Initial Red Rock Development Approved

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8/18/11 - Yesterday, the Clark County Commission voted 5-2 to approve a plan for a major development overlooking Red Rock National Conservation Area despite a strong, opposing presence from the local community.

Jim Rhodes, the developer, proposed a conceptual plan that included up to 7,000 homes and a business park on a former mining site, known as Blue Diamond Hill. The county approved up to 4,700 homes. Rhodes hopes to add 2,000 more homes on the land by trading 800 acres with the Bureau of Land Management.

This development be visible from much of the canyon. Dissenters in the community argue that it will diminish Red Rock's natural beauty and take away from the climbing, hiking, and camping experience. The opposition also asked how the development would be supplied with water and utilities on the isolated hilltop.

Proponents of the plan, such as real estate agents and construction workers, believe it will create much-needed jobs in the community.

Eight years ago, a county ruling declared that Rhodes could only build one home for every two acres, which the state endorsed as well. Rhodes then filed a lawsuit, and a federal judge vetoed the decision made by the state. Before the judge could rule on the county's conclusion, they voted 4-3 to allow Rhodes to apply for higher-density development, with a caveat that they could still reject any proposals.

The county can still deny the proposal by providing evidence that shows the project would harm the community. They also pointed out that the commission could not reject the proposal based merely on public opinion.

Date of meeting: August 17, 2011

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal