Commission Delays Decision on Burning Man Permit

By: Vicky Nguyen
By: Vicky Nguyen

Burning Man supporters are burned up over the Washoe County Commission decision to deny the festival its four special-use permits.

Organizers filed a lawsuit on Friday - and today dozens came to a Commission meeting to voice their opposition.

They were trying to appeal the Commission decision and we just got word that Burning Man has been put on the back burner so to speak

After listening to more than two hours of public comment, commissioners decided they will put the issue on their June 24th agenda - giving both sides time to re-think the permit situation.

The conflict started last month when neighbors appealed to the Commission, complaining about the festival's staging area. It's a 200-acre stretch of land near Gerlach.

Opponents say it's unsafe, posing a fire hazard among other things.

But Burning Man organizers say they're willing to work with the county and nearby residents. They say they need a staging area in order to house volunteers and coordinate the week-long event.

For now Commissioners have agreed to re-visit the issue in a couple weeks. If they stick with the decision not allow the special use permits, Burning Man leaders will proceed with their lawsuit.

They say Washoe County could be liable for as much as $40 million in damages over the next 5 years.

No doubt the decision will weigh heavily on the future of the Burning Man festival as well as the local economy.


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