the Vision Through Strategic Land Use

Since the way we use land profoundly influences how we live, work and play, this document touches on many aspects of the region’s land-use planning. The goals and policies included in Chapters 3, 4 and 5 will guide the design of the valley’s regulatory system, including the zoning code, rules governing the subdivision of land, the interaction of land use and transportation and economic development.

The Plan also recommends strategies that should be pursued in the first few years following Plan adoption. These strategies are found in the Implementation Matrix.

4.3 GOALS AND POLICY STRATEGIES

This section details the goals, objectives and actions that support investments in complete communities and will move Southern Nevada toward the vision.

• Goals are the big overarching ideas, changes, or practices that are essential to realize the community’s vision.

• Objectives establish specific, measurable goals that guide how the Plan is implemented in a way that will achieve the vision.

• Strategies outline the steps needed to achieve the objectives.

Goal 1. Stabilize and strengthen existing neighborhoods through placemaking improvements.

Objective 1.1 Increase neighborhood engagement.

1.1.1 Working with local jurisdiction code enforcement and outreach coordinators, develop neighborhood outreach plans to address community issues and provide resources for homeowner investments.

1.1.2 Continue to reach out to key landowners and developers to gain support for the preferred land use map and to coordinate redevelopment of key sites.

1.1.3 Foster new relationships between neighborhood leaders and businesses to identify incentives for businesses to support neighborhood identity and commitment.

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Objective 1.2 Develop housing and employment in mixed-use transit-oriented neighborhoods near job centers, schools and other services.

1.2.1 Develop regional goals and standards that aim to reduce transportation costs and provide increased mobility in neighborhoods to everyday amenities, such as grocery stores, offices, and schools.

1.2.2 Consider development standards to reduce impediments to pedestrian access, such as block walls, cul-de-sacs, fencing and other obstacles that require the unnecessary use of a vehicle to travel short distances to otherwise adjacent uses, or consider including pedestrian access in the subdivision approval process.

1.2.3 Develop a toolkit, in collaboration with area economic development and real estate organizations and other institutions, that supports mixed-use development.

1.2.4 Identify opportunities to implement applicable incentives, including tax credits and other programs to support catalytic mixed-use projects.

1.2.5 Partner with local healthcare and educational institutions to encourage the development of attractive, high-quality housing, and supporting businesses and services that support and are supported by higher education, medical or hospital districts.

1.2.6 Encourage common licensing and development policies among local governments.

Objective 1.3 Initiate redevelopment activities along transit corridors that enhance ridership, promote livability, and develop community character. 

1.3.1 Identify and fund infrastructure investments that enable and support increased housing and employment density along key transit corridors.

1.3.2 Provide technical assistance to local jurisdictions, such as model zoning overlays, for transit-oriented development.

1.3.3 Pursue a pilot program to purchase deteriorated homes and redevelop them into public amenities, such as parks, to curb the process of deterioration of aging neighborhoods and attract additional reinvestment.

1.3.4 Reduce negative impacts associated with redevelopment, such as displacement, by working closely with community members and developers to plan for a range of housing products for all stages of life and incomes.

1.3.5 Work with local governments and redevelopment agencies to acquire key parcels for transit-oriented development.

1.3.6 Increase or develop incentives on land use (e.g., FAR increases, parking reductions, etc.) to attract more compact development and allow the efficient movement of pedestrians, bicyclists, buses and motor vehicles within, to and through the area.

1.3.7 Consider revising and adopting minimum parking standards.

Goal 2: Encourage an adequate supply of housing with a range of price, density, ownership, size and building types.

Objective 2.1 Maintain an adequate supply of land with flexible zoning designations to meet the anticipated housing demand.

2.1.1 Establish and maintain a regional forecast of housing needs and set periodic goals for housing supply, based on population projections.

2.1.2 Monitor and disseminate information about regional housing development activity, developable land supply, residential zoning capacity, owner-occupancy rates, and use of zoning waivers to inform progress toward housing goals and to enable midcourse adjustments.

