Update: Minden recommends zone change, special use permit for new courthouse

A rendering of the proposed new judicial center on Buckeye.

A rendering of the proposed new judicial center on Buckeye.

It will be at least May before Minden Town Board members get a look at the designs and elevations for the new Justice Center.

Engineer Rob Anderson told work is underway to update the design based on input from the town board and residents in March.

 Town Board members recommended a zone change and special use permit on Wednesday night.

Today, county commissioners will introduce an ordinance making the changes required to use the 57-acre parcel they purchased for the courthouse.

The roughly 50,000-square-foot courthouse would be built along Buckeye Road near the future intersection of Muller Lane Parkway.

Unlike the Greek columns used at the historic Douglas County Courthouse, one of several designed by Frederic Joseph DeLongchamps, the new courthouse will feature a more modern design.

“The courthouse is a physical embodiment of order, dignity and respect for the law and its image represents societal values and ideas about the administration of justice,” according to the 9th Judicial District strategic plan. “With the plans for a new courthouse, the Douglas County Judiciary is mindful that architecture has evolved to include signifying the importance of the activities within, transparency of the judicial process and the security of court attendees, court staff and judicial officers.”

The zone change for a 57-acre parcel to public facilities will be introduced at Thursday’s Douglas County Commissioners meeting.

Planning commissioners are scheduled to hear a request for a special use permit at their April 9 meeting. They approved recommending the zone change at their March meeting.

County commissioners are scheduled to conduct the public hearing required for the zone change on May 2.

According to the court’s master plan, the design of the new courthouse will take into account “how environment influences behavior and connects to community.”

Another milestone passed March 26, when the 90-day period expired without a petition opposing the financing for the project.

The county now has two years to sell $37 million in bonds supported by sales taxes. That and another $14 million supported by the county’s construction tax will pay for the $51 million project.

“The Douglas County Judiciary is mindful that courthouses are often one of the most expensive publicly funded infrastructure projects that a jurisdiction builds,” according to the judicial plan.

At the March planning commission meeting, representative Rob Anderson said the approvals don’t require a master plan amendment.

The site has secure parking for judges and court staff and an entrance where deputies can bring detainees who have court.


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