New youth facility has some residents worried

A proposed zoning change to allow a Boys & Girls Club to be built at the corner of Northridge Drive and Lompa Lane has caused some residents to worry.

Currently, youth facilities like the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada, are prohibited in residential areas. The club's executive director, Cathy Blankenship, said the

proposed location was ideal for the new facility, but some residents argue that youth facilities belong outside of residential areas.

Carson City resident Robert Gordon said youth facilities in neighborhoods could bring unsupervised teenagers, who would disrupt residential areas with loud music and reckless driving.

"You start out trying to do good, and you end up opening the door to a lot of organizations that would be detrimental," Gordon said.

But Blankenship said the new facility would be beneficial to many families in the area.

"This is a great location where kids who need our services are located," Blankenship said.

The proposed site is near two elementary schools, Empire and Mark Twain. Blankenship said the children at these schools tend to be from lower income families and could benefit from the Boys & Girls Club.

The proposed change, going before the Carson City Planning Commission on Wednesday, would allow non-profit youth organizations in single-family zones.

Organizations would be required to apply for special-use permits to build facilities in these residential areas.

Lumos and Associates, an engineering company working with the Boys & Girls Club, requested the change in zoning.

Buzz Fitzpatrick, chief operating officer for Lumos and Associates, and a board member for the Boys & Girls Club, said the change would benefit the city.

He said it didn't do any good to have youth facilities in commercial areas where the children can't get to them.

"They need to be in the community they serve," he said.

The Boys & Girls Club purchased 17 acres about two years ago for the proposed building.

Blankenship said the club plans to donate some of the land to the city to allow an extension of Lompa Lane to Northridge Drive to make access to the building easier. She said most of the traffic would be school buses bringing children to the club after school.

"It's not a lot of car traffic," she said.

If the ordinance is passed to allow youth facilities in this zoning district, the Boys & Girls Club will apply for a special use permit to begin construction, Blankenship said.

The ordinance must be changed for the entire city in order for the club to be built at the proposed location. The only other option, said Plemel, would be to change the zone from a single-family zone to a commercial zone. But that will not happen because of the negative impact it would have, he said.

"The commercial zoning would allow a lot more intrusive uses," Plemel said.


Several issues on the agenda for the Carson City Planning Commission have drawn a lot of public attention, however, these issues are time specific and commissioners encourage the public to attend at the correct time.

The first issue which has received public comment is regarding a proposed zone ordinance change to allow youth facilities in single family zones (residential areas). It will be heard after 3:40 p.m.

An issue regarding the Cinderlite sand pit will be heard after 5:15 p.m. Commissioners will review Cinderlite's special use permit for the operation off Goni Road.

Another issue which is expected to draw a crowd is a proposed zone ordinance change which would allow construction companies to sell and transport material extracted from temporary sites in limited industrial zoning areas.

This will be heard after 6:15 p.m.

The Carson City Planning Commission meeting is Wednesday at the Community Center, Sierra Room, 851 East William St.


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