Developer plans to break up Bonnie Springs Ranch, build homes

By: - January 8, 2019 4:04 pm
Soon to be covered by mcmansions

The Old Town replica at Bonnie Springs Ranch (CC BY-SA 3.0 from Wikimedia Commons)

Documents filed with Clark County confirm rumors that the owners of Bonnie Springs Ranch are seeking to divide up the 63-acre property in order to build residential housing.

On Dec. 13, land-use plans were submitted to the county. They show the 63-acre property being broken into 22 different parcels. The largest would be an 8.5-acre property directly off Bonnie Springs Road that would encompass a restaurant, motel and event barn. The other 21 are residential properties ranging from 1.84 to 3.39 acres each.

Bonnie Springs Ranch
The proposed changes to Bonnie Springs Ranch.

Bonnie Springs Ranch currently includes Old Town (a replica of a western town), a motel, restaurant, zoo, trails and event space. According to its website, the ranch’s history goes back to 1843 when it was a stopover for wagon trains going to California along the Old Spanish Trail. The property’s namesake and former owner, Bonnie Levinson, died in February 2016.

Bonnie Springs Ranch has not issued any public statement regarding a forthcoming sale. No official sale has been recorded, and a message left at the ranch by the Current has not been returned. The property was previously listed on multiple commercial real estate websites for an asking price of $31 million but is no longer listed.

Vital Vegas, a local blog, reported on Monday that the existing motel is not taking reservations past February.

A letter to the county dated Sept. 14 details part of the plans: “The Applicant is proposing to re-vamp the property to include an updated restaurant with on premise alcohol sales and outdoor entertainment. Two manager’s residences are also proposed. Additionally, the Applicant is proposing several decorative rock features throughout the Property.”

County documents also attach BSR6276 LLC to the project. The LLC is registered to developer Joel Laub. A biography of Laub associates him with the building of the Silverado Ranch Master Plan Community. He is the former CEO of Astoria Homes.

Bonnie Springs Ranch is completely surrounded by public lands and is currently zoned for rural use. The proposed residential properties fall under the existing zoning guidelines. That fact differentiates it from the proposed housing development on nearby Blue Diamond Hill. That controversial development has been battled in county commission meetings and the courts but involves changing the existing land-use guidelines to increase the density. The nonprofit Save Red Rock has led that charge.

The Current reached out to Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones, who previously served as the lawyer for Save Red Rock, but have not heard back. Bonnie Springs Ranch falls under Jones’s district.

BSR6276 LLC, the company associated with the Bonnie Springs Ranch development, contributed $5,000 to Tisha Black, the Republican who Jones beat for his commission seat. BSR6276 LLC also donated $10,000 to Steve Sisolak’s successful gubernatorial campaign.

Save Red Rock posted this statement on their Facebook page: “We at Save Red Rock appreciate the history and legacy of Bonnie Springs and that the new developer will continue to provide public access to this special area in Red Rock. This plan does not seek to change the rural zoning and Save Red Rock does not oppose a private property owner who is willing to build what he bought and respect Red Rock Canyon local land use limitations.”

Bonnie Springs Ranch is expected to go before the Clark County Planning Commission to discuss their application on Feb. 19.

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April Corbin Girnus
April Corbin Girnus

April Corbin Girnus is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. She has been a beat writer at Las Vegas Sun, a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting North American bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise with her husband, two children and two mutts.

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