Commissioners consider 100-room ordinance for casinos |

Commissioners consider 100-room ordinance for casinos

Susie Vasquez

MINDEN – The Douglas County Commission will consider a new ordinance requiring casinos with unrestricted gaming licenses to build at least 100 hotel rooms, a topic that has triggered controversy in Carson Valley.

Representatives from Sharkey’s, Topaz Lake Lodge and the Carson Valley Inn introduced the proposal, a sound economic move for the Douglas County tourism industry, said Bill Henderson, spokesman for the Carson Valley Inn.

Casinos without rooms divide a market, making it harder for bigger establishments that are investing more in the community to survive, proponents said at an earlier meeting.

Proponents made two major concessions, the first when they dropped the minimum number of rooms from 200 to 100. If approved, the ordinance would not be effective until January 2008, the second concession.

Members of the Minden and Gardnerville town boards both opposed the ordinance earlier this summer.

“This ordinance is not necessary,” Gardnerville Town Board member Randy Slater said at a previous meeting. “The county has all the control it needs regarding gaming under Title 5. I feel this ordinance is protectionism and I’m afraid of what it can lead to. The government’s position shouldn’t protect a business.”

Minden Town Board members will discuss designating part of the town a historic district solely for the purposes of exempting the town from the new rules.

Under an item appearing on tonight’s agenda, the area bordered by First and 10th streets, Highway 395 and County Road would be designated a historic district for the purpose of asking the county to exempt the town from the ordinance.

The town board meets at 6 p.m. in the CVIC Hall.

In other business:

— Commissioners could approve a contract with HDR Engineering Inc. for pilot studies and preliminary design of an arsenic removal facility for Douglas County’s East Valley Water System, the amount not to exceed $77,255.

— Commissioners will consider the dedication of a 4.7-acre parcel just north of Toler Lane, appraised at just over $1.5 million to the county. Donated by H&S Construction, the property will be used for the expansion of Stodick Park.

If approved, the county would provide H&S with a credit of $785,000 toward residential construction taxes that would otherwise be due for Ashland Park, an H&S project that includes a 40-acre development just west of Muller Parkway and north of Toler Lane, plus five residential units on almost 19 acres just east of the proposed Muller Parkway.

— Commissioners could approve the purchase of 6.13 acres along the Carson River just west of Genoa, funded for the most part with $1.1 million grant provided by Question One.

“Acquiring the Woods and Naucke parcels will provide opportunities for flood plain preservation, open space, public access and passive activities such as picnicking and fishing,” said Jim Baushke, chairman of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners in a letter to the Carson Valley Conservation District.

The grant requires 25 percent in matching funds, or $373,385. One of the sellers would contribute $80,000 for that match and it is hoped the balance can be obtained elsewhere.

This project is consistent with a number of master plan goals and policies with respect to open space, according to county officials.

If you go

What: Douglas County Commission meeting

When: 1 p.m. Thursday

Where: Old courtroom in the Douglas County Administration Building, 1616 Eighth St. in Minden

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