Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | 2 a.m.
A months-long debate about how to balance business development with sustainability could come to an end Wednesday when the Las Vegas City Council considers a bill that would loosen energy efficiency standards for older buildings. The council will also get a look at a proposed retail development on city-owned land surrounding the Mob Museum when they hold their regular meeting at 9 a.m. at Las Vegas City Hall, 495 S. Main St.
Not easy being green
Energy codes governing insulation, windows and other systems that make up a building have divided business owners, residents and council members in the past few weeks.
Some business owners have argued that the energy efficiency standards are overly restrictive and can add major costs to renovations or rehabilitations of older buildings, especially downtown.
Councilman Bob Beers seems to agree and has introduced a bill that would loosen those standards for buildings built before 2009.
But sustainability advocates, including contractors, architects and engineers, have decried the proposed changes, arguing that they would be a step backward for a city that prides itself on being environmentally minded.
Beers’ proposed bill has also drawn some criticism from the state Attorney General’s Office, which said in a letter to the city that the changes would conflict with state law.
All of these issues will be debated and discussed Wednesday when the city council is scheduled to take up the matter and likely make a final decision on the bill.
Plans for strip club pool on hold
As raucous pool parties continued to provide big business for casinos in 2011, owners of the Olympic Garden strip club on Las Vegas Boulevard north of the Stratosphere unveiled plans to get a piece of the action with an 8,770-square-foot rooftop deck featuring a pool.
The changes were to be part of a 38,000-square-foot expansion that would have doubled the existing size of the club, located at 1531 Las Vegas Blvd. South.
But economic pressures have kept the expansion from taking off, and on Wednesday, representatives for the club will come before the city council to ask for an extension while it further develops a business plan for the roof deck.
The potential for more visitors and more noise emanating from an outside deck has some residents in the adjacent neighborhoods worried, something council members will have to consider when deciding whether to grant the extension. If they don’t, Olympic Garden would have to start its planning and permitting process from the beginning once the project is ready to go.
The furious pace of redevelopment downtown could continue with plans for a three-building, 100,000-square-foot retail and conference complex on 3.46 acres of city-owned land surrounding the Mob Museum.
In addition to the Mob Museum, the area is also near the future Zappos headquarters and across the street from the Downtown Grand, a revamped version of the Lady Luck casino currently under construction.
The new development would be built on a parcel of city-owned land that includes the defunct transit station adjacent to the Mob Museum under an agreement the city signed with the CIM Group, the company behind Downtown Grand, the Triple George Grill and the Mob Bar.
In addition to the three buildings, which would host restaurants, shops, bars and conference space, the development would also bring a six-story parking garage to the area.
The council will review the plans for the site during the planning section of its meeting on Wednesday.