Originally published by 8 News Now Las Vegas
Posted: Feb 23, 2017 / 08:12 PM PST / Updated: Feb 23, 2017 / 08:17 PM PST
The plans for a housing development near Red Rock are moving forward, but a lot remains uncertain.
On Wednesday, the Clark County Commission voted to recognize a 2011 plan and ignore a duplicate plan submitted in 2016, meaning the development is going to move forward regardless of this week’s vote.
However, there was some confusion whether the 2011 plan was valid or not. The developers submitted the second plan last year out of what they describe as “an abundance of precaution.”
For almost seven hours, Clark County Commissioners heard comments mostly opposing a housing development near the Red Rock Conservation area.
“I think it would be a tragedy if we lost that because of a gamble,” one person said.
At one point, some commissioners appeared confused over what they were casting a vote for.
“I was thrown off, I have to admit, cause I’d expected to debate the issue of the 2016 plan, what changes that they were asking for,” said Chris Giunchigliani, Clark County Commissioner.
Commissioner Giunchigliani was one of two county leaders who voted against Wednesday’s motion, but regardless of her vote, the project is moving forward.
The 5-2 vote allows the developer, gypsum resources, to advance the project with the original 2011 plan already in place and dismiss a second identical plan submitted in 2016.
“I asked our lawyer the same thing,” said Steve Sosilak, Clark County Commissioner. “Why are we here if in fact, you think there’s a plan in place.”
Commissioner Sisolak says the approval is only for a concept plan, which paves the way for a housing development.
“We didn’t approve the construction of anything on or near Red Rock,” Sisolak said. “Nothing was discussed as related to that. If in fact, the plan is in effect, Mr. Rhodes would have to come back with a specific plan.”
Jim Rhodes is the property owner and developer. The land is home to the active Blue Diamond Mine, where the proposed “rural village” would be built.
The current zoning allows for just over 1,200 properties. However, commissioners have allowedup to 5,000 homes on the site.
“I want to see a decrease in density,” said Giunchigliani. “I want to see whether or not they can’t move forward if they do not get permission for the road and that was a very key piece.”
Following the years after the original plan was approved, developers said they attempted to swap land with the Bureau of Land Management, but it didn’t work out.
They say it was a long process that delayed the project, and more delays are expected, meaning it could be many years before construction would even begin.