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Clark County approves policy for creating cultural districts

The Clark County Commission approved a policy Tuesday that creates a formal process to establish cultural districts in the county.

Under the new Cultural District Designation Policy, commissioners will be able to submit official designations to the commission for areas where different cultural communities have gathered, including a burgeoning “Little Ethiopia” in the southwest valley.

Under the policy, commissioners would have to identify these districts based on their cultural significance to the specific community, including the presence of residents, businesses, and religious or cultural institutions in the area.

The proposed area for “Little Ethiopia” stretches along Decatur Boulevard between Tropicana Avenue and Spring Mountain Road, where community leaders estimate the majority of local Ethiopian-owned restaurants and businesses are located.

The policy also opens up the possibility for the future official designation of the nearby stretch of Decatur colloquially known as “Chinatown.”

Cultural districts cannot overlap and cannot be located within the Strip corridor, according to the policy. Funds for official signage would have to be donated by the community rather than the county, but Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said the signs generally cost less than $200 and funds could be donated by anyone, including commissioners.

An amendment to the policy made during Tuesday’s meeting also would require the county to notify business owners and residents in areas under consideration for the designations.

The designation is an acknowledgement only, but similar policies are common in major cities like New York and Los Angeles.

Contact Max Michor at mmichor@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0365. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter.

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