Carson OKs Wal-Mart building plans | NevadaAppeal.com
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Carson OKs Wal-Mart building plans

Jill Lufrano

Wal-Mart’s designs for a new supercenter in North Carson City were easily approved Thursday, giving the retail giant the go-ahead to start building this summer.

Before approving the project, city planning commissioners and representatives from the company answered questions from a handful of neighbors near the site at Hot Springs and East College Parkway about noise, lighting, traffic and the blocking of mountain views.

“I think everybody had a really nice attitude tonight,” said Commissioner John Peery.

Wal-Mart expects the project to take from nine to 12 months to complete, allowing the store to open in spring 2005, said Reno spokeswoman Amy Hill.

The store will operate 24 hours a day. Company officials predict it will generate at least $500,000 in retail tax revenue for the city each year, Hill said.

In working with the city and responding to concerns of the neighborhood, the company agreed to limit loading and unloading times and add trees and a 10-foot sound wall at the property line to shield the building from neighbors in the Northridge subdivision.

Commissioners agreed to recommend closing and abandoning the portion of Hot Springs Road between Roop Street and East College Parkway to traffic as part of the project. The closure would allow cars to drive into the Wal-Mart parking lot. The Board of Supervisors will need to make a final approval before the closure can occur.

Wal-Mart engineers have included 1,013 parking places at the site. The store will have room for at least two vendors inside, but plans have not been finalized, Hill said.

The six acres that will remain undeveloped at the 26-acre site will allow other retail development after Wal-Mart is completed.

Residents were concerned about noise during loading and unloading at the rear of the store. The company asked, and was granted, permission to deliver goods from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. every day. Wal-Mart officials said the delivery area is sealed to the building and as quiet as possible.

“We are known for our logistics,” Hill said. “It’s a pretty quick process. Very little sound escapes from the building.”

Northridge resident Penelope Smith, whose house will be 24 feet from the property line, said she was concerned with truck traffic and wanted a sound wall across the back. She said she didn’t expect the view of snow-capped mountains behind her house to remain unchanged forever, but wasn’t expecting a mega superstore in her backyard.

Neighbor Lisa Figueroa said she questioned whether it was a “good idea for the city to backtrack to recoup its mistakes,” referring to the move of Wal-Mart last year to Douglas County. She also had concerns about impacts on her neighborhood.

“We are a small group of people, but we’re not dispensable,” Figueroa said.

In other action, the Planning Commissioners approved state building plans for a five-story office building at Little Lane and Stewart Street, south of Carson City Fire Station No. 1. The project plans passed unanimously Thursday, giving the state approval to begin construction. The 120,000-foot building will house the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Contact Jill Lufrano at jlufrano@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.