UNLV benefactor's estate could get damages over airport rules

Close to 250 acres owned by the estate of Thomas T. Beam, a major UNLV benefactor, could receive damages from Clark County due to airport restrictions.

In a ruling on Monday, the Nevada Supreme Court said that the estate was owed compensation due to county regulations that limited what could go on the land at the junction of Warm Springs Road and Interstate 15. In doing so, the six-member panel reversed a 2010 judgment by Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez in favor of the county as the owner of McCarran International Airport.

Gonzalez took into account the possibility of zoning variances, so the building limits imposed by county regulations did not take away any valuable property rights. However, the Supreme Court said variances play no role in determining whether land owners deserved compensation when regulations take valuable properties rights, known as inverse condemnation.

The case will go back to Gonzalez to set the amount of damages.

Contact reporter Tim O'Reiley at toreiley@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290.