Two named to Carson City Planning Commission
A retired architect and a registered nurse were named by the Board of Supervisors Thursday to Carson City’s Planning Commission.
The choices to fill two vacant seats on the seven-member commission came less than a week before a major downtown private sector project would undergo commission review.
The board selected Daniel Salerno, retired architect and a former planning commission member elsewhere, for a term ending in mid-2018. Monica Green, a nurse citing management experience and a youthful, family-oriented approach, will serve until mid-2017. They were chosen over three other applicants interviewed. Seven applied, but one withdrew and another didn’t show up for the interview session.
The new commission members likely will get a baptism in fire in the sense next Wednesday’s planning commission agenda includes review of the multi-million dollar private-sector Capitol Mall North project. The developers, who seek a special use permit, envision a Hyatt Place hotel, a technology-oriented conference center, more than 300,000 square feet of rentable office space, two parking garages, and a green space plaza in the downtown.
The project would cover about 10 acres near the Carson Nugget casino, with one parking garage for it to the west and the rest of the mall buildings and green space to the casino’s east and southeast. The project would go on Hop and Mae Adams Foundation property, for the most part. The late Hop and Mae Adams owned the Nugget.
Salerno’s application cited a decade on the Washoe County Planning Commission and experience as well on the Del Mar, Calif., planning commission. He was chairman of each, for two years in Nevada and a year in California. He now lives in Carson City and told board members he sees growth in the community’s future.
“I think we’re about to grow substantially,” he said, calling as he made the prediction for careful planning and decisions that avoid sprawl. “We have to keep the city foremost in mind.”
He also said if a development meets all city requirements but opponents protest because they would lose a view, or just don’t like the land use, he would approve it. He acknowledged such decisions were difficult when matters prompted contention. He also told the board he wasn’t seeking the post as a stepping stone to something else in public life, but wanted to put his knowledge to use.
Green said her long-term vision for Carson City includes a technology and information-oriented job market, retention of the historic ambiance but with a balanced approach. She said she would strive to make herself and others understand informed decisions based on facts are key, not under-researched opinions based on coffee table talk.
“I believe that I would bring a different viewpoint,” she said, citing not only her management of 80 people in her career but her age of 35, as well as both her young family and female perspective. When asked what background she brought to the table regarding planning, she acknowledged she would have a learning curve but didn’t shy away from that.
“I would have to do a lot of due diligence,” she said. She said in handling contentious or emotional planning situations, she would employ open-ended questions and other communication skills with concerned citizens.
The board also was scheduled to deal with two applicants for a seat on the Airport Authority, but the item was tabled after issues were raised. The board was down to just three members after Mayor Robert Crowell and Supervisor Brad Bonkowski recused themselves for differing reasons. The mayor’s law partner is Airport Authority counsel; Bonkowski has a business association with one of the applicants.
Bill Miles and Dayton Murdock were the applicants for the manufacturer’s representative slot on the authority. Board policy bars such service to people who have contracts with city government, Supervisor Lori Bagwell noted, and Murdock is located 3.9 miles from the airport. There’s a three mile radius rule for the slot. The decision to table will open the door to new applicants, and governing board policy on such standards will be reviewed.