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Max Baer Casino Plans to Pass Second Review

On July 10, 2007, Planning Commissioner Lawrence Howell changed the fortunes of the Beverly Hillbillies Mansion and Casino when he decided in favor of the zoning change.

He said that Douglas County's economic condition is not very good and that's the reason why both the county library and the community center have scaled down the number of hours that they are open.

Howell's decision, which will permit tourist commercial zoning along with a casino gambling area on a 15.8 acres of a 23 acre land, which was partitioned 3-3 last June after Howell removed himself from the ongoing proceedings before reaching a decision.

Commission Chairman, Bob Conner, presented the casino developers with an option of giving the project before the Board of County Commissioner or scheduled another discussion before the planning commissioners in July and the project officials chose the latter.

The vote was in 4-3 margin, with Commissioner Margaret Pross, Commissioner Jim Madsen and Commissioner Rick Ross opposing the casino plan. A request for a permit was also approved in a 4-3 margin, giving permission to unrestricted gambling activity on this commercial avenue located on 97 acres of land in Douglas County.

The same commissioners opposed the special permit. The planned casino project will include a 40,000 gambling area, which will feature 800 h and 16 gambling tables, an exhibit room, cinema area and a 5 story 240 room hotel facility which is 300,000 sq ft.

Developer Max Baer Jr. and his co-developers in the project will also need to acquire a variance to construct the 200 ft. fireless oil derrick, reader board, two 12 story hotel facilities with a 240 room capacity and a convention facility.

Douglas County resident and Bay Area planner, Terry Burnes, commented that the variances can be compared to driving 100 miles per hour in a 50 mile per hour driving zone.

Skip Sayre, the former Executive of the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Authority, said that the project has a lot of potential, especially with the benefits it could give Douglas County and the Carson Valley area. Sunridge resident, Steve Buckley, commented that he is not opposed to the casino plan, but he is not favor of building the oil derrick and the 12 story hotel facilities.


22 July 2007
News Submitted by:
Lauren Desmond

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