Updated August 5, 2020 - 12:46 pm
Opponents of a plan to convert a historic hay barn into an event center at a northwest Las Vegas park have sued the city and Councilwoman Michele Fiore in an effort to halt the project.
The plaintiffs, Protectors of Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs, filed the lawsuit Monday in Clark County District Court, reiterating prior points of contention including that the hay barn renovation violates the terms of the park’s transfer from state to city control in 2007 and will destroy the park’s historical and recreational value.
“Despite its complete failure to properly notice the public and adjoining landowners of its scheme, the City of Las Vegas — at the behest of Councilwoman Michele Fiore — has moved forward with significant renovations and other construction work at and around the historic hay barn at Floyd Lamb Park,” the complaint reads.
The litigation represents an escalation of a battle over the future of the lush 680-acre park and 8,000-square-foot barn that has pitted preservationists concerned about the prospect of loud parties against a city that believes rehabilitation will enhance the park experience for residents and visitors.
The city declined to comment, citing its practice not to speak about pending or ongoing litigation.
While project opponents say the event center breaches the state law that authorized the park transfer to city custody because it ignores the requirement that it be used only for “passive recreation,” the city underscored the definition includes “group use” and “cultural events.”
The city said the project will follow historical preservation guidelines and had been approved by the council and state Historical Preservation Commission in February.
Mike Osborn, a spokesman with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said Tuesday that the city received state approval to begin work on the hay barn roof, but the remaining project remained under review.
Councilwoman faces scrutiny
During a council meeting July 22, Fiore noted that the hay barn project had been vetted by the city’s legal team.
Project opponents also said in the lawsuit that Fiore and the city were allowing Fiore’s supporters and preferred organizations to use Floyd Lamb Park without paying permit fees.
“As this is pending litigation, we cannot comment specifically on this action,” Fiore’s office said in a statement Tuesday. “However, we can say that this group is accomplishing nothing but wasting city resources and taxpayer dollars on erroneous allegations to advance their political propaganda.”
The lawsuit is seeking an injunction to prevent the project from moving forward, and attorney Mitch Bisson, who is representing the plaintiffs, said he plans to file for a temporary restraining order this week.
A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the venue where the lawsuit was filed. It was filed in Clark County District Court.