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Las Vegas council to hear new plan for Badlands golf course

A pared-down but still contentious plan to develop the shuttered Badlands golf course will be heard next week by the Las Vegas City Council, the third time in seven months the panel has mulled a large-scale residential proposal for the 250-acre property.

The Las Vegas Planning Commission voted 5-2 shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday to recommend the council approve the newest version of the plan. By then, it had been clear for hours Ward 2, where the Badlands sits, will soon have a new representative on the council.

Commissioner Cedric Crear, who voted against approval, disapproved of the timing for the vote.

“This is just too late. I don’t think people are watching, I don’t think people are tuning in,” Crear said. “I don’t think we are at our best at 1:30 a.m.”

Changing council

The proposed development drew the ire of residents of the Queensridge neighborhood, which winds through the golf course. That drove much of the rhetoric in the Ward 2 race, which Steve Seroka won to oust incumbent Bob Beers.

June 21 will be the final City Council meeting with Beers and Ward 6 Councilman Steve Ross on the dais, which wasn’t lost on opponents who attended Tuesday’s meeting and pushed for the vote to be delayed. Beers and Ross both voted in February for the only development that’s been approved for the course, 435 condominiums at the course’s eastern edge. One vote would have swung the outcome in the other direction.

Queensridge resident and attorney Frank Schreck, one of the development plan’s most vocal opponents, questioned why the plan is being hurried to what he called a “lame duck council” meeting. Other items the commission heard Tuesday were slated for a July council meeting.

Council winners Seroka and Michele Fiore in Ward 6 will be sworn into office in mid-July.

“Those two people should be seated before this is ever heard,” Schreck said. “That’s not right, it disenfranchises people.”

The proposal

Developer EHB Cos. submitted plans to the city for a nongaming, 130-room boutique hotel and more than 1,600 multifamily units on roughly 50 acres. Another 65 single-family homes would be spread across 180 acres, meant to buffer the existing homes in the nearby Queensridge development from the more densely populated part of the proposal.

That marks a roughly 900-unit drop in residential units and a tower since the process began well over a year ago. Stephanie Allen, one of the attorneys representing developer EHB Cos., noted more listening and dialogue during the neighborhood meetings this time around.

“We will continue to work with the neighbors, we will continue to change things, if necessary, to benefit the community,” Allen said.

Unhappy residents

Still, the plan is opposed by some residents of Queensridge, which weaves through the golf course.

An agreement calls for the developer to invest in existing Queensridge amenities like new gates and landscaping. Queensridge Homeowners Association Attorney Shauna Hughes called those important items, but is unhappy the improvements are contingent on access to roads controlled by Queensridge or the Las Vegas Valley Water Authority.

Opponents also voiced concern about what they called a lack of specificity in the proposed development agreement’s design guidelines and continued tweaks to the proposal.

“Nothing will satisfy them, that is the reality,” said Jim Jimmerson, an attorney for the developer.

Contact Jamie Munks at jmunks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter.

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