Commission stays out of Genoa squabble |

Commission stays out of Genoa squabble

by Christy Chalmers

The Douglas County Commission won’t referee a squabble between a developer and the Genoa Historic District Commission until the two meet one more time.

If the historic commission and Betty Kanelos can’t compromise over the design of a motel-retail center she wants to build, the county commissioners will make a decision. But the commissioners emphasized Thursday they hope cooperation will resolve the issue.

“There is a compromise here, and it hasn’t been reached,” said Commissioner Bernie Curtis. “Both sides have to come together.”

Kanelos wants to build a 12,000-square-foot motel and retail complex at the corner of Nixon and Main streets in Genoa. The town is one of Nevada’s oldest settlements and has restrictions on buildings and development that are meant to preserve its historic flavor.

The historic district commission reviews projects to see if they match the town’s look. But the historic commission and Kanelos both say the other hasn’t provided enough information for action. The historic commission denied the design for the proposed building, so Kanelos appealed to the county commission.

Attorney Scott Brooke said Kanelos has tried to comply with the historic district’s requirements and is willing to reconsider the layout of the site and incorporate suggestions, but hasn’t gotten specific details about what’s needed.

“That’s what she’s looking for,” he said.

Historic Commission members said they haven’t seen enough to issue a decision.

“She’s really far away from having anything tangible to show us,” said board member Ron Bommarito.

The county commissioners emphasized any decision has to be based on esthetics, not emotion. Several people submitted letters objecting to the project because of fears over impacts to adjacent properties, traffic and the size of the project.

The sides will meet in the coming two weeks. If a compromise isn’t reached, the county commissioners indicated they’ll hear the matter again June 15 and make a decision.

They warned Kanelos and the historic board to work together.

“I hope the Genoa Historic District Commission doesn’t think the applicant can read their mind,” said Commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen. “Reason needs to prevail.”