Gardnerville demands specifics on casino plans
MINDEN — The proposed plans for a hotel-casino south of Gardnerville have changed so significantly that county commissioners agreed to send it back before the Gardnerville Town Board and the county’s planning commission.
Bruce Scott of Resource Concepts Inc. of Zephyr Cove, who represents Yerington onion farmer and developer Butch Peri on the proposed hotel-casino, told commissioners it would be a couple of months before the project plans are finalized with new additions and changes, including 150 to 180 on-site rental housing units, an 18-hole golf course and driving range, and a service station for recreational vehicles.
“He gave us three projects,” said Commissioner Kelly Kite. “I am tired of being blamed for shooting at a running target.”
Chairman Don Miner concurred saying there have been too many changes.
“I think you get the gist,” Miner said. “This is not the way to do things and we will not tolerate it.”
The project has been before the commission in different configurations. It was denied by the Douglas County Planning Commission in July because its initial plans had not adequately addressed housing issues under the county’s new rules for casinos.
Peri had been in negotiations with the Washoe tribe to use part of its land for housing, but Scott told commissioners last week that there were still some wrinkles to be resolved.
After the meeting, Scott said any agreement made with the tribe will be a separate project.
“Because the tribe is a sovereign nation, it puts the county in a very difficult position,” he said.
Douglas County senior planner Matthew Alexander said there are four areas of concerns about the project: providing adequate housing as part of the gaming overlay rezone; providing open space and a conservation easement; alignment of Pinenut Road and access to the hotel-casino; and the actual design of the project, which does not adhere to the architectural makeup of Carson Valley.
Originally, the hotel-casino was presented to commissioners with a proposed European villa design at the former Matley Ranch at Pinenut Road and Highway 395, just south of Gardnerville.
It will encompass 185 acres, according to Alexander. The project had been modified two more times and continued twice at Peri’s request.
Area residents Ann Geary, Anne Henderson and Richard Holstein told commissioners they had concerns about adverse impacts the proposed hotel-casino would bring, including increased traffic and access to Pinenut Road, availability of water and sewage service, and noise and light pollution.
Holstein, who lives on Moreno Circle adjacent to the project site, said he moved here four years ago because of the rural charm.
“I did not move to Gardnerville to drive through a theme park,” he said.
Commissioners agreed Peri would have to submit final project plans back to the planning commission and, again, for approval by the Gardnerville Town Board before it comes before them again.
“It is a different proposal and we can’t get our teeth into it or our arms around it,” said Commissioner Bernie Curtis. “It has changed so much, it is a little premature to bring it to our board.”
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