Plans for new Boys and Girls Club on hold

After complaints from Carson City residents, plans for a new Boys and Girls Club at Northridge Drive and Lompa Lane have been put on hold.

The issue to change the current zone ordinance which would allow the club in a residential area was postponed until next month's meeting of the Carson City Planning Commission, after residents expressed their concern.

"Kids are just noisy, they always have been," said Carson City resident Tom Keeton."We have plenty of places for them to be noisy. I don't believe we can change the zoning throughout the entire city so one person can have something accomplished."

Residents at the meeting cheered and clapped in agreement as Keeton made this announcement.

But Senior Planner Lee Plemel said the other option of rezoning the specific area to a commercial zone would bring more intrusive uses into the neighborhood.

Lumos and Associates applied for the zoning change, which would allow youth facilities in single family 6,000 zones as a conditional use. The proposed facilities would be required to apply for special use permits, and would be monitored by the city.

After hearing the misunderstanding of what a youth facility is, Carol Dotson, director of planning for Lumos and Associates, asked the commision for a continuation on the item so she could work with city staff to redefine the term.

Walt Sullivan, director of the planning commision, said criteria would be set to redefine a youth facility, such as an estimate of size, ages of children expected to use the facilities, and impacts on the residences, such as lighting and traffic.

The previous definition brought before the planning commission only described it as a non-profit youth recreation facility.

Chairman, Allan Christianson, said if the the ordinance change was denied it would be a "slap in the face to the Boys and Girls Club."

Commissioner Gayle Farley agreed.

"I would hope residents would want to work the Boys and Girls Club," she said. "These children are our future."

The proposed zoning change will go before the commission at their Aug. 28 meeting.

The Boys and Girls Club purchased the 17-acre piece of land about two years ago, Executive Director of the club Cathy Blankenship said, because it was close to a lot of children. She said the location was ideal because of its proximity to Empire Elementary and Mark Twain Elementary. Children from those schools tend to be from lower-income families and could benefit from the Boys and Girls Club, she said.


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