By Mark Waite
Blackjack Fireworks was granted permission by the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission Wednesday to sell fireworks out of a tent at the corner of Highway 160 and CAAS Road from June 1 through July 4.
The company also known as Ninja Fireworks, has another location at 1181 S. Highway 160 and thus won’t exceed the county limit of six fireworks licenses, planner Beth Lee said.
Blackjack was required to obtain a conditional use permit for fireworks sales in a general commercial zone. The RPC is the final authority unless there is a protest to the county commission.
The site previously housed a modular sales building and numerous cargo container storage units for Blackjack Fireworks. There is a paved section off the highway.
Fire Chief Scott Lewis told the Pahrump Valley Times he has some concerns about selling fireworks out of a tent, but it meets the requirements of the 2006 International Fire Code. Lewis said he will review the plans before the erection of the tent and make an inspection afterwards.
The conditions allow no more than two storage trailers, no vehicle parking on the highway right-of-way, keeping the premises free of trash and debris and there will be no flagging of vehicles or obstructing traffic flow. The tent must be fire-rated and comply with all fire and safety regulations, including exit requirements, fire extinguishers and no smoking signs.
Attorney Jeffrey Shaner, representing owner Anthony McKoy, said the tent won’t exceed 7,200 square feet. The hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. to midnight. They will employ 10 people.
Shaner said the site was previously used for fireworks sales.
Nye County Planning Director Steve Osborne told county commissioner Butch Borasky the tent won’t be required to have sprinklers, but the material meets fire retardant requirements. There has to be a certain number of fire extinguishers and exits.
RPC member Greg Hafen II inquired whether the owners had a commercial well and septic. RPC Chairman Terry Hand said plans show they will use portable toilets.
Deputy District Attorney Charles Watkins said he didn’t see any legal problems approving the conditional use permit, with the conditions.
* In other business, Kathleen Mueller was granted a conditional use permit to open a bed and breakfast called The Bunkhouse at 4640 S. Whirlwind St.
Mueller will be limited to renting two rooms. When she turns 62 this month, Mueller plans to devote more time to photography and writing.
She envisions her bed and breakfast “as a retreat for writers, photographers, artists, healers, anyone needing to get away from the smog of the big city, craving an inspirational quiet place to think, meditate and just be.”
* A conditional use permit was granted for a swap meet behind Sunflower Fashions, to resolve a code compliance complaint at the intersection of Loop Road and Highway 160.
Lee said no additional structures will be erected, only the tents and tables for vendors of the weekend swap meets. She said the property is zoned commercial with ancillary parking, at a location that has been used for a business for years.
Much of the discussion involved watering the property. Property owner Dan Harris said Nye County Air Quality Compliance Officer George Bernath visited the property and said they could water when needed, instead of before and after every swap meet.
Harris said “no parking” signs have been erected on Loop Road. Patti Butler, owner of Sunflower Fashions, said it’s been difficult to get some motorists to pay attention to a woman directing traffic, but she plans to hire someone. Butler and Harris weren’t sure what authority they had to enforce parking.
Butler said she’s been operating the swap meet since December.
“My business was pretty bad with the economy, as everybody knows, and I needed to do something,” Butler said.
The flea market has been a success, with up to 35 to 40 vendors setting up shop on weekends.