The Henderson City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday to allow the new owner of The District at Green Valley Ranch to bring vehicular traffic and parking to the shopping center’s main street.
Councilwoman Debra March was absent.
Although several people showed up to speak against the proposal, Mayor Andy Hafen told them, “Those comments will do you absolutely no good.”
Hafen said the plan was approved years ago, when the property was originally developed. “This is private property. Our hands are tied somewhat,” he said.
More than a dozen people spoke anyway, many of them pleading with the new owner to reverse course.
Vestar Development, in a joint venture with New York-based Rockwood Capital, acquired The District in 2011 for
$79 million. Lenders had foreclosed on the 37-acre property earlier that year.
In November, the Phoenix company applied for a zone change that would allow the addition of vehicular traffic with angled parking on The District’s main street. Based on the recommendation of city staff, the Planning Commission voted 5-1 last month to approve the request.
“When the project was originally approved and constructed, Village Walk Drive allowed two-way vehicular traffic along ‘Main Street’ of the district, and provided 42 parallel parking spaces,” according to the staff report. “In 2005, the previous owners of The District removed the vehicular access road (the main street) and replaced it with a pedestrian mall.”
Michael Tassi, planning manager for Henderson, said the roadway never was open for vehicular traffic.
Vestar plans to allow two-way traffic and add 46 angled parking spaces along the main street. The proposal also calls for the addition of two one-way, “out-only” drive aisles providing access to the parking lot on the north side of The District.
One of Vestar’s owners, Jeff Axtell, has said the company’s proposed changes will bring a “new energy” to the struggling shopping center. Several owners of businesses in The District have publicly expressed their support for the changes.
After Tuesday night’s council vote, Hafen told Axtell, “I hope you know what you’re doing.”
Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-384-8710.