Las Vegas Sun

February 1, 2015

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Las Vegas council putting focus on growing businesses

The Las Vegas City Council will consider several items intended to boost business throughout the city when it meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Leading the agenda is a proposal to designate certain parking spots in the downtown area as “food-truck only” to allow the mobile kitchens a place to operate legally.

Feeding the meter

Two weeks after the proposal was heard by the recommending committee, the full council will debate whether to designate three parking spots in the downtown area specifically for food trucks.

Each spot could be leased for $5 per hour by food trucks, allowing them a space to operate legally.

In October, the council passed a measure prohibiting food trucks from operating within 150 feet of brick-and-mortar restaurants.

If the council approves the item Tuesday, the three parking spots will be tested for six months and brought back to the council for review, at which time they could expand or discontinue the program.

Help for businesses

The council also will consider two items aimed at making it cheaper and easier to start a business in Las Vegas.

The council will vote on a new program allowing new businesses in redevelopment areas to defer costly sewer connection fees for up to three years. The fees, which can run in the tens of thousands of dollars, typically must be paid when a developer receives a building permit.

A second item on Wednesday’s agenda would continue a program started in 2010 that waives license origination fees for bars in downtown Las Vegas.

To help encourage new business growth, the program would waive the $20,000 fee for tavern-limited licenses, which covers bars in the Fremont East District, and the $50,000 fee for urban lounges, found in the Arts District downtown.

The council will hear the item Wednesday and likely will refer it to the Recommending Committee for further discussion. It could come back up for approval before the council in March.

Campus facelift

A former school in west Las Vegas has been the subject of ongoing redevelopment efforts by the city the past several years.

On Wednesday, the council will consider a variety of zoning changes and use permits that will help continue the $6.6 million redevelopment of the historic Westside School campus, 330 W. Washington Ave.

Plans for the city-owned campus, which originally opened as a grammar school in 1923 with another building added in 1948, call for the buildings to be remodeled to include meeting rooms, exhibit space, a café and retail stores.

The plans also call for space for radio station KCEP, which currently uses one of the existing buildings.

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