The Carson City Planning Commission on Wednesday denied a special use permit for a childcare facility on Randell Drive near the post office.
The facility is planned for a building in a neighborhood business zone that abuts a residential area, which raised concerns about noise and parking for neighbors and the commissioners.
The property is owned by the Nevada Builders Alliance, which used the building as its office before recently moving to the Battle Born Business Center.
NBA plans to appeal the commission’s decision to the Board of Supervisors, according to CEO Aaron West.
The building was constructed in 2001 and designed to look like a home to fit into the neighborhood, but it’s an office on the inside with limited use.
The property also has an unusual resolution of intent attached to it by the Board of Supervisors when it was built which says it can only be used by the builders’ group for an office and must revert to residential zoning if sold.
West said it didn’t make economic sense to convert the building to a house in order to sell it so instead the organization wants to maintain the neighborhood business zoning and lease it to a childcare operator.
To do that, NBA needs a zoning map amendment to remove the resolution of intent, a SUP to operate a childcare facility in a neighborhood business zone, and a variance to reduce the requirement for onsite parking.
Staff recommended approval on all three items but with conditions: the childcare facility would be limited to 20 children to start and the applicant could request an increase to 36 children after a year; children’s outdoor activities would be limited to 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; and the facility wouldn’t operate on Saturday.
Those restrictions were in part to mitigate the problem of noise for neighbors, including Linda Basher, whose house shares 84 feet of fence with the property and who spoke during public comment.
“I don’t want them to not be successful, but I have concerns,” said Basher. “Twenty to 36 kids outside means I cannot enjoy my backyard.”
Basher and other neighbors said they were also concerned there wasn’t sufficient on-road parking and traffic, particularly from trucks going to and from the post office, posed a safety risk to the children.
Childcare facilities are regulated by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, which has already inspected the site and approved up to 36 children there, according to West.
Only four commissioners were present, with Monica Green and Elyse Monroy absent and one position vacant.
The commission voted to recommend the zoning map amendment to the Board of Supervisors by a 3-1 vote, with Chairman Paul Esswein voting no.
Then the commissioners voted 2-2 on a motion to approve the SUP with all the conditions, which meant the motion failed.
The commission voted unanimously to deny the variance.
If the property remains neighborhood business, and the supervisors deny NBA’s appeal to the SUP, the building could be leased to other types of businesses without a SUP, including dry cleaner, hardware store or liquor retailer.
The commission also approved an SUP for a 47-foot, 6-inch freeway sign for Gold Dust West. The hotel casino requested a 57-foot sign and staff recommended approval of a 45-foot sign, but the commission decided to compromise and use the same limit applied to another recent freeway sign applicant, Golden Gate Petroleum.
Gold Dust West also plans to replace its existing 40-foot sign on William Street with a 16-foot sign.
The commission also approved a SUP for Carson City to convert the old animal shelter on Butti Way to offices and parking for the Jump Around Carson bus service, and a SUP for Battle Born Autobody to put in an autobody repair shop at Fairview and Edmonds drives.
The commission will meet again next week for its regular meeting the last Wednesday of the month. Two meetings were held this month to handle all the applications.