LAUGHLIN, NEV.– Changing the zoning requirements to allow a new Dollar General store to operate in Laughlin, directly across Needles Highway from the Laughlin Library, will likely not be a problem, but allowing the company to forego minimum standards for parking and certain building design requirements that’s a different story. Later this month, the Clark County Commission will consider a request from Box Revocable Living Trust, Kevin and Colleen Barbarita, trustees, to change the zoning on a 12.6 acre parcel of property from rural open land to general commercial. That appears to be the easy part as there have been no objections to that part of the proposal. But there’s more being requested of county commissioners. The Barbaritas are also seeking some waivers of the county’s normal development standards in order to accommodate a new Dollar General store in the northern one-acre portion of their parcel. Dollar General wants to build its building with metal siding and company officials do not believe they need as many parking spaces as the county’s building code would normally requires for the size of the business. Instead of 37 parking spaces, developers for Dollar General feel the sight would be adequately served by having only 30 parking spaces. County codes also require extensive landscaping to hide or substantially block the appearance of any metal siding, but Dollar General stores across the country are known for their metal buildings. The developer doesn’t want to ‘hide’ the building, expect for the west-facing side, which will be adjacent to a residential neighborhood. While the zone change request was recently approved by the Laughlin Town Advisory Board, they weren’t as accommodating on the development standard waivers. During a special meeting last week, board members Fred Doten and Chuck Miterman question McCay about the parking study that was conducted. Both men pointed out that Laughlin has a higher than average senior citizen population and suggested their should be more, not less, parking. They were particularly concerned with the corresponding parking for handicap accessible customers. The proposed reduction of parking spaces from 37 to 30 would also result in the loss of one handicap parking space. Town Board Chairman Roger Burtraw took exception to the request to allow vertical metal siding. “Our town looks very nice,” said Burtraw. “All we have to do is start taking exceptions for it to start looking shabby 10-15 years from now, and I think it would be a mistake on our part to do that.” County Commissioners will have their say on the matter during their zoning board meeting in Las Vegas on Dec. 17.
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