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Nevada State Land Lease (3-NV-d)

Leasing of state land in Nevada is controlled by the State Land Registrar within the Nevada Division of State Lands (NDSL). The NDSL may grant leases of any land owned by the State of Nevada. N.R.S. 322.050. A developer seeking a lease on state lands must submit an Application to Use State Lands to the NDSL to obtain the proper authorization for the proposed project. NRS 322.050. After the NDSL approves the developer’s application, the land may be put up for public auction if the state register deems it to be in the best interest of the state. NDSL approval of a developer’s application does not guarantee that the developer will receive the lease. The developer must submit the highest accepted bid at auction for the land, in addition to receiving NDSL approval, in order to obtain the lease. NRS 321.335(6).


State Land Lease Process

3-NV-d.1 – Application for Authorization to Use State Owned Lands with Required Attachments and Deposit

The developer must complete the NSDL’s Application to Use State Lands with the required attachments. The application must include:

  • A complete surveyed legal description, wet stamped and signed by a surveyor licensed in Nevada, and a map stamped by the surveyor;
  • An assessor’s parcel map and project location map;
  • Any copies of any application filed with or permits received from any other agency; and
  • A non-refundable application fee (see application form for fee amount). NDSL must charge a fee for issuance of a lease based upon fair market value of the land. N.R.S. 322.060. The developer must also submit a deposit to the NDSL to cover the costs of appraisal of the land and advertising the lease offering for auction. For more information, see the Division of State Lands - Instructions and Checklist for State Owned Lands Application.

3-NV-d.2 to 3-NV-d.3 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

The NSDL will review the application for completeness. The NDSL will return incomplete applications. If the developer does not submit additional information as requested by the NSDL within 30 days of the request or if the NSDL has not been contacted to make other arrangements the NSDL will close the project. The developer will need to reapply with the appropriate fees if the project is closed. See Instructions and Checklist for State-Owned Lands Application.

3-NV-d.4 to 3-NV-d.5 – Forward Application to Relevant State Agencies and Adjacent Land Owners

The NDSL will forward complete applications to other state agencies for comment and review. The comment and review period is 30 days. The following agencies are among those that may review and comment on the application:

  • Nevada Department of Wildlife;
  • Nevada State Historic Preservation Office;
  • Nevada Natural Heritage Program; and
  • Affected local government planning and zoning boards.

3-NV-d.6 to 3-NV-d.7 – Does the NDSL Find the Proposed Project Acceptable?

If the NDSL approves the developer’s application, it must submit the lease to an open bidding process. After the NDSL finds the proposed project will be a suitable use for the land to be leased, it will begin an appraisal process to determine the fair market value of the land for the purposes of the bidding process. The NDSL must obtain two independent appraisals of the land to be leased. The higher of the two appraisal values is used to set the minimum lease rate. NRS 321.007.

3-NV-d.8 – Advertise Lease Offering

After the NDSL determines the lease rate for the land to be leased, it must publish notice of the auction for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the land is situated. NRS 321.335(4). The notice must contain:

  • A description of the land to be leased;
  • A statement of the terms of the lease;
  • A statement that the land will be leased at auction; and
  • The place where the sealed bids will be accepted, the first and last days the bids will be accepted, and the time and place where the sealed bids will be opened and oral offers accepted. NRS 321.335(5).

3-NV-d.9 to 3-NV-d.10 – Hold Auction

At the auction, the NDSL must open, examine and declare, in a public session, all of the sealed bids it has received. After opening all of the sealed bids, the NDSL will call for oral offers. The NDSL must accept the highest bid, unless it rejects all of the bids. NRS 321.335(6). If the developer’s bid is not accepted, the project cannot continue.

3-NV-d.11 to 3-NV-d.13 – Forward application to the State Board of Examiners and the Interim Finance Committee

After the NDSL accepts the developer’s bid, it must submit the application and bid to the Nevada State Board of Examiners and the Nevada Interim Finance Committee for final approval. If the Board of Examiners and the Interim Finance Committee give final approval, the NDSL will issue the lease to the developer. NRS 321.335(2).

3-NV-d.14 to 3-NV.d.15 – Does the Developer Seek Review?

