The Resort Corridor Workgroup

The Resort Corridor Workgroup, established last year by commissioners and assembled by County Manager Don Burnette, met over several months to hammer out details of proposed Strip improvements that include a stronger police presence and a surveillance system. The group is composed of gaming industry and tourist executives and law enforcement representatives.

County orders study of Strip pedestrian congestion
Las Vegas Review-Journal
April 3, 2012

Agenda Item Development Report 3373
Date: March 27, 2012
Agenda Date: April 3, 2012

Subject/Title:
Resort Corridor Workgroup Recommendations

Recommended Action:
That the Board of County Commissioners receive a report made by the Resort Corridor Workgroup; and direct staff accordingly

Background:
On August 2, 2011, the Board directed the County Manager to establish a workshop to examine issues relating to the area of Las Vegas Boulevard from Sahara Avenue to Russell Road commonly referred to as the “Resort Corridor” and to develop a set of recommendations for the Board to consider. The Resort Corridor Workgroup (Group) was then established by County Manager Don Burnette later in August of 2011.

The primary participants of the Group included: John Caparella, President and COO, Venetian & Palazzo; Brian Gullbrants, Executive Vice-President and General Manager, Wynn Las Vegas; Terry Jicinsky, Senior Vice-President of Operations, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; Rick Mazer, Regional President, Caesar’s Entertainment; Mark Russell, Vice President General Counsel, The Mirage Casino-Hotel; Steve Thompson, Senior Vice-President, Boyd Gaming; and Captain Todd Fasulo (for Sheriff Doug Gillespie), Convention Center Area Command, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. In addition to the primary participants, other individuals participated in the process including: Karlos LaSane, Regional Vice President, Government Relations, Caesar’s Entertainment; Terry Murphy, President, Strategic Solutions, for Wynn Las Vegas; and Tony Tauebel, VP and GM, Orleans, Boyd Gaming; and Virginia Valentine, President, Nevada Resort Authority.

In addition, the following County staff provided information and assistance to the Group in fulfilling its charge: Randy Tarr, Assistant County Manager; David Roger, former District Attorney; Mary-Anne Miller, County Counsel; Denis Cederberg, Director, County Public Works; and Jacqueline Holloway, Director, County Business License.

The Group met twice a month beginning in September 2011 with its last meeting taking place on March 1, 2012.

AIDR No. 3373
March 27, 2012
Page Two

During these meeting, the Group received presentations and information on Resort Corridor issues from the following sources:

– Clark County Public Works Department with respect to: Strip Sidewalk Maintenance; Special Improvement Districts for Median Landscaping; Funding including room tax funds; Garabage Cans/Litter (Sidewalks, pedestrian bridges, bus shelters); Newsracks; Pedestrian Bridge Maintenance; Pedestrian Bridges – Solicitation restrictions; Graffiti; Summary of Strip Beautification Efforts; and Obstructive Use Ordinance and Obstructive Use Zones.

– Clark County Business License Department with respect to: Regulation of Handbillers and Street Performers outside the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Summary of Public Input; Information on Commercial Area Vitalization Districts; and Information of the “Nuisance Night Court” in Philadelphia

– Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) with respect to: State of the Strip 2011; Memorandum of Safe Strip Officers; and Safe Strip Camera Proposal

– Commissioner Steve Sisolak and Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani

– American Civil Liberties Union with respect to First Amendment Rights and Public Forums – specifically issues relating to handbillers and street performers

– Todd L. Bice, Pisanelli Bice, PLLC with respect to First Amendment Rights and Public Forums – specifically relating to the Fremont Street Experience

As the Group reviewed the presentations and written information, issues relating to the Resort Corridor were categorized into the following areas of concern:

– Litter and Cleanliness
– Graffiti/Unauthorized Advertisting
– Newsracks
– Pedestrian Safety
– Public Safety
– Obstructions due to Congestion
– Commercial Activities
– First Amendment Issues

At the last five scheduled meetings, the Group discussed the various options for addressing issues within each of the areas of concern. As the options were discussed, recommendations were developed and agreed by the Group. At the March 1, 2012, meeting, the Group agreed to the list of recommendations that are set forth in the attached document.

[Signature of Donald G. Burnette, County Mananger, Clark County]

Resort Corridor Workgroup Final Recommendations
March 27, 2012

Below is a summary of the Resort Corridor Workgroup’s recommendations, which encompass and reflect the information and discussion over the last six months. The consensus-based recommendations approved by the Workgroup were made following the presentation of information, the analysis of the issues, and the discussion of the various options for addressing the issues. The recommendations encourage a public-private approach to addressing the various issues arising in the Resort Corridor and include proposals for actions by the County, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and the Resort Properties. Some of the recommendations can be implemented in a relatively short period of time while others require studies, additional legal research, or the adoption of ordinances that may take several months to complete.