2.1.3 Educate elected officials, citizen organizations and the public on the housing needs and diversity of Southern Nevada’s residents, and create a plan to provide quality housing for all residents regardless of income or stage of life.

2.1.4 Support rural communities and small towns to ensure long-term economic sustainability.

2.1.5 Encourage updates to the housing elements of local master plans to align with housing demand.

Objective 2.2 Develop housing to meet the needs of workers in future industry sectors.

2.2.1 Diversify housing options to meet the needs of local talent and the workforce. Increase the supply of high-quality, multi-family (condominium) housing in the region’s commercial cores and mixed-use commercial areas.

 

Objective 2.3 Consider the needs of residents with low mobility and/or disabilities.

2.3.1 Research and analyze the needs of people with limited mobility, including identifying where they currently live, what types of housing products and community features they need, and ideal locations for improvements in order to increase self-sufficiency and integration with the community.

2.3.2 Create development incentives for new residential construction and to rehabilitate existing housing to meet universal and visitability design standards.

2.3.3 Support existing boards and committees to evaluate plans, codes and policies to ensure that the needs of individuals with disabilities are addressed as part of the approval process.

Objective 2.4 Develop low-income and workforce housing in neighborhoods across the region.

2.4.1 Encourage local governments to adopt land use, building codes, and zoning regulations that allow a mix of housing types that serve people from a variety of income levels, including single-family homes, cottage homes, town homes, condominiums and apartments.

2.4.2 Consider developing standards to allow for micro-units (200–400 square feet per person) that allow reasonable rents for low-income people and remove inefficient use of space in traditional homes.

2.4.3 Work with for-profit and non-profit developers to encourage new mixed-income developments across the region that can provide easy access to employment centers, family support systems, shopping, public transportation and recreational facilities.

2.4.4 Conduct outreach with local businesses to develop Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) programs in which major employers provide incentives for their employees to live nearby.

2.4.5 Identify funding sources to support affordable housing to reach Energy Efficient and NetZero standards, and generate surplus.

2.4.6 Pursue grants and other sources of funding such as HOME Investment Partnership funds to rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership, including performing energy upgrades on homes to meet local codes and home energy rating improvements.

2.4.7 Working through the SNRPC and with the Southern Nevada caucus of the State Legislature, ensure an adequate supply of homeless housing is distributed throughout the region in ways that meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

Objective 2.5 Educate and inform the population regarding housing choice, needs and rights.

2.5.1 Support the findings of the Regional Analysis of Impediments through continued engagement of housing and planning stakeholders and outreach with homeowner associations, multi-family property owners and residents to provide information on the Fair Housing Act, ADA, and rights of residents. (A Regional Analysis of Impediments is a housing analysis that assesses barriers to fair housing choice.)

2.5.2 Coordinate support services to interested homebuyers and first-time homeowners to prepare residents to establish credit, become financially stable, purchase homes, help ensure timely mortgage payments, maintenance of structure, and fulfillment of loan requirements.

2.5.3 Develop new lines of communication with residents to inform them of their rights and how they can deal with housing challenges (e.g., code enforcement, creation of neighborhood associations, contact numbers and offices if they feel there are issues, no retribution options, etc.).

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE HOME BUILDING COMMUNITY BY THE SOUTHERN NEVADA HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION

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The home building industry in Southern Nevada is committed to pursuing reasonable and market-driven strategies to achieve the unified vision of the Southern Nevada Strong Regional Plan.

Southern Nevada homebuilders recognize the benefits and embrace the goals of the SNS Plan and the enhancements they will provide to the Southern Nevada community.

The SNS Plan represents a unique opportunity for homebuilders to provide inclusive communities with good access to housing, health care and vital services, while fostering the efficient use of scarce natural resources. With that opportunity come challenges that need to be addressed in order for the vision to become fully realized. Some of those challenges along with suggested strategies to address them are described below.

