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Douglas County should approve all or nothing

It doesn’t seem to us that there was much point in approving Max Baer’s Beverly Hillbillies Resort and Mansion without the oil derrick.

The question is simple. There is a request for a zone change from commercial to tourist commercial, which will allow a casino on the property on the east side of Highway 395.

Planning commissioners narrowly agreed that the spot is a good one for a casino and it would surprise us if county commissioners didn’t also vote for the zone change.

But approving the idea of a casino on that property and then rejecting the variances for the particular project sends the wrong signal.

We’ve learned recently that another casino, one approved 20 years ago near the intersection of Highway 395 and Plymouth Drive, may finally come to fruition.

Douglas County’s approval of a zone change for that project in 1987 came back to haunt the county five years later when commissioners tried to turn down a special use permit.

When the applicant sued, Judge Dave Gamble said the county had lost the right to reject a casino when they approved the zoning.

Should the county permit a casino on the property across from Carson Valley Plaza and reject the variances, they will essentially disconnect Baer’s proposal from the approval he’s seeking.

If the county doesn’t share Max Baer’s vision for that property, then the entire package should be rejected. If they do, then they should accept the entire project – derrick, big illuminated signs and all.

• This editorial appeared in the Record-Courier