Public responds after governor vetoes bill that would have given Red Rock more protection

Red Rock sign (Faith Jessie | KSNV)

It's a battle that has been going on for more than 10 years: development vs. Red Rock Canyon.

This week, Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill that some say would have given the conservation area more protection.

Lavenia McDaniel looks out over Red Rock Canyon with a sense of awe.

"It's like one of the wonders. The energy is so high. Words can't describe it," said McDaniel, a visitor to Red Rock. "It's majestic."

The first-time visitor traveled from Louisville, Ky. for a peek at what Southern Nevada has to offer. The thought of development anywhere near these views brings an immediate response.

"Oh my goodness, you just took my breath away. No. This is so close to nature. It's healing and therapeutic," said McDaniel.

Heather Fisher with Las Vegas Cyclery couldn't agree more.

As part of the group "Save Red Rock", Fisher says she's stunned by Gov. Sandoval's veto of Assembly Bill 277.

RELATED LINK | Group 'Save Red Rock' plans huge turnout at Wednesday zoning meeting

"All it does is say if you're a developer and you want to develop next to one of our conservation areas, you should produce an environmental impact study," said Fisher.

But a spokesman for Gypsum Resources says AB277 wasn't necessary. That's the entity behind a plan to build as many as 5,000 homes on Blue Diamond Hill, overlooking Red Rock Canyon.

"There already exists a very comprehensive and detailed process of planning and zoning within Clark County," said Ron Krater of Gypsum Resources.

Krater says Gypsum Resources is already going above and beyond to ensure the project is environmentally sound, currently preparing technical reports to define the project's vision. He says it is too early to give a start date for construction.

"The concept plan defines a maximum of 5,000 units. Not to say it will be that many," said Krater.

As for Fisher, she says the fight will go on.

"It was the number one most popular bill. Thousands of phone calls and emails," said Fisher. "Hopefully, the legislators will override the veto. All they need is a two-third vote."

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