Last hurdle cleared for Silver State Charter School |

Last hurdle cleared for Silver State Charter School

Sandi Hoover

After a lengthy discussion and public comment period, the Carson City Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Thursday to change the zoning of three parcels located at the end of Mallory Way from limited industrial to general commercial.

The change will allow development of the proposed Silver State Charter School campus.

Supervisor John McKenna voted against the zoning change, but did not state the reason for his objection.

The school opened its doors in 2003 as a hybrid charter school where students could take courses online and attend classes at the school once a week. In 2009, the school expanded to junior high students.

With no room to expand at its current location – 16,000 square feet in a strip mall at 3719 N. Carson St. – school leaders began a few years ago trying to find an alternative location.

Although some neighboring Mallory Way business people spoke out against the school at the planning commission meeting in March, no one voiced opposition before the supervisors during a first reading two weeks ago.

But Thursday, a number of opponents spoke out against the zoning change.

Gary Sheerin, who has tenants along Mallory Way near where the school is proposed, said tenant concerns included added traffic on the privately owned street and students in the area day and night.

He said new programs proposed for the school are “just too much, subjecting industrial tenants to more vandalism. They’ve been there many years and have expensive equipment.”

Jerry Kelley, president of Sierra Control Systems, said he is a 30-year tenant of his Mallory Way business and employs 23 people.

“I’m against the zoning change because there is a safety issue in putting a school on a cul de sac,” Kelley said. “There is no alternative exit.”

He explained that a few years back, there was a fire in a building on the street and that he was kept from leaving his property because there was no way out.

“I think it’s irresponsible to have a school with students stuck there,” he said.

Kelley said he was OK with having the school as a neighbor, but didn’t like the idea of creating a zoning island of general commercial surrounded by limited industrial.

But Mayor Bob Crowell said the entire area, which is sandwiched between Governors Field and Fairview Drive, has changed since the master plan was adopted years ago.

“This is an area in transition. You already have a beauty school there and churches and a fitness center,” he said.

JoAnn Sheerin objected to the additional traffic on the private road, which she said is already in poor condition.

“I’m not opposed to the location, but we need to bring that road up to code…” she said.

Jack Oakes, Gary Sheerin’s partner who now lives in Smith Valley, said the school should look at other locations.

“We’ve got vacancies up and down the street in Carson City. What you bring in should complement the area,” he said.

But Mark Palmer, of Palmer Engineering, who represents Silver State, said that they’ve looked at 18 different sites in three years, and that only 15 percent of the enrolled students are at the school at any given time.

In other matters Thursday, the board of supervisors:

• Authorized the mayor to sign an agreement to permit the Brewery Arts Center to obtain funding to consolidate debt. The amount of the loan is $300,000. The board delayed taking action on a related document for the Redevelopment Authority to secure a lien of $20,000.

• Presented the 2011 Carson City Historic Preservation Awards to former supervisors Robin Williamson and Pete Livermore for their efforts in working on redevelopment efforts, and to Darsi Casey of 503 N. Nevada St. for her rehabilitation work on the property.

• Approved an Open Space Division work program calling for administration of the Open Space portions of the Quality of Life fund for acquisition, restoration of natural resources, development and management of open space and related properties for calendar year 2011. The program will be used to develop the division’s budget.

• Approve a second reading of an ordinance to change the zoning of two parcels at 1365 and 1393 Medical Parkway from single-family one-acre to retail commercial.

• As the Liquor and Entertainment Board, they unanimously granted liquor licenses to Kristine Meyers as the liquor manager for Smith’s Food and Drug Store at 599 E. William St., and to Jinny Suarez as liquor manager for The Olive Garden, located at 4253 S. Carson St., which has announced an opening date of June 27 and an intent to hire 72 servers and 10 bartenders.

• Granted a liquor license to Kulvir Singh as liquor manager for Discount Buy Smoke N Liquor at 500 Hot Springs Road. There was some discussion as to the appropriateness of a liquor store at that location, and Liquor Board Member Sheriff Ken Furlong voted against granting the license.

• Discussed proposed modifications relating to the liquor license ordinance.