Las Vegas Sun

November 20, 2018

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County hears from all sides on tower

Those wishing to comment on the proposed Station Casinos' tower in Summerlin may call the Clark County voice-mail system at 455-6353.

Supporters and opponents of Station Casinos' proposed 300-foot tower in Summerlin are flooding the Clark County Government Center's phones and mailboxes in advance of a key vote Wednesday afternoon.

The Clark County Commission is scheduled to decide on the request for the tower, which has become the flashpoint for opponents of the 1,500-room project. Opponents, many from the Summerlin area, argue that the tower is too tall and will interfere with views of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area to the west.

Stacey Welling, a Clark County spokeswoman, said a voice mailbox set up in September has received 591 recorded messages, with 494 of those calls from opponents of the project or specifically to the height of the tower. Ninety-seven calls were in support of the project.

The system was full Monday evening and could not receive any more calls.

As of Nov. 25, the county has also receive 3,238 e-mails and letters, "about a hundred of those in favor" of the project, Welling said.

"I'm sure with the meeting coming up, we'll get more," she said.

The last time the county set up a similar voice-mail system was when the commission considered allowing zoning for a "big-box" Wal-Mart three years ago.

This time, the number of calls seems to vary with the amount of media attention the issue is receiving, Welling said.

Station Vice President Lesley Pittman said her company will go forward with its request for the tower at Wednesday's meeting, which should draw a significant crowd. Station's supporters include the Carpenters Union and other trade unions, although the powerful Culinary Union, which does not represent Station employees, opposed the project.

"I don't have any sense of the numbers," Pittman said. "I know there are supporters out there.

"It ought to be a lively time," she said.

She noted that only Commissioner Mark James, who represents the district, has publicly said he will oppose the special-use permit needed to build the tower.

"We haven't heard anything else back from the other commissioners," Pittman said. "We'll go in there with a pretty strong case, and we have the (Clark County) Planning Commission's recommendation."

The argument for the project remains the same since the Oct. 22 planning commission meeting. Station and Howard Hughes Corp., which plans on the proposed Red Rock Station casino as the hub of its Summerlin Center complex, argue that the project will not block views of the conservation area, in part because 250-foot office towers are already approved just to the east.

The companies also argue that the project establishes an employment node away from the central Strip, an element of "smart growth" planning.

The planning commission recommended the tower by a 5-1 vote. Supporters heavily outnumbered opponents at the planning commission meeting, but opponents have promised to reverse that disparity.

Opponents argue that the proposed use is too intensive for largely residential Summerlin, and that "destination resorts" like the one planned by Station Casinos should be kept on the Strip.

Rebecca Lither, a founder of Summerlin Residents for Responsible Growth, said she believes the overwhelming majority of her neighbors and many others in the area oppose the project.

"I have personally talked with hundreds of people," she said. "It is a clear 90 percent, 95 percent of people who are clearly opposed to the size of this Red Rock Station project.

"We hope to have a large turnout. I know 100 percent that our number of residents are greater."

The group will keep the pressure on through Wednesday, she said.

"We have been calling like crazy and we will continue to call like crazy," Lither said.

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