Wal-Mart shopping center proposes tallest sign in city

Carson City's largest shopping center wants to build the tallest freestanding sign in the city to attract tenants and customers who might otherwise go to Douglas County.

The city's planning commission will review a proposal from North Carson Crossing on Wednesday to build a 65-foot-tall sign to advertise tenants such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot, two of the largest retail chains in the world.

Home Depot is scheduled to open a store in the 50-acre shopping center this spring and has already built a 17-foot tall sound wall near the Carson freeway on the east side of the center - one of the reasons the center needs the 800-square-foot sign, said Kent Witt, manager of the shopping center.

Only about 40 feet of the 65 feet of the sign will be able to be seen from the freeway because of the sound wall and the grading of the freeway.

People coming on the Carson freeway right now can't see the businesses there, said Scott Yoder, manager of the Wal-Mart in the center. He said he hopes the sign will help his store.

In a report, Lee Plemel of the city's planning division recommended the commission approve the proposal. The sign would help bring visitors to the city and slow the "leakage" of businesses south to Douglas County to keep more sales tax revenue in the city, according to his report. The sign also would help establish a standard for future signs along the freeway, he said.

North Carson Crossing will be given a special use permit that allows signs over 30 feet tall if the planning commission approves the proposal. The $200,000 sign is being designed by Custom Sign in Carson City.

The shopping center has two other signs, both 35-feet tall.

The commission approved a 42-foot tall sign for Bodine's Casino in October, which will be the second tallest freestanding sign in the city. The casino at the corner of Old Clear Creek Road and South Carson Street is scheduled to open in late February.

Walt Sullivan, city planning director, said there are signs in higher places in the city than those of the shopping center or Bodine's, but they are on top of buildings and not freestanding.

Other businesses with signs over 30 feet include Casino Fandango, the new Harley-Davidson store and several auto dealerships. The city passed a special sign code for auto dealerships allowing them signs up to 32 feet without a special permit.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Planning Commission

WHERE: The Sierra Room in the Community Center, 851 E. William St.

WHEN: 3:30 p.m. Wednesday


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