weather icon Clear

Judge dismisses developer’s claims against Las Vegas councilmen

A federal judge dismissed claims that Las Vegas City Councilmen Bob Coffin and Steve Seroka have derailed plans to build homes on the defunct Badlands golf course by virtue of alleged bias and animosity toward the developer’s long-stalled proposal.

Judge James C. Mahan on Friday tossed out four claims raised by EHB Cos. CEO Yohan Lowie, court records show, including that the councilmen had violated equal protection and procedural due process clauses under the U.S. and Nevada constitutions.

Mahan concluded, among other things, that the “alleged right to develop the Badlands property is not a constitutionally protected property interest,” according to Friday’s court filing.

The equal protection claims were dismissed without prejudice, meaning they can be refiled. But it’s unclear whether Lowie’s legal team plans to do so or if they will appeal the ruling. Lowie’s attorney, Mark Hutchison, did not immediately respond to messages Monday.

EHB Cos. bought the golf course, which weaves through the affluent Queensridge community in western Las Vegas, in 2015 and closed it in late 2016. Lowie has since sought to build homes on part of the 250-acre property, which is zoned for single-family residences. He and the community have been sparring over the potential development, with neighbors concerned about excessive residential density, and each side has filed lawsuits in the matter that are pending.

In this federal complaint filed in March, Lowie’s attorneys said project applications consistent with the property’s land use, and recommended for approval by city staff and planning commissioners, have gone before the City Council — including scaled-back plans — only to be “unfairly and arbitrarily denied.”

They cast the blame on Coffin and Seroka, whose purported prejudice, cronyism and discrimination, they say, have “infected” the council’s fair hearing process.

As evidence, they pointed to remarks Coffin made to Lowie, who is of Jewish descent, about Lowie treating Queensridge residents as “a band of unruly Palestinians” and to Seroka’s unwavering opposition to a build-out since prior to his election in June 2017 “without knowing any of the facts or law” regarding the applications.

Coffin said Monday he was “kind of relieved” by the ruling.

“Look, this has been horrible. I have never been accused, for good reason, of anything like this,” he said about the allegations of anti-Semitism. “It really hurts. It’s not something you can laugh off.”

Peter Angulo, the attorney representing the city and two councilmen in the case, did not immediately respond to an email. His office was also closed for the holiday.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - Video
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - Video
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas might prosecute domestic violence without gun provision

The Las Vegas City Council will consider prosecuting misdemeanor domestic violence cases under a new city code that would not ban those convicted of the crime from possessing firearms, in order to avoid having to hold jury trials for the offense.