North Las Vegas City Council members on Wednesday quietly and unanimously adopted a ban on Sunday new car sales, which will affect exactly zero city car dealerships.
That’s because there are no new car dealerships in North Las Vegas, according to interim City Attorney Sandra Douglass Morgan.
Reached before a special City Council meeting Tuesday, Morgan said the ban on Sunday new car sales — which is modeled after similar measures meant to promote “peace and tranquility” in Clark County, Henderson and Las Vegas — is merely an effort to bring the city in line with its neighbors.
Ordinance authors at the city’s finance department also highlighted a desire to be “proactive in promoting” a high standard of living in North Las Vegas neighborhoods, but didn’t elaborate on the need for an ordinance that has no immediate impact on city residents.
Morgan denied that the move is aimed at leveling the business playing field between two cities set to study shared services at nearly a dozen municipal departments through the end of May.
“This was put in motion before I became active,” she said. “But it’s my understanding that there was an agreement a long time ago to give residents and car dealership employees a break on Sundays, and (North Las Vegas) was only exempted because we don’t have any new car dealerships. … It’s not tied to the (shared services) agreement.”
Area attorney Joe Brown, who has lobbied for a council vote on the ordinance since July, admits the move will erase any competitive advantage prospective North Las Vegas car dealers might have enjoyed by selling cars on a day of rest observed by the rest of the Las Vegas Valley’s dealerships.
He expects residents’ applause for the move to outweigh any future losses in new car sales.
“North Las Vegas is a family oriented area,” Brown said. “I think they like the idea because they want to put the interests of their inhabitants ahead of those of a car dealer.”
Brown, working on behalf of the Southern Nevada Franchise Auto Dealers, said he first introduced city staffers to the item in July, just weeks after winning rave reviews from incoming North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee.
Lee, one of the architects of the shared services push finalized by city leaders on Wednesday, said he counts the ordinance as just another marker of the city’s new, more regionalized approach to governance.
“We’re trying to take a regional approach to things, so that if you come to do business in North Las Vegas it looks like Las Vegas or Clark County,” the first-term mayor said. “I don’t foresee us getting a dealership in a long period of time, but we’re still going to go through the process of becoming a more regional government here.”
Contact reporter James DeHaven at 702-477-3839 or firstname.lastname@example.org.