USA Statutes : nevada
Title : Title 44 - AERONAUTICS
Chapter : CHAPTER 497 - ZONING
This chapter shall be known and may be
cited as the Airport Zoning Act.
As used in this chapter, unless the
context otherwise requires:
1. “Airport” means any area of land or water designed and set
aside for the landing and taking off of aircraft and utilized in the
interest of the public for such purposes.
2. “Airport hazard” means any structure or tree or use of land
which obstructs the airspace required for the flight of aircraft in
landing or taking off at any airport, or is otherwise hazardous to the
landing or taking off of aircraft.
3. “Airport hazard area” means any area of land or water upon
which an airport hazard might be established if not prevented as provided
in this chapter.
4. “Person” includes a government, a governmental agency and a
political subdivision of a government.
5. “Political subdivision” means any county, incorporated city,
unincorporated town or airport authority created by special legislative
act as a quasi-municipal corporation.
6. “Public utility” means a person who operates any airline,
broadcasting, electric, gas, pipeline, radio, railroad, rural electric,
sanitary sewer, slurry, telephone, telegraph or water business in this
State and who conducts such a business for a public use.
7. “Structure” means any object constructed or installed by man,
including, but without limitation, buildings, towers, smokestacks and
overhead wires and other lines.
8. “Tree” means any object of natural growth.
[1:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.01]—(NRS A 1977, 278; 1979, 1651;
1985, 521, 2053)
1. It is hereby found that an airport hazard endangers the lives
and property of users of the airport and of occupants of land in its
vicinity, and also, if of the obstruction type, in effect reduces the
size of the area available for the landing, takeoff and maneuvering of
aircraft, thus tending to destroy or impair the utility of the airport
and the public investment therein. Accordingly, it is hereby declared:
(a) That the creation or establishment of an airport hazard is a
public nuisance and an injury to the community served by the airport in
(b) That it is therefore necessary in the interest of the public
health, public safety and general welfare that the creation or
establishment of airport hazards be prevented.
(c) That this should be accomplished, to the extent legally
possible, by exercise of the police power, without compensation.
2. It is further declared that both the prevention of the creation
or establishment of airport hazards and the elimination, removal,
alteration, mitigation or marking and lighting of existing airport
hazards are public purposes for which political subdivisions may raise
and extend public funds and acquire land or property interests therein.
[2:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.02]
POWERS OF POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS AND AIRPORT AUTHORITIES
In order to prevent the creation or establishment of
airport hazards, every political subdivision having an airport hazard
area within its territorial limits may adopt, administer and enforce,
under the police power and in the manner and upon the conditions
prescribed in this chapter, airport zoning regulations for such airport
hazard area, which regulations may divide such area into zones, and,
within such zones, prohibit those land uses which could cause a hazard to
air traffic and regulate and restrict the height to which structures and
trees may be erected or allowed to grow.
[3:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.03]—(NRS A 1979, 1652)
1. Where an airport is owned or controlled by a political
subdivision other than an airport authority created by special
legislative act as a quasi-municipal corporation, and any airport hazard
area appertaining to such airport is located outside the territorial
limits of the political subdivision, within or without the State, the
political subdivision owning or controlling the airport and the political
subdivision within which the airport hazard area is located may, by
ordinance or resolution duly adopted, create a joint airport zoning
board, which board shall have the same power to adopt, administer and
enforce airport zoning regulations applicable to the airport hazard area
in question as that vested by NRS 497.040 in the political subdivision within which such
area is located.
2. Each such joint board shall have as members two representatives
appointed by each political subdivision participating in its creation,
and in addition a chairman elected by a majority of the members so
[4:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.04]—(NRS A 1979, 1652)
1. Where an airport is owned or controlled by an airport authority
created by special legislative act as a quasi-municipal corporation and
any airport hazard area appertaining to that airport is located within
the limits of the county or any incorporated city or unincorporated town
within the geographical boundaries of the airport authority, the airport
authority and the county, incorporated city or unincorporated town within
which the airport hazard area is located may, by adopting substantially
identical ordinances or resolutions, create a joint airport zoning board,
which has the same power to adopt, administer and enforce airport zoning
regulations applicable to the airport hazard area in question as that
vested by NRS 497.040 in the political
subdivision within which that area is located.
2. Each such joint board:
(a) Must have as members two representatives appointed by each
political subdivision participating in its creation, and in addition a
chairman elected by a majority of the members so appointed.
(b) May consider noise problems related to the airport as they
affect lands outside the boundaries of the airport and make
recommendations to the airport authority.
