Carson City Planning Commission OKs Nugget signs; trails advocates prepare pathway

More Carson Nugget signs and setting the stage for open space or rural residential lots were the two main issues concerning Carson City’s Planning Commission Tuesday.

The Nugget, owned by Adams Carson LLC, along with Custom Sign and Crane, won 4-0 approval for removal, replacement as well as additional signs designed to attract customers and highlight new venues at the downtown casino. Among those new highlights are a concert venue and a proposed coffee/wine bar, which Dean DiLullo talked of earlier Tuesday as Nugget CEO during a Rotary Club luncheon.

DiLullo, the casino chief executive for four months, is in the processing stage of buying the gaming business part of the Adams Carson LLC holding, but the Hop & Mae Adams Foundation property firm is going to retain the land and physical plant.

Carson City Planner Susan Dorr Pansky said the upgraded signage will increase the total by 1,200 square feet to 3,500 square feet.

Marc Lipkowitz of Custom Sign said it would update signs that haven’t changed much in four decades, providing light and vibrancy to downtown Carson City for the property at 507 N. Carson St. No one testified against the plan.

Various people turned out to support a proposed change in the city’s master plan that would pave the way for sale of state land south of U.S. 50 and to the west of Carson Street in the city’s southwestern area along the highway leading to Spooner Pass and South Lake Tahoe.

Though the staff’s twin proposal was to recommend a master plan change and rezoning of the state property after a sale that would allow five-acre lots, the supporters were trails advocates.

Juan Guzman, retired as the city’s Open Space manager and a member of the Carson Valley Trails Association, said a coalition intends to raise funds to buy the property when it comes to market. A trail head is in the master plan on the site and the trail involved is planned from Douglas County on the south into Carson City and north to the capital city’s Kings Canyon and Ash Canyon areas.

Another proponent said not only the trail head, but a public park could go on the property. Any development on the 66 acres could be clustered under a later proposal, according to Guzman, but he said later the plan is to raise sufficient money to buy all the land from the state.

Charlie Donohue, administrator of the State Lands Register, supported the move, as did Ann Bollinger, the city’s current Open Space manager. Joel Dunn, executive director at the city’s Visitors Bureau, said it plays into the marketing efforts for the area to lure trails people and others seeking open space activities.

Four others also favored the move. The commission then approved the plan without dissent and the twin proposal next goes to the Board of Supervisors for the final decision.

In other action, Community Development Director Lee Plemel provided a report on the master plan that was accepted 4-0 by the commission. Highlights of his report included the previous approval by the mayor and supervisor of the downtown Carson Street makeover, which was in the master plan, and some pickup in planning activity this year. Plemel said a recent count showed 148 planning applications, just 10 fewer than all 12 months of 2013.


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