By Dave Maxwell 


Mineral County Commissioners have been reviewing plans relative to devising a development plan for the Babbitt area.

At the Feb. 3 meeting, discussion was held in regards to the possibility of establishing some “industrial and retail businesses.”

Planning Commission chair Mark Nixon said as the plans were being examined, “we found some other issues with this property and one of our ordinances that deals with some highway frontage property.”

The Babbitt subdivision was organized some years ago, Nixon said “the county has actually sold a few of these lots, and there is still access to the front of these properties. The access we have off of U.S. 95 from 20th and 21st Street and 10th, we have been told we are not going to give us anymore because it doesn’t meet highway standards.”

He added, “We’ll run into other issues if this remains too, with sewer and water accesses because you can’t go across private properties for utilities and there are no easements in-between these.”

He also said District Attorney Sean Rowe, “recommended we take this back to the planning commission and come up with a development program for the Babbitt properties.”

Nixon said he thought that county ordinance 1750 states, “that anything from the park to 10th street the roads have to be built to those standards, which effectively cuts off the frontage road all the way to Babbitt there at 10th Street.”

Babbitt was established as a 1941 government housing facility for workers of the neighboring Hawthorne Naval Ammunition Depot. 

Following the Korean War, several sections of Babbitt were closed off and some buildings were sold or moved away. 

During the Cold War, the Strategic Air Command opened a radar station within Babbitt c. 1961-1985 and after transferring the “Navy Fallon RBS.” 

Almost totally abandoned since 1987, in 2004 the Whiskey Flats RV park was established roughly in the former location of the radar station.

Nixon said, “If we can clean this up. We still need to talk to the property owners to see what their position would be. But we do have an easement in here for the sewer, but need to move a little closer to the highway.”

After further discussion the board decided to send the concept back to the planning commission, and Nixon said, “We will come up with protocols to accomplish what we’re talking about. We also want to be able to get some commercial subdivisions in there, too.”