(Added to NRS by 1979, 1653)
ADOPTION OF REGULATIONS; AIRPORT ZONING COMMISSION; PERMITS; VARIANCES
event that a political subdivision has adopted, or hereafter adopts, a
comprehensive zoning ordinance regulating, among other things, the height
of buildings, any airport zoning regulations applicable to the same area
or portion thereof, may be incorporated in and made a part of such
comprehensive zoning regulations, and be administered and enforced in
[5:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.05]
In the event of conflict between any airport zoning
regulations adopted under this chapter and any other regulations
applicable to the same area, whether the conflict be with respect to the
height of structures or trees, the use of land, or any other matter, the
more stringent limitation or requirement shall govern and prevail.
[6:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.06]
1. An airport zoning regulation must not be adopted, amended or
repealed under this chapter except:
(a) In the case of an airport owned or controlled by an airport
authority created by special legislative act as a quasi-municipal
corporation, by the action of the joint airport zoning board within whose
jurisdiction that airport lies; or
(b) In the case of an airport owned or controlled by any other
political subdivision, by the action of the joint airport zoning board
within whose jurisdiction that airport lies or, if there is no joint
board, the governing body of a political subdivision,
Ê after a public hearing in relation thereto, at which public utilities
owning facilities in the area involved, other parties in interest and
citizens have an opportunity to be heard.
2. At least 15 days’ notice of the hearing shall be given to all
public utilities owning facilities in the area involved, and at least 15
days’ notice of the hearing shall be published in an official paper, or a
paper of general circulation, in the political subdivision or
subdivisions in which is located the airport hazard to be zoned.
[7:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.07]—(NRS A 1961, 127; 1977, 278; 1979,
Airport zoning regulations
adopted pursuant to this chapter must provide that if a mobile home park
is located within 300 feet of property for which a zoning change is
proposed, notice of the proposed change must be mailed to each tenant of
the park. The notice must be mailed 10 days before any hearing on the
proposed change or, if no hearing is required, 30 days before the change
is to become effective.
(Added to NRS by 1989, 962)
1. Prior to the initial zoning of any airport hazard area under
this chapter, the political subdivision or joint airport zoning board may:
(a) Adopt the regulations.
(b) Appoint a commission to be known as the airport zoning
(c) Recommend the boundaries of the various zones to be established
and the regulations to be adopted therefor.
2. The commission shall make a preliminary report and hold public
hearings thereon before submitting its final report, and the legislative
body of the political subdivision or the joint airport zoning board shall
not hold its public hearings or take other action until it has received
the final report of the commission.
3. Where a city planning commission or comprehensive zoning
commission already exists, it may be appointed as the airport zoning
4. At least 15 days’ notice of each public hearing by the
commission shall be given to all public utilities owning facilities in
the area involved.
[8:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.08]
1. All airport zoning regulations adopted under this chapter shall
be reasonable, and none shall impose any requirement or restriction which
is not reasonably necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
2. In determining what regulations it may adopt, each political
subdivision and joint airport zoning board shall consider, among other
(a) The character of the flying operations expected to be conducted
at the airport.
(b) The nature of the terrain within the airport hazard area.
(c) The character of the neighborhood.
(d) The uses to which the property to be zoned is put and adaptable.
[9:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.09]
No airport zoning regulations adopted under this chapter shall require
the removal, lowering or other change or alteration of any structure or
tree not conforming to the regulations when adopted or amended, or
otherwise interfere with the continuance of any nonconforming use, except
as provided in NRS 497.140 .
[10:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.10]
1. Any airport zoning regulations adopted under this chapter may
require that a permit be obtained before any new structure or use may be
constructed or established and before any existing use or structure may
be substantially changed or substantially altered, but no such permit
shall be required to make maintenance repairs to any existing structure,
or to replace parts of any existing structure, which repairs or
replacements do not substantially enlarge or increase the height of an
2. In any event, however, all such regulations shall provide that
before any nonconforming structure or tree may be replaced, substantially
altered, rebuilt, allowed to grow higher, or replanted, a permit must be
secured from the administrative agency authorized to administer and
enforce the regulations, authorizing such replacement or change.
3. No permit shall be granted that would allow the establishment
or creation of an airport hazard or permit a nonconforming structure or
tree or nonconforming use to be made or become higher or become a greater
hazard to air navigation than it was when the applicable regulation was
adopted or than it is when the application for a permit is made.
