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Clark County commissioners make a mistake in supporting new urban sprawl

When the Clark County Commission on June 19 approved a resolution to increase the size of the Las Vegas metropolitan area, they let a select few decide our future with virtually no public process and destined us all to another generation of sprawl.

Developers will profit. Taxpayers will pay the price for the increasing strain on water, sewer, infrastructure and emergency services. Everyone will experience more polluted air and water, less access to outdoor recreation, more flooding, more gridlock, longer commute times, lower quality of life and a higher cost of living.

Commissioners also propose to “protect” 300,000 acres of habitat for the threatened desert tortoise to develop the same amount of land. Again habitat shrinks for the threatened species — proof of what happens when you let lobbyists and developers instead of Fish and Wildlife Service biologists decide how to protect wildlife.

The commissioners missed an opportunity to lead the sustainable development of this region. Regions around the world are growing in ways that use less energy and fewer resources while creating less pollution, conserving land and providing better access to open spaces. They could be creating communities in which people are healthier, happier, more productive and more prosperous. Instead, they’re failing to learn from the past and passing the buck to our congressional delegation to wrestle with these challenges.

I urge the Clark County commissioners to pursue a more inclusive public process and sustainable best practices, not business as usual.

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