County vote on controversial Red Rock development sets stage for long legal battle
The highly contested concept plan to build as many as 5,000 homes near Red Rock is one step closer to reality, by there are still legal battles ahead.
Clark County Commissioners voted 5-2 to allow the withdrawal of a 2016 concept plan for development near Red Rock, essentially paving the way for a 2011 concept plan. The contested proposal still faces many hurdles, but the representatives for Gypsum Resources said Wednesday's vote was a win.
"We think we got very clear direction today that we're to move forward with the 2011 approved concept plan, with conditions." Rob Krater is a consultant who works with the developer. They believe the development will mean billions of dollars infused into the local economy. He said one way or another, they will develop, that not developing was never the issue. "Today we heard a lot of comments and comments are very emotional and they're very good comments and they're things that we can start to address and things we can actually start to weave into the specific plan."
County Commissioner Larry Brown; who voted in favor of withdrawing the 2016 plan without prejudice said, "To those that say that we should just say no and save Red Rock, I think it became clear today, we can't. This is a private property issue."
But, to the hundreds that showed up to voice their opinion against the development, like Shiela Billingsly, Wednesday's vote felt like the county wasn't listening she said. "We all came down here, we had 42,000 signatures, hundreds of people here. We had hundreds of people here. We had over 130 comments, which is more than they've ever had and it was for nothing."
The concept plan still has a long ways to go and court battles to be had. Things like public access could certainly become another hot issue as plans progress.
"We have to pay for all the water and sewer and infrastructure. We're going to have to build police stations and schools and fire stations up there and that's on us," said Mary Riddel an Economics Professor at UNLV. She spoke in front of the packed meeting.
Others, like Sheila Billingsly are upset with the vote. "It is very upsetting." But, even after seven and a half hours of heated public comment, demonstrators with Save Red Rock say the battle isn't over. "We all came down here, we had 42,000 signatures, hundreds of people here. We had hundreds of people here. We had over 130 comments, which is more than they've ever had and it was for nothing," said Billingsly.
The fight has even gone national with the singer of Imagine Dragons tweeting " If they think they have won, they are very wrong. The battle now begins and the voices of Las Vegas will be heard. @SaveRedRock"
The attorney with Save Red Rock said they will go back to court to fight the legitimacy of the 2011 concept plan which they believe was expired.