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September 30, 2014

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Serene Country Estates to get tavern

The Henderson Planning Commission unanimously voted Thursday to allow a tavern in the Serene Country Estates neighborhood.

Though the neighborhood plan prohibits the use, commissioners voted in favor of allowing it after neighborhood leaders gave the project their blessing — with certain conditions.

Resident Earl Hodge, representing the Serene Country Estates Action Committee, said the community has had a good relationship with developer Roland Sansone, and the two parties have compromised on several projects in the past.

"However, the Serene Country Estates Neighborhood plan speaks for itself," he said. "It precludes taverns."

But after meeting with Sansone, Hodge said the two parties had again worked out a series of compromises that would allow residents to feel comfortable with the tavern, at St. Rose and Paseo Verde parkways. Those conditions would limit the tavern's access to St. Rose, require it to close between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. and prohibit dancing.

"We find that very agreeable," Hodge said.

Commissioners agreed to impose all of those conditions on the tavern's permit and added one of their own. Commissioner Sam Bateman, citing problems at unnamed taverns elsewhere in Henderson, added a condition that the tavern not be allowed to separate its restaurant component and then make the rest of the establishment into a bar.

"We don't just want a place where people come in to just drink, smoke and gamble," he said.

Sansone said he has invested about $25 million into the project, which also has an office building, restaurant and bank, and would recruit a tenant that would reflect that investment.

"It's a tavern, not a biker bar," he said. "I wouldn't jeopardize this entire project, and I can't let somebody come in with what I would say is a low-end product on something that I'm embellishing to a great deal."

Sansone initially resisted the idea of prohibiting the restaurant to be separate, but eventually accepted it.

"If I'm restricted, I'll be limited in my ability to bring in a high-end, quality operator," he said.

Jeremy Twitchell can be reached at 990-8928 or [email protected].

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