SPANISH SPRINGS — The Spanish Springs Citizen Advisory Board sent a message to anyone seeking to build a commercial property in the area: Do the work in the time frame given or don’t do it at all.
About half way through the CAB’s first meeting of 2011, the board’s members were asked to recommend that the Washoe County Planning Commission extend the special-use permit to build the La Posada Bar and Grill, on the corner of Pyramid Way and La Posada behind Terrible’s gas station, by one year.
Derek Wilson with Rubicon Design Group said he is contracted by the builder, Dennis Banks Construction Co., and was at the meeting to answer any questions board members might have.
“This project has been here in front of you before,” Wilson said. “We have an approved project, we have an approved site plan and layout, we’re just asking for a time extension. The reason for that is because the owner had a hold up with getting their financing, which held up the builder and the second was how long it took to take down the old building.”
Board members, including John Bilka, Steve Grosz and Greg Prough, all said the previous building was an eyesore and that the current condition of the property on the corner was not much better — signs litter the chain link fence that is falling down.
Wilson said the fence issue could be fix and he would speak to the contractor to speak with the owner about cleaning it up.
When CAB members asked by the project has taken so long to get going after being approved, Wilson said part of it was securing a landscaping bond as well as getting permission from the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to remove a gas line that belonged to the previous property out of the NDOT right away on Pyramid Way.
“We also have in right now for permit review is the paving and circulation plan,” Wilson said. “The only remaining issue is the timing on the permit.”
Board member Chris Mirando said he did not understand why the contractor needed more time and didn’t feel like granting it given that the owners were not at the meeting.
“As a new board member, I find it troubling that the person or persons that have a vested interest in this project could not take the time to come to this meeting,” Mirando said.
Prough added that the SS community is not a place for another 24-hour bar and said maybe it is time for the board to take a stand and recommend that the permit extension not be approved.
Resident Cindy Brown said the extension is ridiculous.
“I think it is premature to be asking for an extension when they have two more years,” Brown said. “I thought that maybe there was six months left or something, but this is ridiculous. Just get it done.”
Taking a stand, the board unanimously voted to recommended that the Washoe County Board of Adjustment not approve the special-use permit extension on Feb. 3 that would allow the project to be under construction until June 2013.
In relation to commercial building in Spanish Springs, Washoe County planner Eric Young attended the meeting to speak about removing language from the community’s area plan that originally called for a cap on commercial land use at 7.5 percent. Currently the cap is at 9.89 percent.
“It will be two years this April that they directed us to do this,” Young said, adding that changing from a one-map to a two-map system put the commercial cap project on hold. “That was a little complicated and we didn’t want the community to absorb that all at the same time. This was one of those projects that we took down the road and sat on the back burner, but the county now has a two-map plan and we are back doing this.
“The original area plan tried the concept of putting an acreage cap that only so many acres can be commercial,” Young added. “But each time the planning commission was asked to increase the commercial acreage, it was always a little bit over cap and they would increase the cap. So after three times, they decided that they needed to look into the cap.
“(The cap) is taking away too much of our discretion to listen to people’s arguments both for and against for us to make a decision that include the current market analysis, etc.,” Young continued.
Currently, the planning commission is recommending the commercial cap language, or policy SS.17.2.c, of the Spanish Springs Area Plan be removed and nothing else changed.
“If we get some input along the way that people would like to see something added in at the subtraction of this policy, then we can do what we can to get it in,” Young said.
The commercial cap issue is expected to be heard by the members of the planning commission during their Feb. 2 meeting.