4. Except as provided herein, all applications for permits shall
[11:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.11]
1. Any person desiring to erect any structure, or increase the
height of any structure, or permit the growth of any tree, or otherwise
use his property in violation of airport zoning regulations adopted under
this chapter, may apply to the board of adjustment for a variance from
the zoning regulations in question.
2. Such variances shall be allowed where a literal application or
enforcement of the regulations would result in practical difficulty or
unnecessary hardship, and the relief granted would not be contrary to the
public interest but do substantial justice and be in accordance with the
spirit of the regulations and this chapter. Any variance may be allowed
subject to any reasonable conditions that the board of adjustment may
deem necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
[12:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.12]
1. In granting any permit or variance under NRS 497.120 and 497.130 ,
the administrative agency or board of adjustment may, if it deems such an
action advisable to carry out the purposes of this chapter and reasonable
in the circumstances, so condition the permit or variance as to require
the owner of the structure or tree in question to permit the political
subdivision to install, operate and maintain thereon at the owner’s
expense such markers and lights as may be necessary to indicate to
aviators the presence of a hazard to flight.
2. The political subdivision may, with the permission of the owner
and at its own expense, install and operate, upon nonconforming
structures existing at the time the particular zoning regulation is
adopted or amended, such markers or lights as may be necessary. After
initial installation, the political subdivision, upon written notice to
the owner, may require him to maintain those markers or lights in
conformance with the standards of the Federal Aviation Administration.
3. Any person who fails to install, operate or maintain a marker
or light or pay the expenses required in this section is guilty of a
[13:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.13]—(NRS A 1981, 532)
APPEALS; ENFORCEMENT OF REGULATIONS
aggrieved by any decision of an administrative agency made in its
administration of airport zoning regulations adopted under this chapter,
or any governing body of a political subdivision, or any joint airport
zoning board, which is of the opinion that a decision of such an
administrative agency is an improper application of airport zoning
regulations of concern to such governing body or board, may appeal to the
board of adjustment authorized to hear and decide appeals from the
decisions of such administrative agency.
[14:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.14]
taken under NRS 497.150 must be taken
within a reasonable time, as provided by the rules of the board, by
filing with the agency from which the appeal is taken, and with the
board, a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof. The agency from
which the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the board all the
papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was
[15:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.15]
1. An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the
action appealed from, unless the agency from which the appeal is taken
certifies to the board, after the notice of appeal has been filed with
it, that by reason of the facts stated in the certificate a stay would,
in its opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. In such cases
proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by order of the board on
notice to the agency from which the appeal is taken and on due cause
2. The board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of
appeals, give public notice and due notice to the parties in interest,
and decide the same within a reasonable time. Upon the hearing any party
may appear in person or by agent or by attorney.
3. The board may, in conformity with the provisions of this
chapter, reverse, affirm, wholly or partly, or modify the order,
requirement, decision or determination appealed from, and may make such
order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made, and to
that end shall have all the powers of the administrative agency from
which the appeal is taken.
[16:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.16]
1. All airport zoning regulations adopted under this chapter shall
provide for the administration and enforcement of such regulations by an
administrative agency, which may be an agency created by such regulations
or any official, board or other existing agency of the political
subdivision adopting the regulations, or of one of the political
subdivisions which participated in the creation of the joint airport
zoning board adopting the regulations, if satisfactory to that political
subdivision. In no case shall such administrative agency be or include
any member of the board of adjustment.
2. The duties of any administrative agency designated pursuant to
this chapter shall include that of hearing and deciding all permits under
NRS 497.120 , but such agency shall not
have or exercise any of the powers herein delegated to the board of
[17:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.17]
BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
All airport zoning
regulations adopted under this chapter shall provide for a board of
adjustment to have and exercise the following powers:
1. To hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement,
decision or determination made by the administrative agency in the
enforcement of the airport zoning regulations, as provided in NRS 497.150
2. To hear and decide any special exceptions to the terms of the
airport zoning regulations upon which such board may be required to pass
under such regulations.
3. To hear and decide specific variances under NRS 497.130 .
[18:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.18]—(NRS A 1975, 9)
Where a zoning board of appeals or adjustment already exists,
it may be appointed as the board of adjustment. Otherwise, the board of
adjustment shall consist of five members, each to be appointed for a term
of 3 years by the authority adopting the regulations, and to be removable
by the appointing authority for cause, upon written charges and after
[19:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.19]
concurring vote of a majority of the members of the board of adjustment
shall be sufficient to reverse any order, requirement, decision or
determination of the administrative agency, or to decide in favor of the
applicant on any matter upon which it is required to pass under the
airport zoning regulations, or to effect any variation in such
[20:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.20]
1. The board of adjustment shall adopt rules in accordance with
the provisions of the ordinance or resolution by which it was created.