If the NSDL denies the developer’s application, the developer may appeal the decision by letter to the Board of Review (Board). The Board is comprised of:

  • The Director of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources;
  • The Administrator of the Division of Environmental Protection of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources;
  • The Administrator of the Division of Minerals of the Commission on Mineral Resources;
  • The Administrator of the Division of State Parks of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources;
  • The State Engineer;
  • The State Forester Firewarden;
  • The Chair of the State Environmental Commission;
  • The Director of the State Department of Agriculture;
  • The Chair of the Board of Wildlife Commissioners; and
  • The Administrator of the Office of Historic Preservation of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. N.R.S. 321.5967.

The letter must include:

  • The decision from which the appeal is taken;
  • The legal grounds for the appeal; and
  • A factual basis for the appeal. N.R.S. 321.5987(1).

3-NV-d.16 to 3-NV-d.17 – Does the Board of Review Dismiss the Appeal?

The Board, upon receiving the letter, may dismiss the appeal if it appears to lack merit. If the Board does not dismiss the appeal, it will set a hearing date no less than 15 days and no more than 45 days after receipt of the letter. The Board will notify the parties of the date, time and place of the hearing. N.R.S. 321.5987(2).

3-NV-d.18 to 3-NV-d.20 – Conduct Hearing

Hearings before the Board are informal. N.R.S. 321.5987(2)-(3). At the hearing, the NDSL, or a representative of the NDSL, will present the facts considered in reaching its decision. The developer may then present facts in support of its contention that the NDSL exceeded its authority in reaching its decision. The Board will issue its decision “as soon as practicable” after the hearing. If the Board rules in favor of the developer, the NDSL must grant the authorization. The order of the Board constitutes a final decision for the purposes of judicial review. N.R.S. 321.5987(2)-(6). If the Board rules against the developer, the project cannot continue unless the developer seeks judicial review and the court reverses the decision of the Board.

3-NV-d.21 to 3-NV-d.22 – Does the Developer Seek Judicial Review?

If the Board rules against the developer, the developer may seek judicial review of the Board decision in District Court. N.R.S. 233B.130(1). The petition for judicial review (“petition”) must:

  • Name the agency (NDSL) as respondents and name all parties of record to the administrative proceeding;
  • Be filed in the District Court in Carson City, in the county in which the developer resides, or in the county where the agency proceeding occurred; and
  • Be filed within 30 days of service of the final decision of the Board.

N.R.S. 233B.130.

3-NV-d.23 – Serve Petition on all Parties

The developer must serve the petition on the NDSL and all other parties. The developer must complete service within 45 days after filing its petition. N.R.S. 233B.130(5). The developer must serve its petition under the rules set forth in N.R.C.P. Rule 4.

3-NV-d.24 - File Record of Agency Proceeding and Provide Notice of Filing

The NDSL must transmit an original or certified record of the entire agency proceeding under review within 30 days of service of the petition for judicial review. N.R.S. 233B.131(1).

3-NV-d.25 to 3-NV-d.26 – Memorandum of Points and Authorities

The developer must file and serve a Memorandum of Points and Authorities with the District Court within 40 days after the NDSL gives notice to the parties of the filing of the certified record of the agency proceeding. Memoranda of Points and Authorities must be submitted in the form provided for in N.R.A.P. Rule 28. The Memorandum must set forth the legal issues pertaining to the requested review and contain legal authority for the developer’s allegations. The Memorandum must contain:

  • A disclosure that complies with NRAP Rule 26.1;
  • A table of contents;
  • A table of authorities;
  • A statement of the issues presented for review;
  • A statement of the case;
  • A statement of the facts;
  • A summary of the argument;
  • The argument;
  • A short conclusion stating the precise relief sought; and
  • An attorney’s certificate that complies with NRAP Rule 28.2. See N.R.S. 233B.133.

3-NV-d.27 to 3-NV-d.28 – Reply Memorandum of Points and Authorities

The NDSL will file and serve a Reply Memorandum of Points and Authorities within 30 days after service of the developer’s Memorandum of Points and Authorities. N.R.S. 233B.133.

3-NV-d.29 to 3-NV-d.31 – Conduct Hearing

The District Court will conduct a hearing on the NDSL’s decision to not authorize the use of state owned lands for the lease. The District Court’s review will be confined to the record of the agency proceeding. If the District Court rules in favor of the developer, the NDSL must grant the lease. N.R.S. 233B.135(1). If the District Court rules against the developer the project cannot continue.




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