City postpones action on hotel/casino appeals

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Carson City supervisors on Thursday postponed approving an appeal process to a new ordinance that requires the construction of 100 hotel rooms in order to gain an unlimited gaming license in the capital.

In February, supervisors approved the measure despite concern that the rule put too tight a restriction on the formation of business and tampered with property rights. Supervisors argued it raised the bar for development in Carson.

To recognize that developers could bring something to the community equal to hotel rooms, Board members asked Treasurer Al Kramer to amend the ordinance to include an appeals process. The amendment basically states that if a developer has a plan with a similar economic benefit to hotel rooms, supervisors can consider that alternative instead. The rules listed such items as a parking garage, golf course, convention center or museum as items that could replace hotel rooms in gaming operations.

Mayor Ray Masayko, who voted against the initial proposal, pressed Thursday for the appeals process to be as flexible as possible.

"I don't think it's Carson City's public duty to determine how much investment someone should make before they can open a business in Carson City," he said.

Supervisors decided to allow Kramer and the city's legal staff to revisit the appeals process to iron out some confusion in portions of the appeals process.

Anyone with an unrestricted gaming license before February will be allowed continued operation. There is a window for interested developers to start a gaming operation under the old rules. Developers will have until Aug. 1 to apply for an unrestricted license.

Supervisor Richard Staub abstained from the 4-0 vote citing potential, future conflicts of interest.


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