Recommendation Area: Newsracks

1. The county should continue the periodic review of the number and location of newsracks along the Resort Corridor

2. To provide uniformity of newsracks, the County should replace the current systme that provides for installation and maintenance of newsracks by premittees with a county-owned and maintained system of newsracks. The County should evaluate different newsrack styles (freestanding and modular) to determine the most appropriate style(s) for use along the Resort Corridor.

3. The County should also attempt to purchase newsracks that use anti-graffiti or graffiti-resistant coating and/or material that would help with maintenance issues.

4. The County should continue to enforce code provisions on maintenance of and standards for newsracks installed by permittees through regular inspections in the resort corridor and to take corrective actions when necessary.

5. The County should provide a trash can at each newsrack location. (This recommendation also appears under Recommendation Area: Litter and Cleanliness.)

Recommendation Area: Litter and Cleanliness

Trash Cans

6. The County should continue to make sure that trash cans are the same style at specific county-maintained locations (each pedestrian bridge, Harmon intersection, etc.) The County will review the style of trash cans it uses to determine whether the style should be changed in an effort to maintain a cleaner appearance for the can and the sidewalk area surrounding it (i.e. should all cans be required to have some type of covering or should all cans be off the ground). The number of trash cans at pedestrian bridges and on sidewalks seems to be sufficient except that:
– County will install a trash can at each bank of newsracks; and
– County will install additional trash cans were the right-of-way exists at locations selected by the County.

7. The County should notify Resort Properties if it observes containers being used as trash cans on their properties especially vacant properties (example, 50 gallon drums being used as trash cans).

8. RTC of Southern Nevada should require that the franchisee for a bus stop shelter use the same style of can for a specific shelter (if shelter contains multiple cans) with the style chosen to blend with the shelter if desired. RTC of Southern Nevada should also ensure that the trash cans are emptied on a regularly scheduled basis.

9. Resort Properties, as well as other properties, should establish a regular schedule for the emptying of trash cans of those properties.

Sidewalks and Pedestrian Bridges (for which the County is responsible) — See also recommendation #17 under Graffiti/Unauthorized Advertising relating to “hotline” to the County for use outside of normal Public Works officer hours

10. The County should maintain 24 hr. custodial service on the pedestrian bridges.

11. The County should modify its currently established Monday/Wednesday/Friday morning schedule for sidewalk cleaning and maintenance to a Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday/Sunday morning schedule (between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.) and provide for an additional cleaning maintenance, if warranted, on any Monday following a special event.

12. The County should require handbillers to periodically clean up discarded handbills in a specific area around the location of the handbiller.

Recommendation Area: Graffiti/Unauthorized Advertising

14. The County should continue to provide for the cleaning of graffiti on public property in the Resort Corridor through its graffiti abatement contract.

15. The County should investigate the use of anti-graffiti or graffiti resistant coatings on public property in the Resort Corridor, should include as a bid requirement, the use of anti-graffiti or graffiti resistant coatings.

16. The County, through Code Chapter 11.12, should enforce provisions on the covering and removal of graffiti on nonresidential property, especially vacant property, in the Resort Corridor and cooperate on the removal of graffiti on bus shelters maintained by RTC of Southern Nevada franchises and above-ground utility features maintained by NV Energy and the Las Vegas Valley Water District.

17. Public Works should provide Resort Properties with a telephone “hotline” number (or other notification process) that can be used to directly notify Public Works of graffiti or other unauthorized advertising/materials on public property within the Resort Corridor outside of the normal Public Works office hours. Direct notification can speed up abatement in situations that warrant an immediate response.

18. LVMPD and Resort Properties should establish a procedure for sharing graffiti information (photos of tags or signatures) to help identify and prosecute graffiti offenders.

Recommendation Area: Pedestrian Safety

19. County Public Works should continue to enforce its established policy that prohibits the storing of traffic cones or barricades on sidewalks, in gutters, or in the median when not in use.

20. County Public Works should evaluate the lighting along the Resort Corridor (specifically along vacant properties) to identify any “dark spots” and take measures with respect to county rights-of-way to address any identified “dark spots”. Public Works should also notify owners of “dark spots” on non-public property.

