Growth cap group will help pay tab for impact study | RecordCourier.com

Growth cap group will help pay tab for impact study

by Scott Murphy, Staff Writer

Acrimony is lessening in the growth cap debate with both sides tentatively supporting a second, broader economic impact study.

Last month, the Douglas County Building Industry Association announced it alone would fund a study designed to show the impacts of the proposed Sustainable Growth Initiative on the construction industry.

If approved by voters in November, the growth cap would limit construction of new dwellings annually to 280 units.

SGI supporters rebuffed an offer to join in that study, saying the group didn’t have enough money. The group is supporting the second study.

However, Northern Nevada Development Authority Executive Director Ron Weisinger said the Sustainable Growth Initiative group has not made a formal request as a representative of the group said they would earlier this week, but the study will go forward.

The first study, being done only by the DCBIA, will be available in late September. In that study, the DCBIA will focus on the growth cap’s impact on contractors and construction firms, which its Executive Director, Carole Thompson calls the “ripple effect.”

Gary Pyle, of the SGI committee, said Thursday the second study’s focus is on larger issues affecting the whole county.

Pyle wants the second study to examine issues such as water, quality of life and air, among other topics.

Regardless of the outcome of a lawsuit filed last month by casino developer Nevada Northwest, LLC, Thompson said she wants the second economic study to occur.

“We want to move forward with the study so it’s in place for the future,” Thompson said. “It’s important to go ahead anyway.”

The second study will be conducted by the Nevada Commission for Economic Development. The commission told members of both sides this week that the NNDA has to give permission for the study to go forward.

“It’s a step toward unity,” Thompson said. Both sides agree county commissioners should use aspects of the master plan not yet implemented, including its capital improvements program.

“It’s an ongoing study that benefits the community,” Thompson said. “I want the impact study to show the good, bad, the ugly.”

Pyle said his group is investigating whether the state has a computer-based model that would fit all the scenarios needed by both sides in Douglas County.

“We’re going forward but I wouldn’t go as far as to say we’re going to do an economic impact study,” Pyle said.

However, Pyle agreed with Thompson that relations are becoming friendlier between the two sides.

“In a lot of ways, we have some of the same goals,” Pyle said. “We’re getting over the emotion part of it. It’s getting down to common thinking. These are the goals, how do we get there? Is it the road to the left or the road to the right?”

n Staff Writer Scott Murphy can be reached via e-mail at murph@swiftnews.com