County OKs plan amendment |

County OKs plan amendment

by Susie Vasquez

The room was filled with supporters and cheers rang up as Douglas County commissioners unanimously approved a master plan change to allow reconstruction of the Valley Bar.

Planning commissioners failed to approve the change in November, citing concerns over spot zoning that could set a precedent in the Valley. Four votes in favor of the bar were one short of the required majority.

Commissioner Kelly Kite said the staff recommendations were not that strong, but coming up with a reason, other than it’s the right thing to do, was difficult.

“The bar was there for more than 100 years. It’s part of our heritage,” he said.

“I’ve only been here since 2000, but all kinds of people frequent that bar,” said Commission Chairman Jim Baushke. “You still have to grow hops to make beer. That’s enough of a compatible use for me.”

The Centerville landmark was destroyed in a fire last spring. To rebuild, owners Julian Larrouy and Sybil Dunagan had to obtain a change to the master plan because the property was zoned agricultural.

Larrouy said he does not feel this is approval is a precedent.

“The property has been a commercial business and zoned A19,” he said. “There’s been a business there for 100 years. There isn’t another example in Douglas County.”

A lot of hurdles remain before construction can begin, but he is hoping to start the project by late spring.

“We’re going to try to duplicate the bar as close as we can,” he said. “It will be smaller and offset from the corner, to get away from the intersection.”

In other business:

• Despite resident concerns over the increase in transfer development rights when zoning is changed from forest and range to agriculture, commissioners approved the change on almost 2,200 acres east of Minden-Tahoe Airport.

The request was one of four presented Wednesday for James Usher and the Bently Family Trust. They presented three other requests to the commission and all were denied.

Zoning changes from forest and range to rural residential on separate 80-acre parcels in Fish Springs and East Valley were denied. A third zoning change, from forest and range to agriculture on a 248-acre parcel, part of Kirman Tract east of the Carson River and north of Stephanie Way.

In other business:

• Commissioners approved a zoning change for long-time Carson Valley Rancher Russ Scossa and his family, converting the zoning on 125 acres of prime ranch land from agricultural with 19-acre parcels to single-family residential with a minimum two-acre parcel size.

• Mike Jarrett will be allowed to convert a 4.82 parcel from commercial to multi-family residential at 806 Tillman Lane in the Ranchos.

He said the building, formerly Cottonwood Care Center, had been vacant for a number of years when he purchased it and in recent years has been difficult to rent, Jarrett said.

“I saw an opportunity to turn a derelict building into something positive,” he said. “I haven’t been successful in attracting commercial business in the last few years and to finish it off, I’d like to put in apartments and condominiums.”

The units will be reserved for seniors, Jarrett said at a recent planning commission meeting.

• Citing nitrate contamination and other concerns, a bid by landowner Cline Bauer to change the land use designation on 12.3 acres from commercial to single-family estates with a minimum one-acre parcel size in the Topaz Planning Area was denied.

Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.