CHALLENGE 1:

Appraisal practices that do not include added value to new homes in regard to their safety and energy efficiencies resulting in higher construction costs for energy efficiency, since the appraised value doesn’t reflect the investment of energy savings and safety features and their benefits to the homeowner.

Suggested Strategies:

1. Educate local appraisers and lenders on the benefits of green building features. There are national programs available that recognize the necessity of green building appraisal certifications and specific rating sheets to gain comparable appraisal and lending values, such as NAHBGreen (National Association of Home Builders) and the Appraisal Institute (the Professional Organization for Appraisal Professionals).

2. Investigate opportunities for changes to State legislation to encourage state certifications for green building appraisers and lending practices.

CHALLENGE 2:

Rising insurance costs, and existing defect lawsuits, associated with Nevada’s construction defect laws that inhibit the development of single–family homes, townhomes, and condominiums.

Suggested Strategies:

1. Work with legislators and local governments to bring needed reform to existing construction defect laws with the goal of inhibiting unwarranted lawsuits in the cases of perceived defects in single family residences, condominiums and townhome structures.

2. Promote and incentivize quality housing design that meets the needs of its users, enhances the neighborhood and is built to last.

3. Encourage local governments to provide adequate zoning for the development of townhomes and condominiums to meet the needs of a segment of the population that desires this form of dwelling.

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CHALLENGE 3:

Added costs of infill projects can make them unprofitable for the homebuilder. Infill projects are often more expensive due to higher land costs in urban areas, higher construction costs of developing on lots surrounded by existing development, a longer permitting time due to regulatory barriers, and inadequate accessibility and infrastructure of infill parcels.

Suggested Strategies:

1. Use the Regional Plan to demonstrate support for and guidance to encourage and prioritize development in infill areas, including providing incentives to homebuilders without sacrificing construction standards and safety.

2. Promote the benefits of infill projects with the community and decision-making bodies during the development review process and work with local governments to ensure that the process for reviewing site-specific land development applications is reasonable, predictable and fair for applicants, local governments, and the surrounding community.

3. Encourage relevant planning agencies to allow infill development that complies with the policies and regulations established by the local government without unreasonable oversight and added conditions.

CHALLENGE 4:

Continuing increases in construction and land costs, as well as additional costs derived from neighborhood opposition (such as additional meetings, notices, and plan revisions), when building and providing for affordable, mixed income housing.

Suggested Strategies:

1. Allow local governments to take a leadership role in advocating for affordable housing, mixed income housing, Transit Oriented Development, and Inclusive Communities for people of all incomes.

2. Participate in education processes with elected officials, citizen organizations and the public on the housing needs and diversity of Southern Nevada. This includes creating a plan to provide quality housing for all residents regardless of income, which is a goal of the Regional Plan.

3. Encourage local governments to adopt land use, building codes, and zoning regulations that allow a mix of housing types and do not make it cost-prohibitive to do so.

4. Work with local governments to remove barriers and avoid creating new barriers that impede innovative land-use planning techniques, especially related to affordable housing developments.

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Figure 27 shows that people with disability status live throughout the valley.

Goal 3. Support access to healthcare, healthy food, parks and community services.

Objective 3.1 Developing new partnerships to enhance access to healthcare and community services.

3.1.1 Develop public-private partnerships to encourage the development of primary care offices, healthcare and health-related facilities, especially in mixed-use areas currently underserved, and areas well-served by transit.

3.1.2 Encourage the co-location of healthcare and behavioral health services to increase access to care, potentially within a “one-stop shop” or resource center for all types of social services, including an employment opportunity center.

3.1.3 Work with the healthcare industry to promote community wellness, and become partners with municipalities to build “healthy communities” like those championed by the Centers for Disease Control.

3.1.4 Partner with organizations that are promoting wellness programs and working to reduce obesity and childhood obesity.

3.1.5 Develop and implement a public health and safety education campaign.

Objective 3.2 Research emerging issues and develop partnerships to improve access to affordable and healthy food options.

3.2.1 To advance the priorities of Food Security in Nevada, Nevada’s Plan for Action, support in-depth research on existing or emerging geographic concentrations of food insecure populations within Clark County.

