Las Vegas officials may pause golf course changes

Updated August 30, 2017 - 7:51 pm

Las Vegas city officials may take a mulligan on golf course redevelopment in six months.

As golf course closures and redevelopment plans continue to rile residents across the valley, the City Council next week will take up a moratorium on applications for redeveloping courses and other common open spaces in the city.

City Councilman Steve Seroka, who strode into office out of the storm surrounding the contentious plan to develop the Badlands golf course in the west valley, wants to halt developers’ plans for six months, giving city officials time to set a comprehensive standard.

“We need to step back and take a breath,” Seroka said Wednesday. “We have this issue, and we need to represent the developers and homeowners fairly and have a transparent way for everyone to know what’s expected in this process.”

A wave of golf course closures has hit the valley over the past few years. Two high-profile courses in Las Vegas — Badlands and Silverstone Golf Course in the city’s northwest Ward 6 — have been tangled in controversy and mired in lawsuits since their respective sales in 2015.

The Badlands case, one of the most controversial issues the City Council has considered in the past two years, became a bitter battle between the developer and development opponents. The council stalled or shot down multiple versions of EHB Cos. development plans for the Badlands over the past year.

The council in early August denied the most recent proposal to put homes and apartments on the 250-acre former course that is lined with upscale homes.

There are different protections for neighboring property owners at the different courses, but Seroka is confident the city can set a standard for future golf course redevelopment plans that land at City Hall.

“I’m sure there is a solution here,” Seroka said. “It’s just a matter of having a solid policy at the city that everybody can work from.”

In Las Vegas, there’s a golf course that’s accessible to the public in each of the city’s six wards, Councilman Bob Coffin said.

Golf courses have been closing across the country, and Seroka has found some other communities, including Collier County, Florida, that are setting the pace for how to address their redevelopment, he said.

“It just makes sense for us as we’re entering this challenge in Southern Nevada to look at the best practices other communities are putting forth and what’s been successful,” Seroka said. “These are things we’re going to need a little time to dig into.”

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

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