Q: Doesn’t the developer have a legal right to build on his own land?
A: Yes he does, but only rural rights of one house per two acres. He is asking the county to change that to high density zoning instead of rural zoning. Save Red Rock is not against property owner rights. He has the right to build a small village with one house per two acres, rurally zoned. In fact, he has the right to build 10 small villages the size of the biggest village in Red Rock Canyon currently, which is Blue Diamond. Nobody can fight his property rights. What Save Red Rock is fighting is his request to the county commissioners to change his zoning to 500% more, or 5000 homes, 14,000 people, and commercial development and professional magnet institutions to draw even more traffic on top of that. The Save Red Rock battle is to preserve the rural character of Red Rock Canyon.
Q: How would this proposed development impact Red Rock Canyon?
A: See Talking Points below:
Q: If the development proposes dark skies initiative, doesn’t that mean that Red Rock will have dark skies?
A: They can build street lights pointing down, but there’s nothing they can do about the proposed volume of at least ten thousand cars’ headlights roaming around on top of the mountain that blocks the light pollution from the city.
Q: How could the access road affect the Red Rock Scenic Byway if it is not going directly to it?
A: It’s been said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results. During the time when Mountain’s Edge development and Southern Highlands were being built, the county had approved the developments, without requiring sufficient access to them, so the thousands of new residents and construction traffic drivers soon discovered that Red Rock Canyon, the scenic byway, even though it was 7 miles out of the way each way (14 miles extra), was still the fastest way to get to the 215. Drivers always pick the path of least resistance. The quickest way. This immediately caused a problem in the canyon. One of the most tragic, of which, was the loss of our dear friend Don Albietz, who got killed while riding his bike by a construction truck which would have otherwise not been in Red Rock Canyon. This is why I started the website www.saveredrock.com and the battle to make Red Rock safer and preserve the scenic, rural character raged on. More about Don Albietz inspiration for Save Red Rock here.
SAVE RED ROCK TALKING POINTS
1 – BUILD WHAT YOU BOUGHT:
Developer Jim Rhodes bought rural designated property in Red Rock. He has the right to build a rural development. This is what the county and state have determined is appropriate for the area. A rural development could fit the character of the canyon, and nobody is fighting his right to build what he bought.
2 – NON-CONFORMING ZONE CHANGE:
Jim Rhodes wants to change the rural zoning to high density zoning. The problem is not developing the land within his rights, it’s trying to change his rights with an application for a non-conforming zone change. Zoning laws and area designations are set up to protect the people. It would be like someone buying a house in your neighborhood and changing the zoning of just that house to industrial so they could turn it into an automobile factory. That’s just not appropriate for the middle of a residential neighborhood. Just like a large, high-density city is just not appropriate for Red Rock Canyon.
3 – MAJOR DEVELOPMENT SIZE:
If non-conforming zone change is approved by the commissioners, this would be the third largest city in Southern Nevada, tied with Boulder City.
4 – THE CHARACTER OF THE CANYON:
A rural village would not change the character of the canyon, like a high density city would. Jim Rhodes has the right to build a rural village. He does not have the right to build a high density city. That is what he is trying to get the commissioners to approve.
5 – DONUT HOLE:
Jim Rhodes wasn’t satisfied with his rural property, so he sued the county and got them to cut a donut hole out of the rural designated area, for his property only, in which he now has the right to ask (but ask only, see next item) for high density city development. This conspicuous donut hole is on the top of a mountain surrounded on 3 sides by Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, and on the fourth side by the Clark County Gypsum Ridge open space park and the Red Rock Canyon 13 mile campground.
6 – LEGAL RIGHTS:
Jim Rhodes has the legal right to ask for a zone change. The county has a legal right to deny it or approve it, based on what is an appropriate and sustainable use for the area. The county is afraid they will get sued again if they don’t give in and change the zoning, regardless of its appropriateness.
