Carson City supervisors adopt Storm Water Management Plan update |

Carson City supervisors adopt Storm Water Management Plan update

A Carson City Public Works employee makes a phone call as water flows towards the intersection of Rhodes St. and S. Curry during a storm in March. The Board of Supervisors discussed the storm water plan on Thursday.
Brad Coman/Nevada Appeal

The Board of Supervisors on Thursday voted to adopt the Carson City Storm Water Management Plan Update.

The 50-page plan lays out a schedule of tasks required to comply with the sewer system discharge permit administered by the state.

Two new measures the city is taking are implementing an Adopt a Watershed program in which a business or group adopts one of 18 watersheds to keep it healthy, and to develop and adopt low-impact design (LID) standards and incorporate them into development standards by the end of 2019.

A draft of the plan received two comments, one commending the incorporation of LID, and another concerning the Clear Creek watershed.

Carson City, like other municipalities, has six control measures for protecting water quality, but also has an additional one for the Clear Creek watershed at the south end of town, around Highway 50 East and Old Clear Creek Road.

The public comment raised concerns about development and construction in that area, including 400 new homes planned at Clear Creek Tahoe Golf Course, and possibly at the former Clear Creek Youth Camp being sold by State Lands, which could exacerbate long-standing problems there if not managed properly.

Nevada Department of Transportation has done work to mitigate runoff from Highway 50, and the city has a stormwater management plan for Clear Creek, but the area around Old Clear Creek Road is a patchwork of land owned or under the authority of different parties, including Carson City, Douglas County, and the Washoe Tribe.

“Maybe all those parties could adopt it,” said Supervisor Karen Abowd.

The board also looked ahead to developing new ordinances: code covering some types of business signs and, even further out, how to handle so-called small cell equipment cellular service providers will soon want to install around the city.

The board looked specifically at temporary banners, A-frame signs, and feather flags put up by businesses.

“We have a great statute, we just don’t enforce it,” said Stan Jones, owner, The Purple Avocado. “It is always the same offenders.”

The supervisors, however, said they wanted to make the code more restrictive and uniform across the city.

“The guiding principles are consistency, reduce clutter, and consider whether feather flags should be allowed at all,” said Mayor Bob Crowell, when giving direction to staff.

Small cell equipment is for delivering the next phase of cellular service referred to as 5G. It reduces the equipment footprint from large cell towers to smaller, more densely installed poles.

“Nationally, we will go from 350,000 macro towers to over a million small cells by 2023,” said Stephanie Hicks, Carson City real property manager.

Hicks said a consultant estimated Carson City would get requests for 50 small cells per service provider.

City staff recommends using existing city street lights and traffic signal poles for the equipment rather than letting the providers install new poles, but many other details, such as licensing fees and whether service providers can colocate, have to be worked out.

City staff as well as a representatives from AT&T and Sprint encouraged moving forward as expeditiously as possible because there’s some concern Nevada will do what 11 other states have done and make state regulations rather than leave it to each local jurisdiction to decide.

The board also interviewed four candidates for two spots on the Planning Commission. Two applicants, Charles Borders and Daniel Salerno, currently sit on the commission and were reapplying, and two others, Alexander Drawers and Teri Green-Preston, were new applicants.

The supervisors voted to appoint Borders and Green-Preston to four-year terms on the commission.

An item to appoint members to the Parks and Recreation Commission was pulled from the agenda as was an item on easements at Brunswick Canyon Road.

The board heard on first reading an ordinance to limit signage at marijuana retailers and dispensaries to two 15 square-foot signs or one 30 square-foot sign, and an ordinance to levy the annual Downtown Neighborhood Improvement District assessment to pay for downtown streetscape maintenance.