Carson City supervisors reverse planning decision

The Board of Supervisors on Thursday reversed a decision made by the Planning Commission concerning property on Randell Drive.

The property is owned by the Nevada Builders Alliance, which once used it as an office and now wants to lease it to a childcare provider.

NBA applied for a special use permit for the daycare business and a variance to waive the required parking. The Planning Commission vote on a motion to approve the SUP failed on a 2-2 vote and then the commission voted 4-0 to deny the variance.

The board heard four items. In addition to appeals of the SUP and variance decisions, the board also voted on a planned unit development for the property that it had asked the commission to create and on getting rid of an unusual resolution of intent that a former board attached to the property 16 years ago.

The property is zoned Neighborhood Business but sits in the middle of a residential area and the resolution said it could only be used as an NBA office and had to convert to a residence if it was sold.

Supervisor John Barrette likened the resolution’s result to spot zoning, a frowned upon practice that creates islands of zones inside a different zone.

Mayor Bob Crowell described it more colorfully.

“It’s an odd duck,” he said. “No matter how it quacks it’s an odd duck.”

The building looks like a house but has always been used as an office and has neither a full kitchen or bathrooms, said Aaron West, CEO, NBA.

So NBA wants to hold onto it and lease it rather than renovate it into a house and sell it.

West said the group was approached by a childcare provider who wants to expand and in doing research found out there was a huge demand for more daycare in Carson City.

But neighbors who share a fence with the property opposed the childcare use, concerned about noise, traffic and parking.

Both the neighbors, who said they didn’t oppose other business uses for the property, and the childcare provider who would be leasing the building spoke during public comment.

“It simply comes down to the childcare,” said Michael Basher, the neighbor. “Thirty six children outside my back door seems excessive.”

The childcare provider, Teresa Gantenbein, who currently operates out of her home, said she needed a larger space and her husband, David Gantenbein, said daycare is often found in residential areas because it requires outdoor access.

Daycare businesses are allowed in residential zones as an accessory and require the operator to live on site.

In addition to the SUP and variance votes, the Planning Commission voted to recommend a PUD that would limit the property’s uses to a few businesses, including an antique store and barber shop, and excluded childcare. The board, after three hours of discussion, first approved the PUD but expanded conditional uses to daycare, health and fitness club, and single-family dwelling. The supervisors then heard on first reading an ordinance to rescind the resolution of intent and then upheld the appeal of the SUP.

The SUP limits hours of operation to weekdays and limits use of the backyard for playtime to between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Carson City’s Planning department staff must also review the SUP in three years to ensure the daycare business is adhering to the restrictions.

Finally, the board upheld the appeal of the parking variance, saying whatever business went into the building it would need to utilize on-street parking rather than install parking on site.

Supervisor Brad Bonkowski abstained from voting on all four items because his partners in NAI Alliance, his commercial real estate office, are partners with NBA in Battle Born Business Center, the office building now occupied by both NBA and NAI.

The supervisors were scheduled to vote on a development agreement between the city and the owners of Lompa Ranch concerning development there, but the item was pulled from the agenda for further work on the agreement.

The board heard on first reading an ordinance amending the nuisance code. Originally, it was to add property manager to a list of parties responsible for allowing or permitting a nuisance, but property manager was taken out.

The board appointed Jaswinder Dhami to the Visitors Bureau board as a representative for the hotel/motel industry.


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