Planning commissioners OK care facility in north Carson City

Rendering of the proposed Oasis assisted living care facility, 4500 N. Carson St., provided by architect Peter Wilday.

Rendering of the proposed Oasis assisted living care facility, 4500 N. Carson St., provided by architect Peter Wilday.

A large assisted-living care facility proposed for North Carson Street passed two hurdles at the Carson City Planning Commission on Tuesday.

As both the regular Planning Commission and the Growth Management Commission, commissioners approved a special use permit for the three-story care facility as well as a request for 15,700 gallons of daily water usage. Commissioners Jay Wiggins and Sena Loyd were absent.

Growth Management Commission review is required for any proposed commercial use above 15,000 gallons of water per day.

The project is proposed for 4500 N. Carson St. According to planning staff, the property is zoned retail commercial and operated currently as a “RV sales use.” The Carson City Assessor’s website lists the 6.1 acres being owned by Joda Limited Partnership. The special use permit application lists Michael Hohl RV Center as the property owner.

A project description in the application says the Oasis assisted-living facility would include a trio of three-story residential towers, each with a different theme and restaurant, a central garden area with putting greens and dog parks, an administrative building, and 12 caregiver apartments.

“Each building could house as many as 132 beds at 90 percent occupancy,” reads the description. “At the required rate of one caregiver per six residents each building could have as many as 22 caregivers on duty on the day shift and 11 caregivers on the night shift.”

According to the same description, the 12 apartments would “enhance the overall Oasis campus complex level of care by housing about one-third of the required caregivers on site.”

“It is imperative to the residents that the caregivers are on duty at all times,” reads the description. “Having a portion of this staff on site will give Oasis the ability to ensure this level of care.”

Commissioner Richard Perry asked if the apartments could be rented to others besides the workforce. Applicant and project architect Peter Wilday said the apartments would be “exclusive” for caregivers.

Regarding water use, a staff report for the Growth Management Commission states the city does have sufficient capacity to serve the project without negative impacts to the system or surrounding properties. However, one condition of approval for the special use permit, found in the planning commission report, requires developers pay $43,580 – a pro rata share – to help upgrade sewer infrastructure in the area.

Another condition of approval requires the applicant submit to the Growth Management Commission documentation of actual water use each year “until three years after full buildout of the project.” If the applicant is not in compliance or needs more water, they’ll need to return to the GMC or “license water rights to Carson City in an amount equal to any amount of water used or anticipated to be used in excess of this entitlement.”

“We’re anticipating once we get up and going that our water use is going to be substantially less,” Wilday said Tuesday.

Resident Shellie Shanna wondered about a care facility in the retail commercial zone and if the special use permit process was being used instead of a zoning change.

“I don’t see how this can be approved,” Shanna said.

Commissioner Teri Preston pointed out north Carson is mostly retail commercial, including zoning for the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center. She said the project fits with medical facilities in the area.

“I look at this and say, ‘This makes sense,’” she said.

While the Growth Management Commission approved the water request unanimously, the Planning Commission voted 4-1 on the special use permit. Commissioner Nathaniel Killgore was opposed, expressing concerns over sewer and water use.

In other action, planning commissioners:

-Approved a special use permit for Resource Concepts Inc. for a parking lot zoned public and owned by the Carson City School District.

The property is located at 604 W. Musser Street. RCI owns properties at 340 Minnesota St. and 505 W. Telegraph St. that have served as offices. However, an October fire at 340 Minnesota St. led the engineering firm to establish temporary offices at the Telegraph St. location and to request use of the neighboring parking lot.

In November, the Carson City School Board approved a parking lease agreement with RCI.

On Tuesday, Joe Cacioppo of RCI said the firm is trying to accommodate displaced staff for the time being. He said the firm plans on rebuilding the fire-damaged structure as close to its historical nature as possible.

“It is in the historic district, so there are certain requirements we have to meet,” he said.

-Continued a proposed ordinance from Green Thumb Industries that would change location requirements to allow marijuana retail outlets and medical dispensaries in the retail commercial zone along N. Carson Street, north of Winnie Lane and west of Hot Springs Road.

Currently, marijuana stores are allowed in general commercial and industrial commercial zones along a portion of South Carson Street and east Highway 50. Green Thumb, which owns the RISE dispensary in south Carson, has been trying to find a location for a second store. Strict location requirements for marijuana stores have been in place since 2014.

Planning commissioners will hear the request at their January meeting.

-Said goodbye to outgoing planning commissioners Jay Wiggins and Paul Esswein.

Wiggins was recently appointed to the Open Space Advisory Committee.

Esswein said he’s been honored to serve on the commission for 12 years.

Community Development Director Hope Sullivan said Esswein’s technical knowledge made city planning better. She said he will be missed.


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