A Las Vegas environmental nonprofit claimed a small legal victory Thursday despite having its motion to dismiss a lawsuit denied.
Save Red Rock attorney Justin Jones said he was pleased 8th Judicial District Court Judge Jerry Wiese said Clark County must allow the nonprofit to go before the County Commission to protest a concept plan to build about 5,000 homes atop Blue Diamond Hill.
“We didn’t win the motion, but we certainly won the argument, which is we get the right to pursue these issues,” Jones said.
In a December court filing, Clark County asked the court to determine if arguments Save Red Rock made against the proposed development in 2011 — when commissioners approved a similar plan — could be used as the basis for a different decision by the commission. Jones responded with a motion to dismiss the suit on the grounds of First Amendment protection.
Wiese denied Jones’ motion for dismissal and said he did not believe the county would deny Save Red Rock from testifying at public hearings about the plan.
Wiese also denied a motion for summary judgment made by Clark County and supported by developer and mining company Gypsum Resources.
County attorney Rob Warhola and Gypsum Resources attorney Mark Ferrario argued that the approval of the 2011 concept has not expired, so the County Commission does not need to approve a plan Gypsum Resources submitted last year.
Save Red Rock has claimed the 2011 plan expired while developers discussed a land swap with the Bureau of Land Management. Those negotiations ended without a deal in 2014.
Wiese said he denied the county’s request to rule on the case before trial because it is unclear if the approval of the 2011 concept remains valid because Clark County has published several public notices, including one for a zoning meeting this week, stating that the plan had expired.
“I suggest you guys go forward with the 2016 plan so it’s not an issue anymore,” Wiese told Warhola and Ferrario.
The County Commission is scheduled to consider approving the 2016 plan at their zoning commission meeting on Feb. 22.