Extended stay RV park near Carson City Airport receives go-ahead
November 30, 2016
The Carson City Planning Commission approved a permit for an extended-stay RV park on long-vacant land near the Carson City Airport.
The property west of the airport is zoned Tourist Commercial, which means a 30-day stay RV park could be built there without going to the city for permission.
But the applicant, Roger Shaheen, requested an 180-day stay limit, which requires a special use permit.
The applicant also asked to be allowed to use more than 15,000 gallons of water a day, a limit set for commercial properties by the city's growth management ordinance, which can only be waived by the Planning Commission acting as the Growth Management Commission.
The park is expected at full capacity to use about 59,700 gallons daily.
The commission approved the applicant's request to go above the 15,000 gallons per day ceiling.
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The park, to be located at 1440 Old Hot Springs Road, will include 215 RV spaces, a clubhouse, pool, fitness center, store, manager's residence and other amenities that may include a casino and restaurant.
About 10 residents who live near the property as well as Tim Rowe, the airport manager, spoke during public comment.
Rowe said he had concerns because the park is in the path of the airport's most trafficked runway.
"Aircraft are going to be low, they're going to be slow and it's going to be the most critical part of the flight," said Rowe.
The SUP was approved with conditions submitted by the airport, including an airspace study to ensure building heights don't interfere with takeoff or landing, and the requirement for the park's tenants to sign an agreement not to complain about the airport noise.
The residents voiced concerns about noise from the RV park, traffic, and water use.
At one point, Planning Commission Chair Paul Esswein asked Michael Bennett, Carson City location principle, Lumos & Associates, who was representing the applicant, if Bennett would agree to continue the SUP request in order to meet with some of the residents to discuss their concerns, but he declined, saying the project was an allowed use of the property.
Much of the commission discussion focused on the transient occupancy tax, which is collected on room stays, including for RVs, of 28 days or less.
The 180-day limit means any RV park tenant staying for more than 28 days wouldn't pay the room tax.
Esswein reminded the commission several times the only issue they had to consider was the 180-day stay limit.
"I tend to not be comfortable with the project itself, but I haven't heard an argument that 180 days is substantially different than 30 days, and since they can do the 30 days without an SUP, I feel I'd have to vote in the affirmative," said Esswein. The vote was 5-1 with Commissioner Monica Green voting against.
Several other ideas for the property, including an auto mall, were bandied about over the years, but each failed for different reasons and the land has never been developed until now.
In other actions, the commission approved SUPs for an existing billboard at 4440 Highway 50 East and a 104-foot high cellular tower at 5853 S. Carson St. for Verizon Wireless, and a zoning change from single-family one-acre to multifamily apartment on 150 E. Roland St. and 4810 Snyder Ave.