21. The County should amend existing county code or adopt a new ordinance that restricts activities on the public sidewalks of the Resort Corridor that pose a potential risk to safety of pedestrians. The ordinance might address the following issues, with exceptions for special events or permitted activities:
– The use of unicycles, bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, in-line skates, hula hoops larger than 4 feet in diameter and shopping carts.
– The launching of projectiles or other objects into or through the air.
– The use of items or engaging in actions that pose a potential risk to pedestrians (to be more specially defined in the ordinance).

Recommendation Area: Commercial Activities

22. The County should amend existing county code or adopt a new ordinance that clearly states that it is unlawful to engage in commercial activity in the public right-of-way.

23. (a) The County should continue the program began in June 2011 that provided for the special handling of business license violations by a Deputy District Attorney and monitor the impact of the program. In addition, the County should continue to pursue special handling of business license violations by a single designated Las Vegas Justice of the Peace or JP pro temp.

(b) The County should exam the use of civil penalties as an alternative to the current method of enforcement of business license violations through criminal prosecutions.

24. The County should maintain the number of signs relating to commercial activities that are currently mounted at or near the pedestrian bridges. In addition, County Public Works should consult and cooperate with LVMPD in determining the need for additional signage.

25. The County and Resort Properties should consider ways to provide information to visitors concerning prohibited activities along the Resort Corridor (i.e., no business activity in the right-of-way, sales vs. solicitations for tips and donations).

Recommendation Area: Obstruction of Public Sidewalks & Pedestrian Bridges due to Congestion

26. In order to provide for pedestrian safety and to eliminate pedestrian congestion, each Resort Property is encouraged to work with the County to clarify the boundaries between public and private sidewalks.

27. With respect to the provisions of Clark County Code Chapter 16.11 on obstructive uses of public sidewalks, the County should:

(a) Revisit the criteria for the current designations of “no obstruction zones” and renew the enforcement of the “no obstruction zones” that will still meet the criteria.

(b) Review the provisions of Chapter 16.11 contracting for a new pedestrian study.

(c) Following the completion of the new pedestrian study, update the zones and amend provisions of Chapter 16.11 as necessary.

(d) Amend the relevant provisions of Chapter 16.11 to clarify that pedestrian bridges are for the prompt and safe movement of pedestrians and that, like crosswalks, stopping and standing on pedestrian bridges are prohibited.

28. The County is encouraged to adopt an ordinance that prohibits animals on Resort Corridor sidewalks and pedestrian bridges with exceptions (like service animals) but allows for household pets to be on sidewalks along the Resort Corridor between the hours of 5 a.m. and noon. (NOTE: On March 6, 2012, the BCC adopted such an ordinance and asked for a one-year review.)

Recommendation Area: First Amendment Activities

29. After the completion of the new pedestrian study provided for in the recommendation above, the County should consider adopting an ordinance that establishes time, place and manner restrictions on First Amendment activities on public sidewalks along the Resort Corridor that would promote public safety, welfare and other legally protected interests of the County.

Recommendation Area: Additional Public Safety Issues

30. The LVMPD is encouraged, subject to available funding, to proceed with a proposal to add a closed circuit television system along the Resort Corridor including the funding of the necessary resources to monitor the system.

31. The County should study the possibility of setting up a “Night Court” on specified nights to handle certain offenses that occur on the Resort Corridor. The purpose of the “Night Court” would be to expedite the adjudication of offenders in a prompt and consistent manner. The County District Attorney’s Office and LVMPD are encouraged to send representatives to Philadelphia to observe the Night/Nuisance Court used there. NOTE: Preliminary discussions have taken place with the Philadelphia Municipal Court on a trip sometime during the month of April or May 2012.

32. The County, LVMPD, and the Resort Properties should further explore the possibility of additional law enforcement resources for the Resort Corridor.


Resort Corridor Work Group – Meeting Notes
January 5, 2012
PDF

Doug opened the meeting at 1:07p

There should be 2 documents in front of you. These are the working documents provided by Alice. These are the documents we will be working on today.

Today we will be spending time on recommendations. These are all drafts at this point. There was a review of the front page of the resort corridor workgroup working documents. Don spoke of the past holiday weekend drive up the Las Vegas Strip.

Page 1, #2. A question was asked with regards to standards of lighting on the strip? Denis said that yes there is a certain standard. There is no way to assess the properties with regards to the amount of lighting they provide.

Page 2, #3. Public safety section was reviewed. “Is there a way to say that all people o the strip shouldn’t have weapons?” Make the bullet more generic, such as taking out the language of street performers. Make the bullet more specific, and less broad, but make sure the language should stay somewhat vague so that it could encompass more exotic animals such as rats and so forth.