7 – DARK SKIES:
Red Rock Canyon is a popular place for star-gazers of the dark skies. Even if the developer implements dark skies lighting, there is nothing anyone can do about 10,000 headlights roaming around on top of the mountain that blocks the light of the city. It will become it’s own light pollution source.
8 – CLEAR SKIES:
Red Rock Canyon is protected from the haze of the city by a natural barrier. If you put a city on top of this natural barrier, naturally, the haze will flow down into the canyon.
9 – BIKING:
Red Rock Canyon is the most popular cycling destination in Nevada. In 2003 Don Albietz, cyclist was hit and killed on a tiny 6 inch bike lane in Red Rock Canyon. As a result, the Save Red Rock website was built and the effort began to protect rider safety and preserve this cycling paradise. NDOT responded to the public outcry and set up a series of safety charettes. As a result, an 8 foot wide bike lane was created on both sides of the scenic byway, a state law to prohibit commercial trucking was made, and the speed limit for the scenic byway was reduced to 50 mph. The cycling community is very grateful to NDOT for hearing and responding to the public need. Also, as a result, the BLM was given 2 million dollars to study a separated bike and multi-use path. An area was set forth in which to put the path, but the BLM did not build a path. An extra 5000 homes worth of traffic would greatly impact the cycling safety and serenity of the canyon.
10 – HIKING AND ROCK CLIMBING AND TOURIST INDUSTRY:
Red Rock is world famous for hiking, biking, and rock climbing. Las Vegas is tucked away behind the mountain and only visible from a couple of spots, as a far distant city in the other side of a natural barrier, providing a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The proposed development brings the city into the canyon and is visible from the most popular recreation areas along the scenic loop. It is a significant tourist draw for the city of Las Vegas.
11 – 6-LANE DEVELOPMENT HIGHWAY to 4-LANE SR 160 to 2-LANE FORT APACHE/DURANGO/BUFFALO/RAINBOW
If the county approves this plan, as is historic f for Clark County development patterns, the developer will not be required to do any road improvements past the end of his access highway. This dumps and extra 15,000 cars onto and already strained 160, Fort Apache, Durango, Rainbow, and Buffalo.
12 – CC215/I15 TRAFFIC IMPACTS:
The 215/I-15 interchange will see a large increase in traffic if this zone change is allowed in this area.
13 – SR 160 (BLUE DIAMOND HIGHWAY) TRAFFIC IMPACTS:
NDOT is currently in process of road improvements for SR 160 from Las Vegas/Mountain’s Edge to Pahrump. They widened the road to 2 lanes each way, instead of one. This was determined by traffic studies of current traffic, not taking into consideration this new development.
14 – THE CLINCHER:
The wild card. There is nearly 1000 acres of pristine, untouched land on top of the mountain that could potentially go up for sale. The BLM has been asked by county, federal, state governments, and presented with a petition by the people, to remove this land from the sellable market. They just updated their 15 year resource management plan, and this land may or may not be protected in it, as requested by the public. We do not know because the plan was due to be finished on September 1, 2016, but has been put on hold. The BLM will not disclose the potential status of this critical piece of land. If it is not designated to be removed from the market when the county approves Jim Rhodes’ concept plan, he can argue that they can’t remove it after, because it would affect him the most. Then he could buy the land and flip it and greatly increase his development size. The county commissioners should delay this hearing until the status of this land is known, since it completely changes the animal.
15 – TAXPAYER FUNDING
The developer will pay for the new highway up the mountain, but once it’s built, it will be deeded to the county for taxpayers to maintain.
16 – WATER BILL:
The people of Las Vegas will be paying extra on their water bill to cover the cost of pumping municipal water over a thousand feet up to the development forever.
17 – SPRING MOUNTAIN RANCH STATE PARK:
The Super Summer Theater holds its evening plays and concert series in the park. The dark skies and quiet atmosphere provide the perfect setting for this treasured tradition.