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Plan for new fire substation moves forward

The Boulder City Planning Commission recommended approval to amend the city’s master plan future land use map and rezone about two acres for a new fire substation at 201 Nevada Way, as well as discussed parking and sound details surrounding the old Flamingo Motel’s transformation into a retail establishment and parking related to Duke’s Storage’s expansion during its Oct. 19 meeting.

Residents of Tuscany Retreat neighborhood, including City Council candidate Cokie Booth, spoke out against the proposed fire substation’s location, which is at the corner of Quartzite Road and Nevada Way.

‘It’s a safety issue,” Booth said. “I think it needs to go up the industrial area and down Veterans (Memorial Drive). Maybe by the animal shelter.”

The residents brought up concerns about the safety of hikers and wildlife in the area. A shared concern was the devaluing of their homes over time.

“Would you like to have a fire station next to your house?” Tuscany Retreat resident Teri Mann asked the council. “Having been in real estate for my entire professional career of 35 years, that is not going to assist in property values,” she said.

Deputy Fire Chief Gregory Chesser told the commission that the fire department did a risk assessment during COVID and found that response times to homes in the Del Prado Drive, Hemenway Valley Park and Temple Rock Road areas were not covered under national standards.

“The running time to Temple Rock is 8:30 (minutes) and national standards say 6:15 (minutes),” Chesser said.

Chesser addressed residents’ concerns about noise. “The only time we run sirens is when we encounter traffic,” he said. “We don’t just come out of the station and turn the sirens on.”

With the commission’s recommendation of the fire substation, the proposal will now go to City Council for approval.

Car-themed attraction

The Planning Commission approved variances and conditional use permits for the old Flamingo Motel at 804 Nevada Way and the vacant property at 825 Nevada Way to be converted into retail suites with dining.

Neighboring business owner Doug Scheppmann voiced his support of the project. “Nevada Way is the gateway to downtown and I applaud the (Daren and Donna) Saunders for developing the property.”

A lack of parking spaces and immediate crosswalk to connect the proposed businesses was brought up, but Chairman Paul Matuska said the city needs to address visitor parking issues. “The applicant should not be held up by the city’s parking issues,” he said.

Architect Kevin Thistle represented owners Daren and Donna Saunders. Committee member Ernest Biacsi asked Thistle about privacy and noise concerns pertaining to the two-story structure planned for 825 Nevada Way.

“The owner does not want to be a bad neighbor,” Thistle said. “We will make sure to comply with the noise ordinance levels.”

The two-story structure will consist of shipping containers on both levels, food vendors and feature an automotive theme with cars on display throughout the property.

The commission also approved a variance request for Duke’s Storage Ltd. to build a one-story, 27,950 square-foot warehouse on its property for boat and recreational vehicle storage.

The single, large warehouse building will house the boats and RVs where they will be retrieved by staff, rather than customers. The applicants refer to it as a concierge service similar to valet parking.

Community Development Director Michael Mays presented Matuska cupcakes, a gift basket and a card and coin from the city manager to mark his last meeting. “We wanted to recognize your service to the community,” Mays said.

Matuska has been a member of the Planning Commission since 2006.

“It’s been a real pleasure to work with city staff. I appreciate the hard work you do every day,” he said. “Thank you, it’s been fun and I’ll see you all down the road.”

Contact reporter Anisa Buttar at abuttar@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401.

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