Vol. 2017-01 January 2017            


Wow it is hard to believe it is 2017.  I truly hope that you and your family have a very prosperous 2017!

Online Payments: 
Carson City is now providing a convenient, electronic way for users to make payments for City services. This transaction, when completed, will transfer funds from your checking account to the City.
Once your transaction is completed, a confirmation E-mail with the data shown from your transaction will be sent to the department you are paying.
While the transaction will be dated today, the department notification and movement of funds will be effective in three (3) business days.

We hope this improved service will be beneficial to our residents. 
Question from the Community:
Usually I answer a specific question that has been posed by a member of the community.  This time I want to respond to a commentary I read in the Nevada Appeal by Martin Fischer on the Vintage Project.  Mr. Fischer specifically stated: "The immediate vote taken after residents spoke only reinforced opinions decisions had been made well before supervisors read letters and listened to presentations.  Clearly, board members weren't interested in taking time to review pertinent points made by residents who chose to speak." 

I want to respond to this comment because I hear it often.  Many believe the Board of Supervisors have already made up their minds and know how they are going to vote on the issue before them.   I would like to dispel this rumor...  I spent over 100 hours reviewing this project over several months.  I read every document, and email and listened to every speaker.  I attended the Planning Commission meeting and listened to the entire project discussion.  I drove to the site and looked at the area in discussion.  I went to all the other care facilities in Carson City and looked at their neighborhoods to compare the project for community consistency.   The speakers at the Board of Supervisors meeting did not bring up new issues or provide new evidence that had not been considered by the Planning Commission when they considered the project.   I take all comments seriously and give them due consideration.   Specifics on the Vintage Project are discussed more in the Board Meeting Recap section of this newsletter.

I have had the honor to serve on the Board of Supervisors this last two years and wanted you to know that I come prepared for meetings.  I do my homework in advance, and then I listen to the public comments and other members of the Board to determine my vote and course of action.   As a side note, I have on occasion changed my mind based on information provided during the public comment that caused me to rethink my position.   


December was a very busy month for the Board of Supervisors.  We had several very meaty issues to review, discuss and determine the appropriate course of action. 

Energy Performance Contract:
The Board approved a contract with Ameresco, Inc. for $4,170,786 to be funded from operating cost-savings to energy, water and the disposal of waste.  The Nevada Legislature approved NRS 332.300-440 to allow governments to fund these specialized energy contracts.  The contractor guarantees the government that the work performed will lower operating and utility bills sufficiently to pay for the cost of the contract.  If the actual work is not paid for by the energy and operating savings, the contractor must pay the difference. 

Carson City will be implementing six (6) energy conservation measures that include interior and exterior lighting retrofits, boiler replacement at the aquatic facility, upgrading energy management systems, repair air leakage at buildings and windows, HVAC retrofit at City Hall, and monitoring and reporting on utility bills. 

Four (4) New Police Vehicles ($189,165):
The Board authorized the purchase of four (4) new police vehicles from Michael Hohl Motor Company.  I was so pleased we finally had a local car dealership qualify on the State Master Purchasing Bid list so we could buy locally. 

Transfer of Gaming License from the Horseshoe Club (Nevada Treasure Chest) to Silver Bullet of Nevada, LLC (Bodines North): 
This was a difficult agenda item as three Board members indicated they had conflicts of interest and therefore only Supervisor Abowd and myself could vote on the issue.  

This issue proved to be very difficult as the Carson City Code concerning gaming licenses is not very clear.  The Code appears to allow an establishment two years to not actually have gaming operations but still maintain their license without returning to the Board of Supervisors.  The code requires new licensees to build 100 guest rooms.  State law requires the guest rooms also, unless it is being built in a redevelopment area.  Winding our way through all the rules, codes, etc. was difficult.  Other area casinos in town were opposed to the granting of a transferred license as they believed the license was not in good standing as they had not paid each quarter's license fee during the two years of non-operation.  They also believed a license was not intended to be transferred out of the downtown area, and if it was transferred, then the 100 hotel rooms were required.  Ultimately, we determined that each quarters license fee had to be paid to meet the Code requirements for transfer as the actual two years for ceased operation was not until December 31, 2016.  We determined the license could then be transferred to the new owners.  We also agreed the license could then be moved to the new location at Northtown Mall as it was in a redevelopment area.  All parties involved agreed the Carson City Code needed to be updated to be more clear.  

