Planning Commission denies bridge club’s request to stay
Carson City bridge players lost a hand Wednesday against the Planning Commission after officials denied their request to continue playing cards in an airport industrial zone.
While many commissioners expressed their support of the senior social club, they said it was important to maintain the space exclusively for industrial users. The commissioners voted 4-2 against the club.
Commissioner Wayne Pedlar was absent.
“I just believe there are places for things to exist and places they just shouldn’t be,” said Commissioner Alan Christianson.
Many representatives from the industrial park agreed.
“Leave us alone with our airport,” said Collie Hutter, chief operating officer of Click Bond, Inc., a manufacturer of airplane fasteners. Hutter said she felt industry presented a hazard to the “nice people” of the bridge club.
Commissioners Roger Sedway and John Perry were the only two who voted in favor of allowing the social card club to continue operating out of their rented space at 2701 Conestoga Drive.
Several members of the club stood up to ask the the city to grant them a special permit to stay. Club members play three times a week at the site.
Until the club was opened more than two years ago, Carson City did not have a bridge club, said owners Robert and Roberta Anderson.
The club’s members compete in tournaments throughout the state and nation. The club also provides a place for seniors to enjoy the card game, Roberta Anderson said.
The couple started the club by renting a commercial site for $1,100 a month until they found the new site for $550 a month. Club members pay $5 each time they play to help cover the cost. Until they found the site in by the airport, the Andersons personally lost $9,000 the first year because of the high rent.
The new office provided the seniors with ample parking, a kitchen and bathroom and allowed them to keep the tables, bridge boxes and other game pieces set up, club members said.
The Andersons were required to apply for a business license in December after city license staff spotted an advertisement they placed in a newspaper to attract bridge students. The city discovered the couple had set up shop in an area that didn’t allow social clubs.
It is uncertain if the club will stay in Carson City, said Roberta Anderson after the decision, although the city and Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce officials offered their assistance in relocating the club. Club members were disappointed with the denial.
“We thought it was pretty unfair,” Robert Anderson said.
The club can appeal Wednesday’s decision to the city’s board of supervisors next month.
Planning and Community Development Department Director Walt Sullivan said the club will have time to move from its space before the city ceases its operation. As long as an appeal is in process, the club can continue to play, Sullivan said.