Planning commission denys state's downtown warehouse

Carson City planning commissioners weren't convinced a warehouse planned for downtown would be temporary as a state official promised.

Planning commissioners voted 5-2 Wednesday to deny the state's Legislative Counsel Bureau a permit for a 9,600-square-foot warehouse across Fifth Street from the Legislature. Chairman Al Christianson and Commissioner Wayne Pedlar voted against denial, while the rest of the commissioners concurred the warehouse would neither enhance nor economically benefit an area of the capital targeted for redevelopment.

"If we let this go, we're going to be opening up a can of worms," Commissioner Gayle Farley said. "It has nothing to do with the way the building looks. We're setting a precedent if we do this."

Lorne Malkiewich, LCB director, said he will appeal the decision.

"(We'll) take a shot with the Board of Supervisors and try to convince them we can make this a positive addition to downtown," he said.

Malkiewich subjected plans for the warehouse to several city committees for review, including the city's Redevelopment Authority Citizen's Committee, who gave their "reluctant approval" to the project, Redevelopment Director Rob Joiner said.

"Is it what we want in that location long term? No," Joiner said. "The LCB has always kept its word with redevelopment. When (Malkiewich) says he will do what he can, I trust him at his word."

Commissioners suggested moving the warehouse across Stewart Street to Nevada Department of Transportation property. Malkiewich said legislators gave the LCB money to develop the site bounded by Fall and Plaza Streets and Sixth and Seventh streets., and the $500,000 approved by the 2001 Legislature could not be used to build the warehouse elsewhere. He said the state pays $60,000 a year in storage costs, and the warehouse would save the state money and would be landscaped similar in nature to the attractive Legislative grounds. Commissioners noted they had no problem with the landscaping plans and revamped design of the warehouse, they just couldn't support a warehouse in the area. Commissioner Roger Sedway said if the state would agree to a seven-year limit to the building, he could support the warehouse, but Malkiewich said he could not commit the Legislature or its funding to a time line to construct the office building ultimately planned for the site.

Pedlar and Christianson agreed with state representations that the building would be temporary.

"I think my fellow commissioners are being somewhat shortsighted in this particular case," Pedlar said. "It would not be the ultimate use on this site, Mr. Malkiewich made that clear. We need to be realists This is state land; they're good neighbors. I believe in giving them the benefit of the doubt."


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