Sunridge casino seeks 100-foot variance |

Sunridge casino seeks 100-foot variance

by Susie Vasquez
Nevada Appeal News Service
Submitted photo A rendering of the planned Sunridge casino in North Douglas County.

MINDEN – Developers of a proposed casino and 300-room hotel in north Douglas County will ask the Douglas County Planning Commission to approve a 100-foot height variance for the second phase of the project this week.

It could be an uphill battle, based on findings of county planners.

“The subject site is not exceptionally narrow or shallow and does not have any topographic conditions that create practical difficulties to, or exceptional and undue hardships upon, the applicant,” Associate Planner Brandy Fox McMahon said in her report.

“Though staff was unable to make the findings for the height variance, the overall project has been deemed to be of high quality and worthy of the planning commission’s approval,” she said.

Located on the southeast corner of Highway 395 and South Sunridge Drive, the 45-acre Goldtown Casino project will be built in two phases. Max Baer’s proposed Beverly Hillbillies casino is located on the north side of Indian Hills near the Douglas County/Carson City line.

Phase one of Goldtown includes the hotel and 92,000 square feet of casino space, 50,000 square feet of retail outlet shopping, restaurants and a convention facility.

Costs are estimated at $125 million for the first phase, according to information from American Vantage Cos. Phase two includes a parking garage, conference center, event center, casino expansion, retail space, spa and wellness center, according to information from county officials.

Zoning for the project was approved by the Board of Commissioners about 15 years ago. Commissioners subsequently denied a request for the required special use permit by a 3-2 vote, the decision based on concerns that a casino complex was incompatible with the surrounding residential neighborhood.

Residents at that time voiced concerns over the increased need for fire protection and emergency medical services, as well as impacts on air quality, traffic, water and crime, according to an article in The Record Courier.

Developers Las Vegas Paving Corp. challenged that decision in court and won. District Court Judge Dave Gamble required the county to issue the permit, saying the special use permit provides guidelines and is not discretionary.

According to the District Attorney’s office, the court-ordered special use permit for the casino/hotel is still in effect.

The maximum permissible height in the general commercial and tourist commercial/general commercial overlay zoning districts is 45 feet.

District Court stipulated that a casino-hotel could be constructed per the approved plans that show a maximum height of 53 feet and architectural projections to a maximum height of 64 feet.

Brownstone GoldTown LLC is handling pre-development and financing proposals. The project is a joint venture with RFG Gaming & Hospitality, according to information from Business Wire.

• Contact reporter Susie Vasquez at or 782-5121, ext. 211.