2. Meetings of the board must be held at the call of the chairman
and at such other times as the board may determine.
3. The chairman, or in his absence the acting chairman, may
administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.
4. All hearings of the board must be public.
5. The board shall:
(a) Keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each
member upon each question, or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating
such fact, and audio recordings or transcripts of its proceedings.
(b) Keep records of its examinations and other official actions,
all of which must immediately be filed in the office of the board and are
[21:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.21]—(NRS A 2005, 1414 )
1. Any person aggrieved or taxpayer affected by any decision of a
board of adjustment, or any governing body of a political subdivision, or
any joint airport zoning board which is of the opinion that a decision of
a board of adjustment is illegal, may present to the district court a
verified petition setting forth that the decision is illegal, in whole or
in part, and specifying the grounds of the illegality. Such petition
shall be presented to the court within 30 days after the decision is
filed in the office of the board.
2. Upon presentation of the petition the court may allow a writ of
certiorari directed to the board of adjustment to review the decision of
the board. The allowance of the writ shall not stay proceedings upon the
decision appealed from, but the court may, on application, on notice to
the board and on due cause shown, grant a restraining order.
3. The board of adjustment shall not be required to return the
original papers acted upon by it, but it shall be sufficient to return
certified or sworn copies thereof, or of such portions thereof as may be
called for by the writ. The return shall concisely set forth such other
facts as may be pertinent and material to show the grounds of the
decision appealed from and shall be verified.
[22:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.22]
1. The court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to affirm, modify
or set aside the decision brought up for review, in whole or in part, and
if need be, to order further proceedings by the board of adjustment. The
findings of fact of the board, if supported by substantial evidence,
shall be accepted by the court as conclusive, and no objection to a
decision of the board shall be considered by the court unless such
objection shall have been urged before the board, or, if it was not so
urged, unless there were reasonable grounds for failure to do so.
2. Costs shall not be allowed against the board of adjustment
unless it appears to the court that it acted with gross negligence, in
bad faith, or with malice, in making the decision appealed from.
[23:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.23]
In any case in which airport
zoning regulations adopted under this chapter, although generally
reasonable, are held by a court to interfere with the use or enjoyment of
a particular structure or parcel of land to such an extent, or to be so
onerous in their application to such a structure or parcel of land, as to
constitute a taking or deprivation of that property in violation of the
Constitution of this State or the Constitution of the United States, such
holding shall not affect the application of such regulations to other
structures and parcels of land.
[24:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.24]
1. Each violation of this chapter or of any regulations, orders,
or rulings promulgated or made pursuant to this chapter, shall constitute
a misdemeanor, and each day’s violation of this chapter or of any
regulations, orders or rulings promulgated or made pursuant to this
chapter shall constitute a separate offense.
2. In addition, the political subdivision or agency adopting
zoning regulations under this chapter may institute in any court of
competent jurisdiction an action to prevent, restrain, correct or abate
any violation of this chapter, or of airport zoning regulations adopted
under this chapter, or of any order or ruling made in connection with
their administration or enforcement, and the court shall adjudge to the
plaintiff such relief, by way of injunction (which may be mandatory) or
otherwise, as may be proper under all the facts and circumstances of the
case, in order fully to effectuate the purposes of this chapter and of
the regulations adopted and orders and rulings made pursuant thereto.
[25:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.25]—(NRS A 1967, 597)
1. In any case in which:
(a) It is desired to remove, lower or otherwise terminate a
nonconforming structure, tree or use;
(b) The approach protection necessary cannot, because of
constitutional limitations, be provided by airport zoning regulations
under this chapter; or
(c) It appears advisable that the necessary approach protection be
provided by acquisition of property rights rather than by airport zoning
Ê the political subdivision within which the property or nonconforming
use is located, or the political subdivision owning the airport or served
by it may acquire, by purchase, grant or condemnation in the manner
provided by the law under which political subdivisions are authorized to
acquire property for public purposes, such air right, avigation easement
or other estate or interest in the property or nonconforming structure or
use in question as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this
2. In the case of the purchase of any property or any easement or
estate or interest therein, or the acquisition of the same by
condemnation, the political subdivision making such purchase or
exercising such power shall, in addition to the damages for the taking,
injury or destruction of property, also pay the cost of the removal and
relocation of any structure or equipment of any public utility which is
required to be moved to a new location.
[26:205:1947; 1943 NCL § 5064.26]