The Vintage Project:
The packet for review of this project exceeded 1000 pages.  On March 2, 2016, the applicant participated with City staff in a Conceptual Planned Unit Development review for the proposed development per the process outlined in Section 17.09 of the Carson City Municipal Code.  The purpose of the review is for City staff to provide comments to the applicant regarding City requirements for the proposed project.  The applicant also held a meeting at Fritsch School to show the project to the neighbors, which admittedly did not go well. 

Due to the changes in the design based on staff and neighborhood comments a second conceptual review was needed to identify any changes in the staff comments based on the re-design. 

Public notices were mailed to 645 property owners within 900 feet of the subject site on September 9, 2016.  The Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors received 60 letters of discussion.  Both also had extensive public comment during their respective meetings.  The Planning Commission recommended the Board of Supervisors approve the project. 

Many neighbors wanted the property to remain open space.  This was not possible as it is private property.  The City does not have the funds to purchase the property to make it open space nor the ongoing funds needed to maintain the property if purchased. 

Many neighbors were concerned about the traffic.  They believed the 55 and older community would drive more than the developer indicated and, therefore, traffic would be heavier than anticipated.  However, the actual traffic study submitted accounted for a standard development, not a restricted 55 and older community.  The neighbors did not provide evidence the traffic study was flawed. 

Some testimony centered around the belief that we do not have enough doctors to treat new residents in our community.  Each year during our growth management (determination of number of building permits) meetings, we request information from the hospital concerning health care.  We have not received responses for many years.  Availability of doctors may be a nationwide issue.  Should all development be stopped because of doctor shortages?  At this time I do not believe we were provided information to support stopping the project due to a doctor shortage.  I did receive a suggestion that we expand our information gathering to include other health care providers beside the hospital.  I did pass this recommendation on to staff. 

We received testimony that was concerned about the lot sizes.  They did not believe zero lot lines were appropriate.  This development will be gated and is a planned unit development of 212 single family homes for individuals 55 and older.  I am sure some people love yards and lots of land space while others will be very happy to have no yard work.  The buyers in this development will be able to select the lot and house that best meets their needs. 

The next issue dealt with the request to build an assisted living facility on 5.6 acres of the 78 acre project.  This was, for me, the most difficult decision.  To help make my decision, I requested the zoning information on all other facilities in Carson City.  I visited each of the facilities for at least 45 minutes at different times of the day.  All of the facilities have residential next to them.  As the care facility will be in the interior of the new project, it will be up to the new residents to determine if they want to live that close to a care facility.  I found that it was consistent with other areas in our community. 

The Planning Commission required the handbook (project requirements enforced by the City) to include no more than two residents per household and that they had to be 55 to reside in the community.  The Board of Supervisors did remove these two conditions from the handbook as we believed these conditions belong in CC&Rs.  CC&Rs are enforced by the Homeowners Association, not the City.  We did not want City staff to take on the responsibility of enforcing items that should be in CC&Rs. 

Ultimately, I voted yes on the project because no evidence was provided to indicate the project would be a detriment to the community or surrounding neighborhood and no violation of laws were discussed. The community will gain as the applicant is required to design and construct a 10 foot (minimum) wide concrete multi-use path with an adjacent 3 foot wide path along Kings Canyon Road from the pedestrian facilities at the corner of North Ormsby Blvd. to Long Ranch Estates Subdivision's pedestrian facilities. This new path will improve bicycle and pedestrian safety along Kings Canyon Road.   


January 30, 2017  6:00 PM State of the City Address - Community Center - Mayor Crowell

Ward 1
                      Supervisor Karen Abowd                     
Ward 2
   Supervisor Brad Bonkowski  
Ward 3
    Supervisor Lori Bagwell
Ward 4
 Supervisor John Barrette

While these board members must live in one of the four wards, they represent the entire city.  If you have any concerns, please contact us.   
Visit Carson City's website.  There is so much information about what is happening, who is who, committee meetings, a calendar of  events and so much more.