3.2.2 Support and coordinate with organizations working to increase access to healthy food options, including Southern Nevada Health District, Southern Nevada Food Council and the School of Community Health Sciences at UNLV, to identify underserved areas that could support healthy food outlets, urban agriculture, community gardens and farmer’s markets.

3.2.3 Promote healthy food options and ensure Supplemental Nutritional Program (SNAP) benefits are available in areas with concentrations of fast food outlets that also have high food insecurity rates.

Objective 3.3 Prioritize access to parks, trails, open space, recreational facilities, and opportunities for physical exercise.

3.3.1 Work with the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program to request their assistance in developing community-led parks and other community gathering spaces, especially prioritizing underserved areas.

3.3.2 Identify vacant or underutilized land within low-income, at-risk or underserved communities that can be repurposed for public spaces.

3.3.3 Develop an action plan to increase park accessibility for areas that are underserved.

3.3.4 Promote a development pattern that provides direct pedestrian-friendly connections to parks and open space between low-income, at-risk or underserved communities.

3.3.5 Encourage adoption of ordinance and code changes requiring developments to dedicate open space or pay impact fees to a regional parks and open space fund.

3.3.6 Provide superior access to the valley’s natural environment (Red Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs, Craig Ranch, and other parks) including welcome centers accessible to all residents.

3.3.7 Support Outside Las Vegas Foundation’s efforts to maintain trails and provide education on existing trails in the region.

3.3.8 Support the planning and development of the Vegas Valley Rim Trail connecting neighborhoods to open spaces.

3.3.9 Adopt uniform design and maintenance standards for trails and bike lanes.

Goal 4. Improve neighborhood safety and protect residents from the harmful effects of pollution and hazardous materials.

Objective 4.1 Increase safety of neighborhoods, parks and open spaces.

4.1.1 Initiate and expand existing community organizing programs and/or street crime prevention programs to build neighborhood pride and increase crime prevention awareness.

4.1.2 Encourage the use of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).

4.1.3 Pursue the creation of community development organizations and community development efforts to ensure there are nonprofit organizations based in local neighborhoods working to build safety, community pride, and reinvestment projects.

4.1.4 Replicate successful local and national examples of community-based partnerships with law enforcement to improve safety in communities experiencing high crime rates.

Objective 4.2 Develop policies to promote environmental health of housing.

4.2.1 Educate property owners pursuing new developments and home renovations about the benefits of using low or non-toxic materials such as low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint and carpet, and other strategies to improve indoor air quality. Create healthy building material checklists and fact sheets that can be provided to property owners and contractors when applying for building permits.

4.2.2 Encourage new development to incorporate project design features and guidance for building orientation to create areas for community interaction, maximize solar access, provide passive solar heating during cool seasons, and minimize heat gains during hot periods.

4.2.3 Partner with Nevada Healthy Homes Partnership, EnergyFit Nevada, UNLV, state/county agencies, and EPA to provide education and technical assistance to improve health and comfort, especially to reduce mold and lead hazards and increase air quality standards in residential, office and commercial land uses.

4.2.4 Partner with EnergyFit Nevada and the Asthma Coalition to promote education on asthma, allergy and other breathing disorder triggers caused by pollutants in homes.

4.2.5 Develop and distribute to stakeholders spatial health analysis maps of Southern Nevada to initiate conversations about community health and the built environment.

Objective 4.3 Protect community members from the harmful effects of pollution and hazardous materials, hazardous waste, and environmental contamination.

4.3.1 Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides and herbicides on public properties that negatively impact human health, especially in parks and publicly accessible open spaces.

4.3.2 Avoid locating new schools, childcare centers and senior housing in proximity to sources of pollution (e.g., truck routes and busy roadways) or near existing businesses that handle toxic materials. Where such uses are located in proximity to sources of air pollution or toxic materials, use building design, construction safeguards and technology techniques to mitigate the negative impacts of hazardous materials and/or air pollution on indoor air quality.

