By Joe Moeller
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Clark County Commission on Tuesday approved a proposal for a new housing development within Red Rock Canyon.
Gypsum Resources wants to construct 429 single-family homes on 671 acres of land on Blue Diamond Hill. The proposed site is situated approximately 2.5 miles northwest of state Route 160 (Blue Diamond Road) and state Route 159 within Red Rock.
Developers required a zoning use permit from the county commission to move forward. County commissioners approved the application from Gypsum Resources during a meeting at 1 p.m.
The proposal is already facing opposition from Save Red Rock, a local organization dedicated to preserving Red Rock Canyon.
A spokesperson said the developer’s application “appears to violate county code and previous legal agreements.”
“…it also requests access off the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Byway, SR 159,” Save Red Rock noted in a statement to media. “Scenic Byway 159 is already struggling with rapidly increasing traffic and hazardous conditions.”
Commissioner Justin Jones also tweeted an official statement about this development.
Some have asked about the County Commission’s vote today on a developer’s application to build homes on private property in Red Rock Canyon. The developer (Gypsum Resources) had previously sought to build more than 5,000 homes (and commercial buildings) on the site, which was well in excess of the property’s zoning density (R-U, one home per two acres). The application today was for 429 homes, less than 8% of what was previously proposed by the developer, and the application conformed to the zoning density for the property. By contrast with the prior applications from the developer for higher density, this application was recommended for approval by County staff, and, for the first time ever, by the Red Rock Citizens Advisory Council. At today’s hearing and in response to concerns raised by Red Rock advocates, the Commission imposed a condition on the developer to demonstrate for paved legal access from the BLM to the site for a residential development (at the hearing, the developer’s representative confirmed that it currently only has a right-of-way for mining operations.)
In addition, the Commission imposed the following important conditions: 1) developer must cease mining operations before starting construction on any phase of residential development; 2) developer must perform drainage study and show compliance; 3) developer must perform traffic study (including traffic onto SR 159) and show compliance; and 4) developer must demonstrate code-compliant access for fire and emergency vehicles. If the developer fails to demonstrate compliance with these conditions and to commence work within 4 years, the approval will expire.
Although I and my colleagues on the County Commission would rather see this land preserved, the applicant has property rights to build at the density he bought., Our vote today, in line with the Red Rock CAC’s vote, respected private property rights while ensuring that reasonable protections are in place for residents of Blue Diamond and other patrons of Red rock Canyon.