Carson planning commissioners OK hotel, child care

Planning Commissioner Richard Perry (third from right) receives well wishes from other members as Dec. 19 was his last meeting.

Planning Commissioner Richard Perry (third from right) receives well wishes from other members as Dec. 19 was his last meeting.

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

Carson City planning commissioners Tuesday approved special use permits for a new hotel on North Carson Street and a new child care facility off Mountain Street for the Boys and Girls Club, among other requests.

Commissioners approved a special use permit (SUP) for a Hilton-brand hotel at 4011 N. Carson St. The property is zoned retail commercial. At approximately 54 feet, the 91-room hotel will exceed the allowable height of 45 feet for the zoning district.

Applicant Jaswinder Dhami explained the extra height on the structure would be for an architectural feature central to the hotel brand.

“This is a Hilton property, so this came from the brand standards, and they wanted us to incorporate that,” he said.

Commissioner Vern Krahn was curious about the market in Carson for the project, given multiple hotels in the city.

Dhami, whose family built the nearby Holiday Inn Express roughly 20 years ago, said demand is growing.

“We are putting a different project here,” he said. “This is not a normal hotel. This is an extended-stay hotel.”

The Home 2 Suites facility would consist of approximately 60,000 square feet and four stories, according to planning documents. Dhami called it a high-end hotel with full kitchens, meeting a need for long-term hotel rooms.

Commissioner Charles Borders said the decorative feature, exceeding the height limit, bothered him.

“If I’m investing over $20 million in a building, I want to do it right, and the brand wants it,” Dhami replied.

Dhami added, “These brands are very definitive on what you can do.”

The SUP was approved unanimously.

Commissioners also approved two related items regarding a child care facility for the Boys and Girls Club at 2805 Mountain St.

Commissioners first approved amending code to allow a child care facility in the residential office zoning district without being accessory to a residential use, meaning a child care facility could be set up in a former office, as in this case. The use would still be conditional and require a special use permit. The commission’s recommendation will go to the Board of Supervisors.

“That would affect the residential office district itself and is not specific to a location within the city,” clarified Associate Planner Heather Manzo. “It would be a city-wide amendment to our code.”

Second, commissioners approved a special use permit for the specific facility on Mountain Street. The request is contingent on adoption of the aforementioned code amendment.

According to planning documents and a project description, the former office would become a day care for children 6 months to 5 years old. Furthermore, the parking lot east of the building would be restructured to include a playground.

Some neighbors worried about traffic, noise and flooding in the area.

“Please be aware of major flooding of the parking lot east of the buildings where the proposed day care is located,” Chernus Drive resident Connie Muir wrote in a Dec. 18 email. “On-site surface drainage is a problem that will impact proposed parking, and especially the playground areas are subject to flooding with most major storms. The parking lot turns into a pond.”

Stephen Pottey, senior project manager of Carson City Public Works, said drainage is an issue in the driving area east of the building but not for the proposed playground.

“It appears that the issue is lack of maintenance of the drainage facilities that were constructed for that parcel,” he said.

Pottey said the flooding issue has less to do with the SUP request and more to do with code enforcement.

“Our stormwater division is aware of it,” he said. “They are going to be reaching out to the owner of that parcel to rectify that issue.”

Brett Zunino, CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, told commissioners capacity for the facility would be around 100 children. He said the project depends on the requested code change heading to supervisors.

“At that point then, we’d raise funds to close on the building in escrow, which would be somewhere around April or no later than June 28,” he said.

Zunino cited local and state reports on the need for the facility, saying that for every child in day care in the community, there are three waiting for a spot.

“I think every day care in Carson City right now has a waiting list,” he said.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ronni Hannaman spoke during public comment in support of the project. So did Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong, a Boys and Girls Club board member.

“This issue is a major impact for our community,” Furlong said, giving an example of one of his own staff members having to resign due to child care challenges.

Planning Commissioner Sena Loyd abstained from voting on the two items due to her role as vice president of the Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada’s executive committee. Planning Commission Chair Teri Preston also abstained due to her personal business dealings with the subject property.

Both the code change and SUP were unanimously approved by the remaining commissioners. The SUP was passed with a condition of approval limiting the operational hours of the facility from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In other business:

• Commissioners approved the extension of a SUP for a multifamily development at 201 E. William St., a 207-unit apartment complex known as The Altair.

The project is being developed by Kingsbarn Capital and Development, the same developer of the Marlette apartments off Little Lane.

First approved in 2022, the permit was extended once last year and will now run through Jan. 26, 2025. It allows “alternative compliance” for design standards in the downtown mixed use zoning district.

Borders had concerns with projects being extended indefinitely and proposed making the subject extension the last one for the apartments. However, discussing “unforeseen circumstances” in development, Community Development Director Hope Sullivan cautioned the planning commission against setting a precedent.

“We’ve had a really interesting couple of years, with what’s happened with interest rates, with COVID, with all sorts of stuff, and there have been quite a few requests for extensions that have come forward,” she said. “We can’t predict what the next year will bring.”

Planning Manager Heather Ferris also said removing the possibility of extensions would mean applicants would have to redo the entire SUP process.

The vote to extend the permit was unanimous.

• Planning commissioners said goodbye to Commissioner Richard Perry, who said his term is up and he will not seek reappointment. Perry mentioned issues important to him during his tenure, like affordable housing, and hoped the ongoing Master Plan update would address some of those issues.

Fellow commissioners said they would miss him. City staff said Perry challenged their thinking in positive ways.

“I think it yielded a better product for Carson City,” Sullivan said of Perry’s contributions. “I appreciate the camaraderie.”


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment