The Henderson City Council in a rare 3-2 vote denied an application from a local restaurant with bar to stay open 24 hours.
Councilman John Marz said that Wahoo’s Fish Tacos & More on Horizon Ridge Parkway wants to operate as a tavern, which is not approved for that location, while remaining licensed as a bar.
“You want to be a tavern, and not be a tavern,” Marz said. “You want the tavern rules, but you don’t want to live by those rules.”
The planning commission had denied the request April 10.
Paul Kraft, owner of Wahoo’s, said the restaurant wanted to keep the bar enclosed and separated from the dining area because of smoking, and keep the 15 slot machines at the bar, both of which are nonconforming uses under city code. Also under city code, restaurants with bars may operate from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., and are limited to five gaming machines. Taverns that operate 24 hours have more machines.
Wahoo’s is within the 2,000-foot separation from a PT’s Gold tavern, another violation of city code.
After the denial, Kraft said city staff advised him to go this route to try to get 24-hour approval in December, and he spent $30,000 on attorneys and lobbyists in the process.
“They allowed me to spend all kinds of money chasing this when I came to them in December,” said Kraft, adding he was willing to pay another $30,000 for the tavern licensing fee. “People want to eat at our restaurant at 3, 4, 5 o’clock in the morning.”
Mayor Andy Hafen said he did not have a problem with Wahoo’s going 24 hours. The restaurant currently operates 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Marz was joined in the denial by council members Sam Bateman and Debra March, with Hafen and councilwoman Gerri Schroder in the minority.
Those interested in the fate of the Sage Mountain Ranch development will have to wait until Oct. 17 to be heard by City Council. It was with fourth time the item has been continued.
City Manager Jacob Snow said the additional time will allow the city to work on various proposals with the developers. Henderson officials confirmed late last week one of the proposals is a potential land swap with a development group controlling nearly half of the project’s land holdings for various city land holdings.
The council approved an extension request by city staff to continue a hearing on the proposed mixed-use development near the Henderson Executive Airport. The proposal is opposed by area businesses, homeowners, pilots and city planning commissioners.
Sage Mountain Ranch is proposed for 268 acres on the southwest corner of St. Rose Parkway and Executive Airport Drive. While the proposal includes retail and other commercial use, it is the request to build single-family homes and other residences on a majority of the land that is causing the most controversy.
The proposal was denied by the Planning Commission on Feb. 13.
Sage Mountain is asking to develop 1,540 single- and multi-family residences on 204 acres, 137 acres of which would be houses. The rest of the development would be 44 acres of commercial use and an 11-acre public park.
Nearly 130 residents of the nearby Anthem communities attended the council meeting for the item discussion. Residents near the airport are concerned the location of the development would increase traffic over their residences, which they claim is already a safety and noise concern.
Sage Mountain is a development involving Lennar Homes, financial firm Rialto Capital and Soro, a Nevada limited liability company.
Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3882. Follow him on Twitter: @KnightlyGrind.