The Mineral County Commissioners were presented a letter denying a special use permit for YESCO and the erection of a billboard within the Walker Lake Township.
“We had a lot of public participation. We had no one in support [of the billboard],” Mark Nixon, Mineral County Regional Planning Commission chairman told the commissioners at their meeting on April 3. “We moved to deny the application.”
The letter of recommendation from the planning commission stated, “The town of Walker Lake is a ‘Dark Community’ enabling the residents to view the night sky unimpeded by lighting. The large lighted sign would interfere with residents sleep and have deleterious effect on the wildlife affected mating patterns and life cycles. The sign would lower property values and make it harder to sell Walker Lake property. A large lighted sign would be a distraction to drivers – that area has multiple roads entering the highway, a bus stop and is a pathway for the Mountain Sheep.”
Commissioner Christine Hoferer asked if anyone in the audience was in favor of the billboard. There was no response.
“The legal process,” Nixon explained, “is YESCO files an appeal through this board [the commissioners].”
“The problem is that YESCO made a bad business decision. They should have come in front of the planning commission prior to purchasing the piece of property [where the billboard would be erected at Walker Lake]. That would have alleviated a lot of these problems,” former county commissioner James Essenpries told the commissioners.
“If it does get passed, they are allowed to have it there for 50 years,” Walker Lake resident David Bowen explained.
Geri Taylor of Walker Lake explained a Nevada Department of Transportation document – 1591 which reads: “Although control of outdoor advertising seems daunting, there are regulations that provide restrictions to billboard construction. NRS 405.050 allows counties to deny permits for billboards that may ‘measurably destroy the natural beauty of the scenery or obscure a view of the road ahead.’ Additionally, the statutes give the NDOT Director the authority to remove any sign that is a traffic hazard. The Role of Local Government Cities and counties have the ability to regulate the location, and to limited degree, the type of billboard erected within their jurisdiction.”
The commissioners voted to accept the planning commission’s recommendation to not accept the placement of a billboard in Walker Lake.