Boomtown FlyingJQuietly making the rounds of the Reno NABs and the Washoe CABs and now scheduled for a Reno Planning Commission hearing on 1 May, the plans for a new / replacement / reinstated truck stop at Boomtown have been announced.  The presentation will be asking to reinstate the former unrestricted nonconforming gaming license from the old truck stop (no hotel rooms), reinstatement of the now expired planning approval for the project, and several variances on site design (interesting – the area north of Cabela’s has been rezoned single family residential from office park as originally approved).  HERE is the presentation package from the project planners, and HERE are the building elevations (including some Golden Arches!).

I am sure there will be some knee-jerk NIMBY chest beating, but this is a great project and deserves support.  There was ALWAYS a truck stop there, it was always planned to be replaced after the Cabela’s construction, and there is a great need for this sort of facility to support our logistics infrastructure.

Is this a STAR Bonds project?  I believe so (correctly me if I’m wrong, Brian Duggan), and it is generally a good use of that financing tool, though the gaming and McDonald’s portions will be a tough sell.

Given the variances, SUPs (special use permits), and STAR bond approvals that will be required for this project, there is some pressure that Reno should exert on the developers to gain a better project.  Specifically, the Garson Road overpass to Boomtown needs to be expanded from its current narrow 2 lane configuration to a more serviceable and safe condition.  This overpass is scheduled to be widened when development in the Garson-Mortensen plan area meets certain thresholds, but is inadequate and unsafe even under today’s traffic loads.  There are no shoulders, no sidewalks or pedestrian accommodations, and no bike lanes for hundreds of cyclists who use the overpass each weekend.  The pavement is destroyed yearly by the chained semis visiting Boomtown and Cabela’s during the winter.

If you are interested, there is an informal session planned to discuss the project set for this Wednesday evening 24 April 2013 at 6 PM at Verdi Elementary School  (AKA Billinghurst West, but that’s grist for another post).  Washoe Commissioner Bonnie Weber and the project planners will be available to answer questions and take comments.

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