Las Vegas might require community outreach to develop open space

The Las Vegas Planning Commission will weigh in Tuesday on a citywide public engagement plan for developers who want to build on golf courses, parks and other open spaces in the city.

Open space redevelopment plans have stalled at City Hall, mired in controversy.

A draft proposal calls for a public engagement program that requires developers to “conduct substantial public outreach,” seek community input and consensus around the development plans.

Citing the plans to put a residential development on the closed Badlands golf course, which winds through the Queensridge development, Councilman Stavros Anthony told city staff the requirements should have “no ambiguity.”

“The next time this happens on a golf course development, it has to be very clear what you need to start with,” Anthony said.

Developers must also hold neighborhood meetings about their plans, design workshops and mail an “alternatives statement” to property owners in the surrounding communities. The statement would detail what happens to the land if it isn’t repurposed and the golf course stops operating or the open space isn’t maintained, why the developer wants to redevelop open space rather than continuing the golf course and whether there are changes to the flood control and drainage easements.

Todd Davis, general counsel for EHB Cos., the Badlands developer, said at a November meeting stakeholders were only asked to weigh in on public notice requirements, not the rest of the draft requirements. Davis likened it to being asked to critique the decor in a pitch-black room.

“We didn’t even understand the scope of what we were asked to go there and participate in,” Davis said.

Ron Iversen, a Queensridge Owners’ Association board member, praised the public engagement plan, contending frustration around the Badlands proposal built up because the city lacked a specific process.

“Patience has worn thin on all parties,” Iversen said.

A policy advisory panel made up of City Council appointees, and representatives from the landscape architecture and home building industries recommended the draft public engagement plan. The Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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

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