After a two-year battle, District Judge James Wilson ruled this week that the gazebo outside of Mom & Pop’s Diner must go.
Owner Doug Cramer has been fighting with city officials to keep the gazebo that takes up a chunk of the Bob McFadden Plaza connecting Carson and Curry streets on what used to be Third Street. He argues the city gave him permission to put up the gazebo he uses for outside dining at the restaurant, then ordered him to take it down.
According to the ruling issued Monday, city ordinances require an encroachment permit to have an outdoor dining area in the “downtown mixed-use district” because that is public right of way. It states that Cramer does not have that permit.
City officials finally cited Cramer and ordered him to take down the gazebo. He refused and challenged the order in court. The Justice Court ruled for the city and Cramer appealed to District Court.
“Cramer admitted at oral argument that he has an outdoor dining area that includes a gazebo; that the outdoor dining area and the gazebo are in the public right of way; and that Cramer does not have a permit for his downtown dining area or the gazebo,” the ruling states.
Wilson also rejected Cramer’s argument that the municipal code is void because it is too vague, saying it clearly provides a person fair notice of what is prohibited and doesn’t encourage discriminatory enforcement.
“The parties disagree as to whether Carson City gave Cramer permanent permission to build the gazebo,” the ruling states. “The record does not support a conclusion that appellant had any permanent permission or any vested right in having a dining area or a gazebo in the downtown mixed-use district.”
Legally, the decision ends the battle because justice court rulings on civil citations can be appealed to district court but, barring something extraordinary justifying a writ of mandamus, there is no authority to appeal a subsequent district court ruling to the Nevada Supreme Court.