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Las Vegas City leaders consider expanding Arts District

Posted at 9:35 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 11:01:19-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — When walking through the intersection of Casino Center Boulevard and Utah Avenue, people looking south to see Art District Apartments may assume the complex is within the boundaries of the Arts District.

According to city maps, that assumption would be wrong, but could soon be a fact as city officials consider expanding the Arts District beyond its current boundaries.

Justin Lewis recently moved out of the Arts District to escape the late-night bustle along Main Street, to a complex across the street from Art District Apartments.

"It's a little bit noisy down the street," he said. "I'm moving on this side of the Arts District because I want something to allow me to get more peace."

If plans to expand the Arts District move forward, the zoning boundaries would follow Lewis and extend past his new home south to Wyoming Avenue, west to the Union Pacific rail line, north to Gass Avenue, and east past Las Vegas Boulevard.

"I love it," Lewis said. "I think that this area is designed for people like myself who are in the music industry. To have a place to feel comfortable here in Las Vegas."

Part of the proposed zoning shifts concern how planning officials would consider green-lighting developments within the Arts District in a similar way projects have been approved in neighborhoods like the Historic West Side.

City officials said the new Form-Based Code analysis would focus less on the density or use of specific properties or proposed developments and rather weigh how well developments would fit within a specific sector of the Arts District.

The goal of FBC analysis in the Arts District would be to create a more walkable and cohesive neighborhood, reduce traffic in the area, and increase transportation options to and from the district, according to a Planning Commission staff report.

Tourists visiting the Arts District were pleased by the idea that the area could be expanded.

"It's nice to get away from the confusing area that is the Strip," said Justin Jenkins, a tourist from Denver.

Jenkins said, on first impression, the Arts District had been the best part of his visit to Las Vegas.

"Casinos feel kind of lifeless to me," Jenkins said. "I honestly don't like Las Vegas very much. This is the only time I've ever been, so this makes me want to come back."

The expansion of the Arts District and other downtown areas is a priority listed in the Vision 2045 Downtown Las Vegas Masterplan passed in 2016.

On Tuesday, the City of Las Vegas Planning Commission tabled a discussion on expanding the district without naming a new date for a hearing.

City staff, in a report, recommended approving the plan.