Objective 4.4 Prioritize the cleanup and reuse of brownfield and grayfield sites.

4.4.1 Remediate EPA/state/locally-identified brownfield sites to prevent further pollution and to utilize land for other uses.

4.4.2 Develop area-wide plans and specific implementation strategies for integrating the cleanup and reuse of brownfield and grayfield sites into neighborhood revitalization efforts.

4.4.3 Provide incentives for private sector cooperation to reduce the creation of hazardous wastes, the cleanup of brownfield sites, and the return of land to productive uses.

4.4.4 Establish appropriate measures for long-term environmental protection of previous brownfield sites.

Goal 5. Promote resource-efficient land use and development practices.

Objective 5.1 Promote sustainability in housing in the region to ensure a durable housing supply that will reduce housing costs for homeowners and renters.

5.1.1 Promote and incentivize quality housing design that meets the needs of its users, enhances the neighborhood, and is built to last.

5.1.2 Promote the rehabilitation of existing residential and commercial properties and energy efficiency standards to reduce the negative impacts of new development.

5.1.3 Promote the use of residential solar installations and passive design techniques.

5.1.4 Promote energy efficiency audits as a real estate industry standard and develop an associated financing mechanism for the purchase of homes meeting a designated standard.

5.1.5 Expand energy-efficient housing choices that move the community toward NetZero homes.

5.1.6 Encourage adoption of energy code to increase NetZero homes.

5.1.7 Develop incentive programs to identify inefficient housing stock and to retrofit older residential housing to achieve energy efficiency standards.

5.1.8 Expand incentive programs, such as EnergyFit Nevada, that install high-quality, high-efficiency building technologies and assist homeowners in understanding how to make their homes more energy-efficient through energy assessments and financing/rebate options.

5.1.9 Expand existing programs that assist in the production of Energy Star and LEED homes, such as those built by Habitat for Humanity for affordable housing.

5.1.10 Educate homebuilders, renters and homebuyers of the importance of shade near and around homes for additional energy conservation in the summer.

5.1.11 Collaborate with subject matter experts and advocacy groups to foster sustainable communities and exhibit leadership in sustainable practices.

5.1.12 Grow and encourage use of EnergyFit Nevada’s low interest loan funds for home energy upgrades.

Objective 5.2 Minimize air pollutant emissions from stationary sources to reduce emissions and improve air quality to meet or exceed national ambient air quality standards and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

5.2.1 Encourage adoption of ordinance or other code changes to promote the use of Air Quality Impact Analyses for certain types and sizes of land developments, including industrial developments.

5.2.2 Encourage adoption of ordinance or other code to limit the use of solvents and aerosol sprays for painting and dry cleaning.

5.2.3 Support and expand programs that incentivize electric-powered lawn equipment instead of mowers with gasoline motors.

5.2.4 Promote natural spaces, particularly native trees, which are proven to counter poor air quality by absorbing greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

5.2.5 Support transit and land-use improvements and amenities that make walking and biking short distances viable, to further reduce carbon emissions.

Objective 5.3 Support compact development and regulations that help the Southern Nevada Water Authority achieve water conservation goals and encourage reduction in water consumption.

5.3.1 Support a variety of regulations by local governments to promote efficient use of water resources (e.g., turf restrictions, plumbing code requirement for high efficiency fixtures, etc.).

5.3.2 Continue to encourage the use of incentives to manage and reduce overall water use (e.g., providing rebates on water efficient technologies program).

5.3.3 Continue and expand education and outreach programs to improve water efficiency (e.g., school programs) and reduce water consumption during peak usage times of day and year.

5.3.4 Consider local government adoption of ordinance or other code restricting water usage during peak usage times of day and year to enhance enforcement efforts.

5.3.5 Continue SNWA, Las Vegas Valley Water District and local government adoption of progressive/tiered water pricing structure based on quantity and use.

