I believe it is time for all of us in the valley to come to the support of the citizens of Genoa in their battle against "big brother," in this case the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.
The Genoa Historic District turned down a proposed 12,280 square foot retail/motel/office development at the center of town on the corner of Main and Nixon streets. They (the historic commission) did so because the complex did not fit in with the historic character of the town. Mainly, it was just too big, 1.5 times the size of the firehouse, 2.5 times larger than the Genoa Court House Museum, and 15 times larger than the adjacent 149-year-old Genoa Community Church.
The basis for the turn-down was a provision in the Genoa Historic District Commission Guidelines booklet which says that appearance is a consideration in determining suitability. Size, in my opinion is certainly a factor in appearance. Yet the board of commissioners overruled the Genoa Historic Commission and said it could not consider size.
This action by our elected county commissioners, if allowed to stand, is ominous for us all. It says that when bigger government chooses to, it can override decisions of local government bodies and commissions. As Nevadans, we have seen too well the heavy hand of the federal government coming into our local affairs. It's time to stop it.
Genoa is a valuable little piece of Nevada because of its quaintness, old buildings, and a real live bit of history right in our midst where we can all enjoy it. After all, it was the location for the state's first capital and is now a major historical asset. It's one of those few remaining places where you can walk down the street to look at the museum, cross the street to go to the Mormon State Park and walk back again to the old hardware store or visit an art gallery, all without having to get in your car and drive to the next place. Building a big retail/office/motel complex on the busiest corner in town will bring more traffic and parking problems, be hazardous for pedestrians and change forever the character of the town.
I suggest that the developer listen to what the Genoa Historic District suggests and modify the plans so the building and complex will fit into the area appropriately. For years this has been the procedure that was followed. Let's preserve what we've got, not wreck it.