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July 1, 2015

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Town board recommends against Wayne Newton museum

Wayne Newton Neighborhood Meeting

Entertainer Wayne Newton and his wife Kathleen listen to homeowner's concerns during a meeting at the La Quinta Inn Monday, September 20, 2010. Newton hosted the neighborhood meeting to discuss development plans that would include tours on his property. Launch slideshow »

Wayne's World

A jet plane can be seen on the property of entertainer Wayne Newton Tuesday, August 31, 2010. Newton, who lives at Pecos and Sunset roads, may create an attraction at the property which could include a museum and a theater where he'll perform after people complete a tour. STEVE MARCUS / LAS VEGAS SUN Launch slideshow »

Wayne Newton’s plan to build a museum and give tours of his home hit its first administrative speed bump on Tuesday when the Paradise Town Advisory Board turned down the entertainer’s application to the county.

After nearly three hours of discussion, in which dozens of residents spoke on both sides of the issue, the board voted to recommend denial of the application to the Clark County Comission, which will hear the item at its regular meeting on Nov. 17.

The commission, which considers the town board’s recommendation, will take a final vote for approval or denial.

Newton, who lives on 38 acres at the corner of Pecos and Sunset roads, did not attend Tuesday night’s meeting, although he personally hosted a neighborhood meeting in September. Jay Brown, a local attorney, and Greg Borgel, a prominent land use consultant, represented him.

Board members cited a concern for the project’s impact on the surrounding neighborhood, all of which is zoned for rural neighborhood preservation.

Newton’s plans call for a museum to be built north of Sunset Road, which is zoned for commercial use, and then buses would shuttle guests to Casa de Shenandoah for tours of Newton’s home and collections.

Newton would also headline performances in the museum’s showroom.

Although most people spoke to oppose Newton’s plans, a vocal minority praised the project for its ability to bring jobs to the valley — Newton has said the museum would provide about 400 jobs — and preserve the legacy of one of Las Vegas’s most famous entertainers.

Opponents wondered aloud how Newton’s property could be used for a commercial purpose. The official answer was: When a project is labeled as a museum, it is allowed to include residential property.

Residents from Equestrian Estates and Sierra Vista Ranchos, two nearby neighborhoods, said they worried such a prominent project — and the traffic it would bring — would infringe on the rural preservation zoning by exposing the area to heavy tourism.

Some questioned the traffic problems it could cause.

Newton proposed to privatize Tomiyasu Lane, which borders his property on the west, as a means of funneling the shuttle traffic and offered to pay for it. But residents along Tomiyasu vehemently opposed that plan, and the board also recommended denying Newton’s application to vacate the street.

Borgel suggested a gate on Sunset Road as an alternative. He estimated that buses would make six trips an hour. A comprehensive traffic study must be completed before construction could begin, according to county regulations.

Other people criticized Newton’s business partner, CSD, LLC, which is registered in Blanco, Texas, to Steve L. Kennedy for suing M.J. Harvey, a resident of the Paradise area who has spoke out against the project. The lawsuit accuses her of making false statements about the project.

One resident presented a letter that the company sent to Newton’s neighbors, which said the museum was “going to be built regardless” of the residents’ opposition.

Borgel pledged that Newton and CSD are willing to make compromises with the neighbors. He said the application — which included a use permit and 16 waivers of development standards — would be altered after the comments at Tuesday’s meeting before it was brought to the Nov. 17 commission meeting.

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  1. Why not build a pedestrian bridge from the main
    parking lot directly to the property. No buses or traffic noise would be in the neighborhood.

    If the neighbors don't want that; Mr. Newton could just build a 500 unit appartment complex and the area could remain Residential. Then for additional revenue he could build a Laundromat on the property he purchased for parking.

  2. I got to there enough demand for this type of thing?

    Is Wayne really that much of an attraction that his house could sustain this project?

    I'm really curious.

  3. That portion of 35 mph is a speed trap. Quite often a motor cop sits with a radar in that exact location on Pecos.

  4. Democracy in action is why we have a Constitution guaranteeing fundamental rights. Newton's property is almost 40 acres. How would some tourists on the property "disturb" the neighbors? If he had lots of horses on the same 40 acres, the smell and the flies might be a problem to neighbors -- but entirely consistent with its "rural character." Contrary to farm animals, tourists tend to make less noise, emit fewer noxious substances onto the ground, and draw fewer flies. Also, the property is walled from its neighbors. Objectively, tourists would seem to have less impact on neighbors. It is his property, can't he have guests on it?

    The property is, as I recall, the first of the big, rural estates off Sunset, so it would be easy to get a few tour buses in and out without disturbing traffic. It's not like you are changing the zoning of the 40 acre parcel because the museum would be across Sunset in a commercial area.

    The Town Board is allowing Zoning to be used by the neighbors to suppress Newton's rights in his own property not because there would be real adverse impacts on them but because they don't agree with him on the use of his property. The Planning Commission should allow the use.

  5. CSD LLC, the owner of Casa de Shenandoah, has sued a "her" named M.J. Harvey, not a "him".

    The Sun ran a story about the lawsuit on 10/17/10. There is a link to the story beside the article above! Consistency in editing, please Sun employees.

  6. I live near this area, and there is nothing rural about it anymore.

  7. I am so surprised, and very upset that the neighbors of Wayne could even try to think about stopping a project that will only be done First Class, because that is what Wayne is and has been for years. He is the most genuine, caring person I have ever met! He has given his whole life to this City and done so much for your City to get the visitors from all over the world to come to Vegas, just to see "Mr. Las Vegas." He is not trying to make this a "Wayne Newton Museum," as he said, but more like a "Hall of Fame" for the (used to be) exciting City of Las Vegas. Back in the days when all of the great entertainers were there perfoming live, it was an exciting place to go.
    Wayne, is the only one that I know of that has always kept his shows with a full orchestra, and his shows have always been nothing but top notch. He is a perfectionist in every way, and that is what this project would be as well. Wayne, has more charisma in his little finger than most of the people living in his neighborhood, if I were guessing!
    He is a wonderful human being, that has done so much not only for Las Vegas, but for all of the times he put himself and his family in harms way to go overseas to entertain our American Heroes! They all love Wayne, and they have appreciated what he has done for them for many years! I know that this project will be done the correct way because that is the only way Wayne or his family would have it. The man that stated that the smell from the Arabian Horses would be so bad, doesn't know what he is talking about. Those horses have been there for years. I certainly didn't recall them saying there would be more horses if the project were to be opened. Wayne, should be able to do whatever he wants to with "HIS" property that was purchased in 1965 when it was not commercial out there at all. I have been going to Las Vegas, (Only when Wayne was perfoming,) for over 30 years now. He is an American Icon, a legend, and a human being that loves his Country and his City! The City that won't even stand behind him. What a shame!!
    This should be allowed, not just because he is who he is, but for the success of the City, and the economy that is so very high on the list for unemployment!
    I have talked to many people over the years at Wayne's shows, that had come from all over the world just to say they had seen Wayne. He is, and always will be "Mr. Las Vegas". He also will never change his love for his Family, "Casa De Shenandoah" or his Country! That speaks volumes to me about a man that has been so very dedicated to his career since he was 4 years old. The 50 years alone in Las Vegas is quite an accomplishment! One that will never be again!
    All my best to you and yours Wayne!! I just hope and pray that the City wakes up and smells the Roses, instead of the manure and urine, and sees what you have to offer to a place that is in a time of need right now for the economy and the survival of their City!
    Judy Youngblood Knight