Page 2, #4. The BCC has introduced and ordinance to eliminate animals on the strip. This ordinance specifically targets dogs with street performers and vagrants. Caesar’s is one of the resorts on the strip that is a pet friendly resort. Mary had the question if the animal was just sitting on the strip with a performer or vagrant, how would you enforce this ordinance? The BCC ordinance to be voted on is an all or nothing type ordinance banning all animals on the strip. There is an option that animals would be put into more of harms way on Friday night than would be during the day. Maybe the ordinance could include parameters that animals are only allowed on the strip during certain hours of the day and certain times of the week. Don/Randy will check with the BCC to get the ordinance amended and possibly hold the BCC vote until the issues can be worked out with the resort Corridor Group and the BCC.

Bottom of page 2, top of page 3. A question was asked “is there anyone who may want to get a commercial license for a kiosk on the strip? Mary believes that under State Law we are prohibited from licensing a kiosk. They would like to have an ordinance that state no one can engage in commercial activity on the sidewalks and bridges. This is an umbrella that is believed the 9th Circuit would allow to happen. This would help with the amount of water vendors on the strip. This would be something that may need exceptions for special events such as NYE. This should say no commercial property activity on the public right of way. This will include a table in front of the retail store.

Page 3, #2. Add additional signage. All for it.

Page 3, #3. Possible signage on the strip that addresses not paying street performers with tips or donations. Maybe have the County install signage that states Street Performers are only with tip and donations. The signs will not rid the strip of the street performers, but it may decrease the performer’s revenue. This is something that should be on the County website and possible post some signs on the strip. Generalize the recommendation and make it available on the website and allow the properties to put up signs is they choose. Possibly place signs on the bridges. Some of the resorts may be willing to post signs and place information in each guest room.

Page 4, #1. If a property of the strip would like to redevelop, they would be required to provide 85 feet of right of way. Some are on the strip already, but this could cause an issue with some resorts. This was recommended to hold until they can research more into this.

Night Court concept.

Cpt. Fassulo spoke to the concept that they would love to have a night court for the entire community not just the resort corridor. Metro feels this would benefit the entire County and this includesd the resort corridor. Metro thinks this would allow them to take some of these people off the strip and into a court immediately. Metro thinks that in time this could help eliminate the water vendors on the walkways/bridges in front of the resorts. This will help get a message out that this is an illegal offense. The illegal vendors would in time decrease. Mary stated that if we do civil penalties, they could have graduated fines. This could also include that if they don’t pay there fines, they could be prosecuted criminally. It was ask what type of volume would you see at the “Night Court”? Cpt. Fassulo would like to get more information from Philly as to how this would impact Las Vegas? This would also be a win for Las Vegas if we ever get a stadium. They are still concerned with cost and location of the night court. Metro does believe that a location further from the strip is better, but not too far. Mary suggested the use of the RJC at night. This is something that should still be discussed in detail further. LVCVA brought up that it is possible that some the Justice Court Judges may not know the resort people and let the offenders off easy, due to lack of political campaign funds. Mary suggested that it is possible that we get a judge pro tem and not an elected judge. The County may send some people back to get a better look at the Philly “Night Court” model.

Camera concept on the strip and the cost of the concept? This is only a recommendation. This is something that should be explored, but most tourist feel the cameras are already there and watching them. There was a concerned that many tourists on the strip may feel that they are being watched by “Big Brother” if the cameras were placed on the strip.

Page 4, #2. Possible changes to the existing sidewalks. The front of Treasure Island, the sidewalks was closed during the show, due to the amount of people watching the sinking ship show, but they did accommodate the pedestrians with a lower area of unobstructed walkway. This is something that each resort may work with the County to get more space on the sidewalk. Change bifurcate to clarify. Possible study that would look at the easements and properties and the recommendations and analysis. The County could do the project, but it would cost a large amount, but it would possibly change the look of your resort. The one at Treasure Island was paid for by Treasure Island and not the County and they did so with the min. access for the public to pass by. We will bring back a recommendation at the next meeting.

Page 4, #3. Zero obstructions on the bridge. No t-shirt or water sales. Revisit the designation of the “no obstruction zones” (white lines). This allows metro to enforce this ordinance. Possibly redesign the “zones”.

Next meeting will be held at Howard Hughes in two weeks at Boyd Gaming on January 19th @ 1:00p.

Possibly wrap up the first meeting in February.


Resort Corridor Work Group – Meeting Notes
February 2, 2012

Randy opened the meeting at 12:15p.

