Zappos’ downtown investment project, DTP Companies, formerly known as Downtown Project, is trying to work with neighboring downtown businesses in order to secure a special use permit that would enable them to host events at the Fremont East parking lot, otherwise known as the Llama Lot.
The Fremont East parking lot, which the company owns, offers 120,000-square-foot of space to be utilized for downtown events. However, nearby businesses have some concerns.
One nearby property owner Donald Walford, cites concerns over the amount of noise, traffic, and inconvenience it would cause other downtown LV neighbors if recurring events were to take place at the lot. Walford’s concerns led him to request an appeal over the Las Vegas Planning Commission’s approval of the special use permit back in October.
The Las Vegas City council in turn decided to hold off on accepting votes on the approval until after the company makes an effort to meet with neighboring businesses and their owners.
Lack of Details Makes Nearby Business Owners Weary
While downtown business owners are on board for trying to revitalize downtown Vegas and make it more of a destination spot, not only for tourists but especially locals, they need more details regarding DTP’s intended use of the space. And they’re conscious of being respectful toward the actual people who live on-site in the more popular areas downtown.
As of right now, business owners are saying they haven’t been informed over important details yet, including what type of events DTP plans to hold at the lot, the frequency of those events, and when the operating hours would be.
“We’re all for improving the economy, but there are people that live downtown,” Walford said. “It’s not just for a party.”
Cathy Brooks, owner of the Hydrant Club dog daycare and training facility, which is located on the prime intersection of 9th and Fremont Street, says the request for the special use permit has been “overly broad and vague.”
In regards to the permit request and lack of communication surrounding it, Brooks says:
“As someone who has been on that corner for seven years, what I can tell you is communication and compromise are two things that the people who submitted this have not shown themselves to do to date.”
Drawing a More Harmonious Solution
In addition to the council having DTP meet with their neighbors to discuss in more detail their plans for running events at Llama Lot to fill in the blanks, Las Vegas City Councilwoman, Oliva Diaz, is also trying to ease downtown business owners’ concerns.
She’s advised conditions that DTP would have to meet for any event they plan to hold. Those conditions include being responsible for a thorough clean up once events are over, having security available at each event, and letting neighbors know what events will be occurring well in advance.
Diaz also proposed having restrictions on event hours, and giving the council six months to determine whether the special use permit will work for all parties involved, and that will be affected by the permit use.
“That’s why we’re going to have a six-month follow-up, just to make sure that this is a harmonious and compatible use for the area,” Diaz said.
The first vote on the special use permit, as well as Diaz’s proposed conditions, is scheduled to take place on March 4.