GARDNERVILLE -Although the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District has no veto power against a proposed zone change at the Tillman Center, many board members said they would urge the county commission to turn down the request.
The engineer hired by Tillman Center owners Park Cattle Co., Rob Anderson of R.O. Anderson Engineering, will present the proposed change from residential commercial to tourist commercial to the board at the Wednesday, Nov. 3, meeting scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the district office on Mitch Drive.
Tourist commercial zoning would allow for gaming, the intended purpose, and a variety of other uses ranging from churches and community centers to hotels, convenience stores and theaters, Anderson said.
"We were asked to come by District Manager Bob Spellberg," Anderson said. "Hopefully, it will remove some confusion about the project."
Bill Henderson, director of sales and marketing for Carson Valley Inn, who hopes to open a deli/bar/slot operation in the space vacated by Gorman's Rancho Market if the zone change is approved, said the inn will not come to the meeting.
"It is not our issue until they get the zoning change. If it does, we intend to put in a first-class operation and the landlord will insure that," Henderson said. "I'm glad the engineer will be there. The people should know about the challenges they're facing in putting something in that space. They obviously don't want it to be sitting empty."
Many of the board members questioned before the meeting say they are not in favor of the zone change.
"It's a tough question. I don't want to see a rezoning because what they are planning for and what they actually do once the zoning is approved are two different things. I don't think it would work out here. It's not logical," said Vice-Chairman Al Wagner.
Board member Bev Page said she didn't have enough information about the zone change, but she wasn't in favor of a casino replacing the grocery store.
"I'll have to learn more about what tourist commercial is. I don't want anything in here that's going to degrade the Ranchos," she said.
Members Dewey Jay and Victor Hyden also oppose a slot casino.
"Frankly, I'm against it. I think it doesn't belong there. It's a regular residential neighborhood. I think it's out of place," Jay said. "I'm very definitely against it. It's too nice an area. I don't like it."
Hyden said the increased traffic at Tillman Lane and Kimmerling Road caused by a casino would be problematic.
"I'm against it. I originally thought a small little place would be nice, with a restaurant or bar, which we could use out here. But then I heard it would be a big casino. We've got enough problems at the corner of Tillman and Kimmerling," Hyden said.
However, Board Chairman Bruce Nystrom said he doesn't think the board should even vote on the subject.
"From a private citizen's point of view, I don't think it's appropriate to put in a casino there, but as a governmental entity, I don't we should stick our noses in it. The public should exercise their prerogative and do the appropriate public things; write letters and get petitions," Nystrom said.
Spellberg said the board is asked at Wednesday night's meeting to support or oppose the zone change, so he will have a position to bring before the planning and county commissions.
"We will then send it onto the planning commission. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the planning commission and county commission listen to the board," he said.
What: Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District
When: 6 p.m., Wednesday
Where: District office, Mitch Drive