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In May of 2003, Clark County adopted an ordinance (Ordinance 2914) that prohibited the acceptance of land use applications for increased density or intensity within the Red Rock Overlay District. Ordinance 2914 paralleled legislation adopted by the State of Nevada (SB 358) around the same time period which similarly prohibited Clark County from accepting land use applications seeking to increase density or intensity on property within the Red Rock Design Overlay District.
In 2005, Plaintiff Gypsum Resources, LLC (“Owner”), the Owner of approximately 2,400 acres of land within the Overlay District, sued Clark County in Federal District Court alleging Ordinance 2914 violated equal protection, procedural and substantive due process and constituted a taking of Gypsum’s property without the payment of just compensation. Through the course of the litigation, Clark County was successful in convincing the Court to dismiss three of the four claims against it, including the takings claim.However, the equal protection claim asserted by the Owner has not been dismissed – trial is scheduled to commence the week of May 3, 2010. In the meantime, the Court struck down the parallel legislation enacted by the State (SB 358). The State of Nevada is in the process of appealing the Court’s decision.
Recently, the parties were required to participate in a Court mediated mandatory settlement conference. The parties met multiple times and ultimately arrived at a potential resolution whereby the Owner would dismiss its case and forgo attorney fees and costs against Clark County. In return, Clark County would amend its Red Rock Design Overlay District regulations to allow the acceptance and review of a Major Project application on the Owner’s property. Accordingly, the District Attorney’s Office offers this amendment, to create an exception to Clark County’s Red Rock Design Overlay District regulations for a Major Project on specified land adjacent to but outside the boundaries of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, in an effort to achieve settlement of the case.
The District Attorney’s Office recommends introduction of the Ordinance to amend the Red Rock Design Overlay District regulations March 17, 2010 and recommends approval at a public hearing set for April 21, 2010.