Carson City planners do housekeeping on residential codes

An attorney representing homeowners in Lakeview Estates said he is disappointed with Carson City's plan to remove language in its codes that focuses on group-care facilities in residential areas.

"The people of Carson City really are entitled to some kind of hearing when these group homes are proposed in their neighborhoods," said Harry Swainston, who also is a Carson City resident. "They want an opportunity to voice their concerns."

The group-care issue was contentious, especially in the Lakeview Estates section of the city, where residents were against a proposed plan to put a senior-care facility in the northwest Carson neighborhood. The proposed site ended up being sold, but Swainston said the issue isn't moot because this specific plan didn't come to fruition.

A lawsuit was filed by some Lakeview residents in 2004 that asks whether state law could be superseded by local rules, such as property owners' codes, covenants and restrictions.

No legal decision has been made yet about the issue, Swainston said.

This proposed change is among many the city Planning Division does once every two years with its municipal codes.

The exercise, referred to as "housecleaning" took about a year, said Walter Sullivan, the city's Development Services director.

Removal of references in local codes to this group-care-housing use allows state law to prevail.

State and federal laws exist to keep municipalities from "making the process onerous to these types of facilities," Sullivan said.

This larger change was among a slew of mostly small zoning ordinance revisions presented to the Board of Supervisors last week. Removal of typographical errors and updating information were the bulk of changes proposed.

Adoption is expected during an upcoming supervisors' meeting.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.


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