Citizens of Walker Lake showed up to voice their concerns to the Mineral County Regional Planning Commission public hearing regarding a special use permit application filed by Yesco Outdoor Media for a billboard to be constructed at the lake.
The permit was for a 35 foot tall, 14 foot by 48 foot, two-sided outdoor billboard to be constructed on parcel 008-012-05.
Chairman Mark Nixon explained at the March 13 meeting that the billboard is oversized for the current county ordinance therefore a public hearing needs to be held.
Concerns from planning commission meeting members were the size of the tubing and welds to construct the billboard.
A Yesco representative stated that the billboard will withstand 160 miles per hour gusts.
Doris Brooks, owner of Buffalo Stop in Walker Lake and homeowner voiced her concern the danger of distracted driving, light reflection from the sign.
Greg Caldwell, resident of Walker Lake, explained that his home overlooks the “largest” billboard in Mineral County. He explained that the billboard had recently had the lighting upgraded and he is not happy with the outcome.
“I believe a picture speaks a thousand words,” David Bowen of Walker Lake explained while showing a photo of the property before and after the billboard blocks the view of the lake.
A petition with 89 signatures was given to the planning commission not in favor of this billboard. The petition was read into record by Nixon and stated, “To property and homeowners of the Walker Lake community, the owners of a billboard company have applied for a special use permit to place a commercial billboard, two-sided, 38 foot tall, at least 128 square foot on a private lot, next to Highway 95 in the Walker Lake community. The proposed site is approximately a quarter mile before the Buffalo Stop going north and is located beside the two-story yellow house. It would be between and in front of existing homes and properties in this northwest area of Walker Lake community. Reason for taking action to ban this and all future billboard installation from the Walker Lake community area. Property owners and residents want to protect the Walker Lake scenic byway by preventing: A. unwanted clutter eyesore from commercial advertisements within clear view of homes B. Avoiding artificial light pollution from invading the peace and privacy of our homes and enjoyment of natural and nighttime environment from dusk to dawn C. Additional potential distraction and increased accidents from traffic on Highway 95 thus compromising the safety of the residents who must slow down to make turns off of the highway or to enter the highway from nearby streets D. Degrading property values and (steadily increase in the economy) E. Discourage potential buyers of available lots and home sales. Recent sales have brought new home owners in who have been removing clutter and trash and updating structures and renewing the natural landscape and pride in our community.”
“We don’t want it – period”, stated Adla Earl of Walker Lake.
A member of the audience cited Nevada Revised Statute 405.050 which reads, “No permit may be granted for the erection of any billboard, sign or other form of notice on any location which may measurably destroy the natural beauty of the scenery or obscure a view of the road ahead or of curves and grades or intersecting highways or railways.”
“I wouldn’t want this where I live,” stated Rob Mathias, member of the planning commission.
“There will be a lawsuit if this happens,” Shelley Hartmann, resident of Walker Lake informed the commission members.
A motion to deny allowing Yesco erecting a billboard of the size requested was approved and the recommendation will be passed to the Mineral County Board of County Commissioners for a final decision in April.