Originally published by Kristy Totten, Nevada Public Radio
Nov 23, 2016
The Clark County Commission will vote on a development plan that could bring 5,000 new homes to Red Rock Canyon. The vote was planned for Dec. 7 but has been postponed.
Heather Fisher is the president of Save Red Rock. She told KNPR’s State of Nevada that if the county approves plans, her organization will sue to try to stop development on Blue Diamond Hill.
“The thing that this development would do to hurt Red Rock Canyon is bring the city to the canyon,” she said.
Ron Krater, a spokesman for Blue Diamond Hill, told KNPR’s State of Nevada that the land in question has been “highly impacted” by mining activities. He says changing the zoning from rural to high-density would allow a diverse village to be built, which he says would improve the area.
Opponents disagree. They do not want to see zoning changed on Blue Diamond Hill.
Fisher admits that Gypsum Resources, which owns the land, can build homes there under the current rural zoning rules of one home per two acres of land, but she argues switching to high-density zoning is not appropriate for the area.
“We are fighting this request to increase the zoning by 500 percent,” Fisher said.
Opponents say the project will bring extra traffic to the scenic byway Highway 159, which loops from the Red Rock Canyon visitor’s center around the western side of Blue Diamond Hill and back to meet up with Highway 160 in the valley’s south western edge near Mountain’s Edge and Rhodes Ranch.
Developers plan to build an access road that avoids Highway 159 but Fisher is skeptical. She believes the project will increase traffic along the scenic byway.
“The housing development is not a bad plan,” she said. “It is a good plan, and it would be a great plan anywhere but in Red Rock Canyon.”
For Fisher, the fight is personal. A friend of hers was hit by a construction truck and killed while riding a bicycle on the scenic byway. She is concerned increased traffic will put even more people at risk.