City seeks expansion of South Carson redevelopment zone
Appeal Staff Writer
In an effort to improve the South Carson business climate, the city intends to substantially increase the size of the area’s redevelopment zone.
The Redevelopment Authority is seeking approval from the Board of Supervisors to expand the improvement zone in this part of the city – known as Project Area No. 2 – by adding up to 162 parcels and roughly 432 acres to the current 144-acre area comprised of 84 parcels.
If the supervisors give staff the go-ahead, there will be two public workshops and residents’ opinions gathered before the change occurs in mid-May.
Though foot traffic isn’t a primary customer draw for The Sporting Rage, its displays of kayaks and paddles outside the store sometimes attract passers-by.
A retail and professional office area is slated to open in June 2007 just south of the shop, after the Oasis Mobile Home Park closes. It is information one of the store owners said he is happy to hear.
“Anything to bring more businesses in,” said David Goodwin, co-owner of store, which features specialty outdoor products for such activities as skiing, climbing and kayaking. “I’m excited to see more shopping, more people in this area.”
The store was one of the first to lease space in the shopping center anchored by Albertsons, which opened in the 1990s. The Sporting Rage moved to the Albertsons shopping center from the Eagle Station Shopping Center, which is slightly north on the other side of South Carson Street and anchored by Raley’s and Mervyn’s.
Increasing tax revenues from auto sales through Area No. 2 redevelopment has long been a high priority for the city. It has more strategies for improving the area’s business climate, however, said Joe McCarthy, the city’s economic development and redevelopment authority director.
South Carson has “vacant big-box stores, empty in-line shops, deteriorating housing and a significant lack of public improvements to attract new commercial and residential development,” he said.
Along with finding a use for the vacant Wal-Mart building and seeing commercial space replace the mobile home park, other long-term improvements sought include adding tenants to the Southgate and Eagle Station shopping Centers, developing land on Curry Street south from Koontz Lane to Highway 50, and improving land of and around Clear Creek Mobile Home Park and the former Bodine’s Restaurant property, McCarthy said.
The addition to the South Carson zone would raise the city’s redevelopment land-worth to 3 percent of the assessed value of the city. Communities can designate as redevelopment areas an amount of land worth no more than 15 percent of the city’s assessed values, he said.
“I don’t know what the implications are being in the district,” said Todd Butterworth, co-owner of Dream Dinners, a newly opened catering business that leases space in the Clearview Center. It, too, doesn’t rely solely on foot traffic because it is a by-appointment-only operation.
Having as many people as possible moving through the area, however, “wouldn’t hurt,” he said.
He would like to see the old Wal-Mart building occupied so the city can earn a sizable amount of taxable sales revenue from it.
“I just wish they would put something in there,” Butterworth said.
The process “provides opportunities for public-private partnerships,” McCarthy said. “Investment has been slow to come to South Carson.”
While the process could include the city paying for street, lighting and landscaping improvements to enhance the area, use of eminent domain also is possible.
McCarthy emphasized that use of eminent domain in the zone, however, would be limited to properties deteriorated or abandoned to the point of “creating hazards to public health and safety or needing to be torn down.”
Landowners also can opt out of participating in the redevelopment zoning, he said.
Carol Harmon, who took over ownership of the General Nutrition Center store in a leased space in the Southgate Mall, said she thought the prospect of enhancing the business climate in that part of town – not to mention in that retail center – “was exciting.”
She has owned the store for a couple of months and would like to see more retailing around her other than the J.C. Penney at one end and the former Wal-Mart on the other.
“For me,” Harmon said, more retail business operating around them would provide them with more foot traffic – and more customers.
The process of adding to the Project Area No. 2 will take several weeks. If the resolution is adopted by the Board of Supervisors, the redevelopment authority will hold workshops to discuss the issue. Final adoption could come as early as mid-May.
“We don’t want to lose any more business across the county line,” McCarthy added.
There have been two major redevelopment areas created in Carson City. The downtown area was established in 1986, as one of the first redevelopment ventures in Nevada. It currently includes 488 acres.
The first portion of the South Carson area was made into a redevelopment area in 2004.
If you go
What: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting
When: 8:30 a.m. Thursday
Where: Sierra Room,
Community Center, 851 E. William St.
A technical term to describe a property condition that is “detrimental to the physical, social or economic well-being of a community. It can include abandoned buildings or those severely neglected by their owners, vacant lots full of rubble and garbage or dangerous or illegal uses such as crack houses, according to http://www.urbanplan.org.
Generally, the redesign or rehabilitation of existing
properties and improvement of land in accordance with a city’s goals and objectives.
Public workshop dates
Workshops are scheduled for April 13 and April 20 from 3-5 p.m. at the Carson Area Chamber of Commerce, 1900 S. Carson St.
South Carson landowners were notified by mail of the redevelopment plan, and are encouraged to attend.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.