Randy mentioned that there were some absences on behalf on the County. He mentioned that there will be discussion regarding the animal ordinance and the possible SID on the resort corridor.

Alice let the members know that the document on the table and being passed out is the same as the one that was e-mailed with only one small change. This is a table that we are hoping all members are in agreement that these are the recommendations that the panel would like to move forward to the BCC.

News Racks – All agreed to what has been proposed.

Trash Cans – #8 is the only change in the previous recommendations. Mary suggested that during the pedestrian study, they will look into who is causing the litter. If possible, we may be able to require the hand billers to clean up their immediate area. Also, Mary will research to see if there is a way to require the hand billers to place their company information on the hand bills. Comm. Giunchigliani also would like to entertain a recommendation for recycling on the strip. it was brought up that Republic Services already will sort recycling and garbage at an offsite property. This is something that the County should look into, since the properties are already doing this. It was suggested that this could be preceived that we are trying to place too many trash/recycling receptacles so that the hand billers would have less space to stand. Also recommended is that each individual hand biller be held responsible for litter.

Graffiti – All agreed to what has been proposed.

Public sidewalks – Page 4 – A question was asked what the definition of loitering on the strip. It was discussed that loitering would be a hard case to prove, but you could also say that traffic flow is being impeded due to public storage of a “shopping cart”. Alice would speak to Mary with regards to her opinion.

Page 6 – Don would like to possibly reconvene this group unofficially once the pedestrian study is completed. Denis mentioned that if we are going to use time, place manor [sic], we will have to look at the entire strip and come back with information of when the areas are most congested and less congested. Denis is expecting at least a 3 month turn around study to be completed. It would be something that may be done in the summertime. It was suggested that resorts would allow use of the cameras at each property for use of the study. This doesn’t provide 100% coverage, but the areas in front of the resorts may be available to help collect data. Don mentioned the appreciation of the County for the offer and accepted the offer to use the resort security cameras. Cost is initially estimated at 1/4 million dollars with cameras. Metro is offering the help of volunteers on the strip to help compile some information. Funding would possible [sic] come from the resort corridor misc. room tax dollars. Denis mentioned that it could take 2 or 3 weeks to put together a scope for the project to begin. If we are looking at just traffic flow, we could use pedcounters. If we are looking at hand billers, then we would have to have cameras. Metro already has cameras on the strip, and will check to see if those images can be used for this study. Metro is doing monitoring during and [sic] ongoing basis. Metro agrees that the study should be 24 hours per day. Don suggested that anyone interested in participating in this initial study to please contact Denis.

Animal Ordinance – Mary has provided a redraft of this ordinance proposed by Comm. G. Caesars was ok with the proposed 5a until 12p.

First Amendment Activities – Possible requirement of hand billers to get a permit in order to hand bill. Mary has spoken to Business License and feels it would be very difficult to get this requirement passed. It was suggested that Metro work with hand bill companies to provide training to hand billers so that they can identify a pedestrian as a minor. Possibly make this mandatory for those only on the resort corridor to attend a training held by Metro and Business License. This would be similar to a TAM card. Would the verification of this training would this be something they wear or just on their person. Metro also mentioned the violation and how do we enforce this? Metro would like to not just address adult content, but also the aggressive behavior. There are penalties if someone doesn’t have a valid TAM card. Also possibly have a photo id card for each of the hand billers.

Public Safety – Metro has a handout with regards to trespassing off of the properties. This could be a conversation with Metro and the resorts so that they can all be on the same page and that person would be trespassed from each property listed on the form. Similar to the form in Orlando. Alice will speak to Mary if this would be legal or would need legislation or an ordinance from the County passed. This would help prosecution by Metro in a court of law.

Increased Metro presence on the strip – Don brought up the fact that each resort would be responsible for providing funding for the increased Metro presences on the strip. Denis did hand out a sheet with regards to SID on the strip. Don asked that Metro speak on the possibility that each resort pay for increased Metro presence on the strip. Metro mentioned that this could be done over a three year period. A suggestion was made possibly have more volunteers for Metro and not as many officers. Don asked if there is an interest from the resorts to get an increased Metro presence on strip. There was a referral back to the camera proposal instead of the actual bodies of Metro. The Mirage said that they would like to see how many of the suggested ideas would be put into place, but they don’t want to suggest they would like to participate in the more cops or cameras proposal without actual recommendations being put into place. It was also mentioned that a small increase in room tax provide funding.

It was suggested that we place a date on how long it will take the County to research the proposals, and set a date meet again with the group.

Next meeting on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 1:00p.

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