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Nevada Supreme Court denies rehearing for $48M Badlands ruling

The Nevada Supreme Court has denied a rehearing in the litigation over the defunct Badlands golf course, after upholding a ruling to order the city of Las Vegas to pay $48 million.

The high court issued a brief order on Wednesday, containing two sentences and a statute citation.

“Rehearing denied… It is so Ordered,” justices wrote in the document.

The city is continuing to pursue other litigation related to the Badlands legal disputes, according to a statement emailed Wednesday from the city attorney’s office.

“Three other cases related to Badlands, with different City Council outcomes based on different facts and development proposals, are pending with the court,” the statement said. “The city will continue to litigate these cases absent a mutually agreeable settlement.”

An attorney for the Badlands developers did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday evening.

The legal dispute between the city and the developers was almost settled in 2022, with an agreement that would have cost the city $64 million, but negotiations broke down hours before the matter was to be discussed publicly at City Hall.

In mid-April, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a District Court ruling that the city had improperly taken 35 acres of land from the developers. The city called for a rehearing, arguing in court documents that the court had “overlooked, misapprehended and disregarded” facts of the case.

Last month, Clark County filed a friend-of-the-court brief, joined by the cities of Henderson, Boulder City and Mesquite, supporting the city of Las Vegas’ bid for a rehearing.

The yearslong legal fight over the Badlands property has resulted in nearly $6 million in fees to outside law firms and more than $230 million in rulings against the city. The legal developments also became a central issue in the mayoral election for the city of Las Vegas.

Developer Yohan Lowie’s firm EHB Cos. acquired the 250-acre Badlands property in 2015, years after his firm partnered with the neighboring projects of Tivoli Village and the luxury condo towers One Queensridge Place.

The golf course closed in 2016, and EHB planned a housing development that included 60 large homesites and thousands of multifamily units near Alta Drive and Rampart Boulevard. The project faced strong opposition, especially from Queensridge-area residents.

Judges in cases involving different sections of the golf course have ruled that the city illegally took property by not allowing land-use entitlements.

“When a governmental agency acts in a manner that removes all the economic value from privately owned land, just compensation must be paid,” Supreme Court Justice Douglas Herndon wrote in April’s ruling.

Several lawsuits were filed against the city when it rejected applications to develop the 250-acre plot. Two lawsuits, which are under appeal, awarded $189 million to the developer, and another lawsuit is pending.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240.

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