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Opponents of Station Casinos' proposed resort in Summerlin 2004-01-02
Residents of Green Valley Ranch who are very much against Casinos and gambling in general are offering a hotel tower for the games and Gambling to take place in. First, the offer started at 250 feet and was lowered down to 80 feet and that move led homeowners to come up with the question : "why do station casinos can't make similar accommodations for concerned Summerlin residents? The buildings have much more significant difference,especially in the way the two government agencies handled each proposal. For instance, Henderson city planners attended all meetings scheduled between residents and the developer of Green Valley Ranch. County planners have not been involved in those meetings between Summerlin homeowners and Station executives. Summerlin residents and Station representatives headed back into negotiations last month after Clark County commissioners offered both sides to compromise on the height of the Red Rock Station hotel tower. At the end of a long discussion, the two sides have come to an agreement that the building will be at the hight of 30 feet tall. "There is a big loss here to discuss" at least a $10 million worth, but basically our hands are tied because it is not only up to us to make that decision ourselves. Residents have specifically asked again and again for a county planner or commissioner to be present during discussions with Station. "We need to have another meeting, but we need to have somebody there because they're not taking us seriously," Arkell said. "those discussions lead to nowhere at all in that way" he says. Residents are likely to get their wish. Barbara Ginoulias, assistant director of current planning, said a staff member will attend a meeting Monday between Station and the homeowners. "Typically, the commission has frequently sent the applicant back to work issues out with neighbours," Ginoulias said. "We received that request from the manager's office to send a representative. That may be the direction commissioners want us to go from now on." Several years ago, Green Valley homeowners considered a similar issue and were placed in a similar position, battling a proposed 250-foot-high tower at Green Valley Ranch. But unlike the county process, Henderson city officials held more than a dozen meetings between residents and the developer, America Nevada Corp. A city planner assigned to the project participated in each and every meeting. "We wanted to ensure that everyone's opinion was heard and taken into consideration," said Henderson senior planner David Norris. "I honestly don't remember any dissent because we involved everybody and people's concerns were considered to," he said. The planning process involved two stages: approval of the project's scope and approval of the design. America Nevada, which developed the community of Green Valley, owned the property and was involved in discussions with residents about the size of the resort. Although no height restrictions were placed on the project, company representatives ultimately agreed to what residents wanted, heights that ranged from 50 feet to 80 feet. Once the scope was approved by the city, Station Casinos' architects designed the project accordingly to those mentioned limitations. But Station owned the hotel-casino site in Summerlin while the idea for the Red Rock project was initiated. Although the property had entitlements that allowed for a maximum 100-foot-tall hotel-tower, Station is seeking for county approval to go ahead with the 300-foot design. Lesley Pittman, spokeswoman for Station, emphasizes that property surrounding each project is vastly changing from one to the other. The Red Rock Station site has also rose as an option and Green Valley Ranch are both on the edge of the Las Vegas Beltway. Station's land is at the core of a new downtown planned by Howard Hughes Corporation, which developed Summerlin. Across the street from the proposed Red Rock casino is property designated for 250-foot-tall office buildings that will crate the atmosphere of fantasy and will provide a different point of view for the visitors, for example, they will have the option to stand at the top of thr tower in 500 or more tall and enjoy the amazing view. Pittman said. "There are plans for a regional mall and there will be 42 million square feet of com-mercial." Pittman said :There is no room for that building.Station has made multiple sacrifices in an attempt to appease Summerlin residents. For example, it's bringing in sound experts to ensure noise from the resort's amphitheater does not bleed over into nearby neighbor- hoods." Casino spokes people have also softened the lighting, agreed to build a landscaped berm around the property and told residents they will not use mirrored glass seen on such resorts as Mandalay Bay and the Suncoast,since they wish to create a uniqu atmosphere there as was never seen ther before. Pittman says he has tried his best in order to make all sides satisfied but is is a very hard mission for them to make it work. Hopefully, they will manage to reach to a pleasing agreement....
(By Liat)