Dayton’s growth to stay hot
Think about Lyon County, and it’s likely
images of the wide spaces of rural
Nevada come to mind.
That’s true, but not entirely. The county
east of Carson City also has one of the
most industrialized workforces in the state
as about 22 percent of its workers are
involved in primary employment manufacturing,
largely that brings new dollars
into the state.
But the industrial areas around Mound
House and the growing industrial center at
Fernley aren’t the whole picture either.
A word that no one particularly likes
“suburbanization” increasingly is on
the lips of those thinking about the future
of the Dayton area of western Lyon
It’s a supercharged housing market.
Patty Wade, president of Reno-based
Wade Development, said her company
projected at the start of this year that it
would sell about three homes a month in a
golf-course residential community it’s
developing at Dayton. In October, she
said as the month wrapped up last week,
Wade Development sold 16 homes in the
community bringing the year’s total to
“It’s just going nuts,” she said of the
planned residential community in which
prices range from $150,000 homes to
more expansive houses for $400,000 and
Planners say the availability of land
not just land, but flat land with adequate
supplies of water drive the housing
market in western Lyon County. That’s
especially important, they say, as other
parts of northern Nevada find themselves
with declining amounts of space for residential
development. Some observers
have said higher prices in the Reno area
increasingly will push first-time homebuyers
into outlying areas such as
Wade Development holds about 8,500
acres in Lyon County including about
5,000 acres in the Fernley area and 2,500
acres around Dayton and Wade said
she expects the company will be highly
active in the county.
“We like Lyon County very, very
much,” she told members of the Northern
Nevada Development Authority last
The county government’s pro-growth
stance, she said, is accompanied by minimal
That will prove to be especially important,
Wade said, as her company develops
about 250 acres of industrial property it
holds in the Dayton area. She said the
industrial properties probably will sell for
about $2.50 a foot, and she expects the
properties will attract some users of large
While he doesn’t disagree that Lyon
County is pro-growth, County
Administrator Steve Snyder acknowledged
that recent work on a plan to govern
growth in the Dayton area brought
competing visions of the county’s future
to the fore.
Some new residents, he said, very
much want to keep the rural atmosphere
they found when they came to the
Dayton area even if they moved to the
community very recently.
Lyon County’s population has grown
by more than 6 percent a year for the past
decade, and Snyder said the county government
has welcomed the growth of
population and jobs.
“We like that diversification of
growth,” he said.
More of that diversification clearly is
on its way.
The plan for the Dayton area estimates
that the town’s population, now
about 10,000, will rise to 35,000 or
40,000 within 20 years.
“That number gets people riled up.
People like the rural atmosphere,” said
Greg Evangelatos of the Reno consulting
firm of FPE Engineering and Planning.
His company has helped develop the
At the same time that residents want
to maintain wide-open spaces,
Evangelatos said, ranchers in Lyon
County increasingly are unable to financially
sustain their operations and are
looking to development as an exit strategy.
The federal Bureau of Land
Management has extensive land holdings
in the area, much of ready to sell for
development. At the same time, however,
some segments of the community look to
the BLM property to provide open space.
“There’s a real tension between the
rural identity and economic development,”
Evangelatos said. “You are going
to see more pressures for development.”
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