Carson City Supervisors approve Vintage project
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the client whom Bruce Robertson represents.
The Vintage at Kings Canyon development cleared its last major hurdle Thursday, receiving the needed go-ahead from the city to build the project in the face of opposition from nearby residents.
The Carson City Board of Supervisors voted to amend the city master plan to change zoning on 5.6 acres of the property from medium density residential to mixed use residential and to approve the tentative planned unit development (TPUD).
The vote on both motions was 3-1, with Supervisor Jim Shirk voting no each time and Supervisor Brad Bonkowski abstaining because Bruce Robertson, his partner at NAI Alliance, a commercial real estate office, is representing the buyer of the property on which Vintage is being built. Patricia Clark, Coldwell Banker Select Real estate in Minden, represents the sellers.
The TPUD approval came with several new conditions suggested by planning department staff and one that was discussed and agreed upon at the meeting.
The latter condition was to remove from the developer handbook the requirement for an over 55 community and a limit of two residents per house.
Initially, the board discussed placing those restrictions in the development’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or CC&Rs, instead, but in the end the supervisors decided to remove the requirements altogether.
The other additional conditions include a maximum height of 22 feet on houses and 28 feet on the congregate care buildings; language indicating only the board can modify the handbook; and minor deviations of 10 percent or less in parts of the plan may be considered by the community development director.
The six-hour meeting featured presentations by the developer team as well as public comment from about 30 residents who live near the Andersen Ranch on Mountain Street and Ormsby Boulevard where Vintage is planned.
Many from the public also spoke at the September meeting of the Planning Commission, which voted to recommend the board approve the amendment and TPUD, where they voiced the same concerns about flooding from the site, a strain on medical care and other services, increased traffic and other issues they believe will be exacerbated by the project.
A few rose in support of it.
“I think it’s magnificent and wonderful for this city,” said Barbara D’Anneo. “It’s not just this room full of ‘Nos,’ there’s a lot of ‘Yeses’ out there.”
But many, knowing this was the last chance to influence the outcome, mainly expressed exasperation with the process.
“It has been very frustrating, watching the disingenuous developer who said he could have made more money by ‘rack ‘em, pack ‘em, stack ‘em,’ and who is willing to say anything to get this project approved,” said Jason Kuchnicki. “It’s been frustrating to watch the Planning Commission who didn’t seem to know what they were doing. It’s been very frustrating.”
Mayor Bob Crowell said the property as currently zoned could be developed with as many as 256 single-family homes without a master plan amendment, compared to the 212 planned for Vintage, which also includes 96 units inside two buildings for assisted living and independent living.
“All things being equal, I’d like to see something else developed on this property. But they could do it right now without the congregate care,” said Crowell. “Personally I’d like to see another use of this property, but it does meet the goal of a diverse range of housing. And the ability to amend (the master plan) is there for a reason.”
“If you want something different built there then vote ‘no’,” he said. “I’m voting against it because I think it’s wrong on every level.”
In the morning, the board approved the transfer of the former Horseshoe Club’s unrestricted gaming license to Silver Bullet LLC, the owner of Bodines, which plans to use it to open a second casino in North Carson City.
The vote was 2-1, with Shirk voting no and both Bonkowski and Crowell abstaining due to conflicts of interest.
Most of the discussion revolved around whether the license was still in good standing since the Horseshoe Club has not paid its license fees for seven quarters.
The defunct business last paid for the final quarter of 2014, then operated for 19 days in January 2015 without paying its fees for that quarter or since.
Severin Carlson, partner, Kaempfer Crowell, representing Silver Bullet, argued a license could be lapsed for up to 24 months and still be transferred and grandfathered in so the new owner wouldn’t have to build 100 hotel rooms in addition to a casino.
Garrett Gordon with Lewis Roca Rothberger Christie LLP, representing several local casinos including the Carson Nugget and Gold Dust West, argued because the license fees hadn’t been paid the license was no longer in good standing.
The supervisors approved the transfer with the condition the fees for all seven quarters be paid by Dec. 31.
Everyone, however, agreed on one thing: Carson City municipal code on gaming licenses isn’t specific on several key issues.
“It is really poor code,” said Supervisor Lori Bagwell.
“But I cannot change our practice today.”