March 14, 2017 - 6:31 pm
Updated March 14, 2017 - 10:40 pm
Save Red Rock, in an effort to halt progress on a proposed development near the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, has accused the Clark County Commission of violating open meeting laws.
Save Red Rock attorney Justin Jones made the allegation in a counterclaim filed in Clark County District Court on Monday. It’s the latest development in an ongoing lawsuit between the environmental nonprofit, the County and mining company Gypsum Resources, which wants to build 5,025 homes on Blue Diamond Hill.
The violation allegedly occurred at a Feb. 22 zoning meeting when county commissioners and staff discussed a concept plan for the development that Gypsum Resources submitted and had approved in 2011. Commissioners decided the 2011 plan never expired and then voted 5-2 to allow the mining company to withdraw a new concept plan it submitted in 2016.
Jones’ claim argues that commissioners should not have talked about the 2011 concept plan or allowed the 2016 plan to be withdrawn because those discussions were not published on the commission’s public agenda. The claim also asserts that some people who came to protest the development, including Save Red Rock’s president, were denied access to the commission chambers.
But county spokesman Dan Kulin said, “Everyone who wanted to speak during the hearing was able to speak.”
He noted that the commission chambers were at capacity for much of the day and that TV monitors in the Clark County Government Center’s halls and cafeteria were livestreaming the meeting.
“Also, additional people were allowed into Chambers as other people came out,” Kulin said.
Ron Krater, project spokesman for the proposed development, said Gypsum Resources was still reviewing the counterclaim, but he issued a brief statement on the company’s behalf.
“We are certain that the vast majority of the statements made by Save Red Rock are simply not factual and without basis,” he said. “It is clear that the intention of this special interest group is to continue to broadcast misinformation and non-facts regarding this property and its history.”
Last month, the county filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The next hearing is scheduled for March 30.