County considers trading casino for homes

Saturday 1st February 2020

A 13-year-old plan to build a high-rise casino, a huge theater and a shopping mall is on the chopping block Tuesday.

Owners of property located east of Highway 395 across from Carson Valley Plaza near the Carson City line are hoping county commissioners will approve a revised master plan for the property.

Commissioners are scheduled to hear the request at a 1 p.m. meeting held specifically for the debate.

According to a report prepared for commissioners, the project covers 203 acres of the 624-acre North Douglas County Specific Plan. Property owners include Big George Ventures, Riverwood Partners, Riverwood Development and Carson Auto Mall.

The property is currently zoned tourist commercial, neighborhood commercial, general commercial, single-family residential and public facilities.

Under the proposal before commissioners on Tuesday, owners are seeking to remove the tourist commercial, add multi-family residential and reconfigure the general commercial.

According to the county, there are currently 894 dwelling units approved on the property, with 157 of those in multi-family residential. The proposal would increase the number of single-family homes to 328 from 100. Single-family attached homes would go from 637 to 300 units and multi-family would go from 157 to 610.

The plan would reduce the general commercial from 505,000 square feet to 114,200 square feet and eliminate the hotel-casino and 2,500-seat movie theater.

The proposal reserves 14 acres for a new school for 10 years.

Planning commissioners voted 3-3 on the project, and therefore no official decision was made, according to the county, though the master plan amendment would have required five votes to pass.

Some sort of development has been slated for the property since the specific plan was approved in 2000 while much of the land north of Sunridge was still in the Bureau of Land Management's hands.

At the time, the county was in competition with Carson City to attract retail development in order to generate sales tax. Douglas was also trying to raise money to purchase sensitive agricultural property.

The property was also eventually included in redevelopment area No. 1 in order to encourage commercial development.

The last modification to the specific plan occurred last year when county commissioners approve Valley Knolls.

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