Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science


Environmental Science

First Committee Member

Dr. Krystyna Stave, Examination Committee Chair, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Second Committee Member

Dr. David Hassenzahl

Third Committee Member

Dr. Timothy Farnham

Graduate Faculty Representative

Dr. David Kreamer

Number of Pages



This study reviews Clark County's non-conforming zone change process from 1990 to 2002. A non-conforming zone change, sometimes known as a non-conforming zone boundary amendment is a proposed request that is not within the range of residential densities and/or non-residential intensities indicated on the applicable land use plan map, master plan, or concept plan. This research explores and examines two questions raised by the Clark County's new implementation plan, which was approved in April 2003 to amend the non-conforming zone change process. 1) Clark County assumed there was a public perception that non-conforming zone changes were being approved without regard to the master plan. Was this assumption correct? 2) Are decisions in approving non-conforming zone changes consistent among all levels of decision making?

According to the new implementation plan, the change is an effort to improve the negative public perception that land use plans are unimportant because of the continuous number of approved non-conforming zone changes. In addition, the ordinance indicates the need to improve public participation in the non-conforming zone change process. The changes in the new non-conforming zone change process have been principally based on the assumption that the old regulations were not effective. There is no clear knowledge of what was deemed effective or ineffective in the old process because neither data nor interviews were collected to support the statements and subsequent changes made. In order to test the two hypotheses: 1) Yes, there were too many non-conforming zone changes approved that did not adhere to the master plan, and 2) Yes, consistency of decisions among levels of decision making is low. This research evaluates and analyses randomly selected 687 non-conforming zone change reports in Clark County.

The results from the non-conforming zone change reports will be used to propose recommendations that can be used by the Clark County Department of Comprehensive Planning to help improve the planning process in general, restore public confidence, and improve the public's involvement in the non-conforming zone change process.


Clark County; Nevada; Public opinion; Zoning; Zoning laws


Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Property Law and Real Estate | Public Administration | Urban, Community and Regional Planning | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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