Las Vegas Sun

October 15, 2019

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Clark County OKs policy to designate cultural districts

Little Ethiopia

Steve Marcus

An exterior view of Lucy’s Ethiopian Restaurant, 4850 W. Flamingo Rd., Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019.

Clark County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a policy to streamline the process of designating cultural districts within the unincorporated county.  

The policy will help cultural neighborhoods like the one along Spring Mountain Road popularly known as Chinatown and a cluster of Ethiopian and Eritrean businesses known as Little Ethiopia achieve official designation.

The county doesn’t have any official cultural districts, said Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin.

Nevada Assemblyman Alexander Assefa, who was elected last summer and believed to be the first Ethiopian-American elected to public office in the United States, has been pushing for Little Ethiopia’s official designation since he got elected. In an interview last month, he said that designating cultural districts like Little Ethiopia helps attract more businesses to the area, in addition to recognizing these communities as “part of the fabric of Las Vegas.”

Commissioners must determine if there is a high concentration of cultural activities and businesses in a certain area to deem it worthy as a cultural district. Cultural districts also cannot overlap or be located in the Strip corridor, under these new guidelines. 

The county is required to notify business owners and residents in areas under consideration for cultural designation.