5.3.6 Encourage all new golf courses to use recycled water and submit drought-tolerant landscape and irrigation plans.

5.3.7 Encourage existing golf courses to submit turf conversion/irrigation management plans.

Objective 5.4 Increase water quality and decrease wastewater and dry weather urban runoff while encouraging recycled water reuse strategies.

5.4.1 Support the Clark County Flood Control District’s Stormwater Quality Management Committee’s adopted Stormwater Management Plan to promote site design standards in large parking lots, such as depressed medians, buffer strips, porous paving and minimized parking standards.

5.4.2 Encourage adoption of ordinance or other code for new and existing commercial businesses with water intensive uses that regulate/restrict water usage and provide other minimum standards. For example, consider requiring commercial car washes to recycle water on-site or send it to a wastewater treatment facility, where it can be cleaned and returned to the water cycle.

5.4.3 Promote sustainable water practices among businesses, such as dry cleaners, gas stations, hotels and other similar uses.

5.4.4 Work toward meeting or surpassing federal, state and local water quality requirements.

Objective 5.5 Promote energy efficiency to reduce regional and local energy demand.

5.5.1 Encourage energy-efficient new home construction to meet or exceed energy efficiency standards.

5.5.2 Promote Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, such as MGM’s existing CHP system at CityCenter, to increase reliability and decrease regional energy demands of Southern Nevada’s resort hotels.

5.5.3 Establish a regional Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program to assist commercial, industrial and multi-family property owners’ access to affordable, long-term financing for smart energy upgrades to their buildings.

5.5.4 Promote the use of electric vehicles in local and state government fleets.

5.5.5 Incentivize the construction of electric vehicle charging stations in local zoning codes by offering parking reductions and other zoning-related incentives.

5.5.6 Expand incentive programs to include retrofits for existing commercial and residential structures for both energy efficiency and renewable energy.

5.5.7 Develop shared renewable energy and energy-efficient models for higher density neighborhoods and public spaces, such as solar charging stations and NetZero cooling stations.

Objective 5.6 Increase supply of regionally generated solar energy

5.6.1 Encourage solar PV and solar thermal hot water for new homes.

5.6.2 Encourage all new commercial and residential construction to allow for solar energy connections.

5.6.3 Develop campaign to educate local governments and HOAs on Nevada Revised Statute 278.0208, which prohibits the unreasonable restricting of systems for obtaining solar energy.

5.6.4 Implement a green energy program that allows customers, both commercial and residential, to opt into purchasing clean energy from the local utility providers.

5.6.5 Incentivize utility-scale renewable energy projects.

5.6.6 Incentivize solar thermal on existing residential buildings measured by existing goals established by Southwest Gas for solar thermal installations.

5.6.7 Promote the adoption of legislation to allow small distributed generation sale of power and point-of-sale regulations to allow homeowners the ability to sell power back to their respective service company.

Objective 5.7 Develop guidelines for the preservation of view corridors, and protection and restoration of natural resources.

5.7.1 Coordinate conservation and development of natural resources by establishing a regional entity that represents the views of the federal, state, and local agencies involved in these efforts, including private and non-profit agencies.

5.7.2 Maintain the publicly available database to showcase the region’s network of park, trails and open space amenities.

5.7.3 Implement the SNRPC regional open space plan to conserve areas for their value as open spaces and acquire public recreation access to public lands.

5.7.4 Incorporate xeriscaping and native/adaptive landscaping from SNRPC plant list into public agency design standards for trails, roadways, and other public rights-of-way.

5.7.5 Create incentives to encourage use of native plant materials in meeting the landscape code through outreach programs for developers, designers, engineers and contractors.

Objective 5.8 Increase regional solid waste recovery and reduce landfill contributions.

5.8.1 Encourage franchise agreements to require single-stream recycling programs throughout the region.

5.8.2 Encourage franchise agreements to pilot and implement a composting program.

5.8.3 Introduce regional composting pilot program utilizing the EPA-supported best practices for establishing a composting program.

5.8.4 Create an incentive-based program to promote regional recycling for both residential and commercial recycling based on case study research.

Chapter Five