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Nonprofit drops lawsuit to prevent development at Red Rock

An environmental nonprofit is dropping its lawsuit aimed at stopping the Clark County Commission from approving the development of thousands of homes overlooking Red Rock Canyon.

Save Red Rock attorney Justin Jones, who was elected to the commission Tuesday, said the nonprofit agreed Thursday to dismiss all civil claims against the county and developer Gypsum Resources. The case began in December 2016 and was scheduled to go to trial in Clark County District Court this month.

Jones said Save Red Rock will continue fighting the proposal to build 3,000 homes on 2,010 acres atop Blue Diamond Hill in front of county commissioners. The commissioners must decide whether to approve the higher-density zoning that Gypsum Resources needs to complete the project.

“I think there was simply a realization that the resources would be better focused on telling the commissioners why the project doesn’t make sense,” Jones said. “At this point Save Red Rock remains dead-set against it.”

With the lawsuit concluding, Jones said he no longer represents the nonprofit. He will be sworn in as a commissioner in January.

As part of the lawsuit dismissal, Save Red Rock agreed to no longer challenge the validity of a project concept plan Gypsum Resources submitted to the county in 2011. The nonprofit had argued that the plan had expired and could not move forward.

Project spokesman Ron Krater said Gypsum Resources can now spend more time addressing feedback from the community. The company has more than halved the number of homes it once proposed building due to concerns about how the project could affect views from Red Rock Canyon and add to traffic on nearby roadways.

“We’re taking an existing strip mine and proposing to turn it into a rural village, truly a rural village,” Krater said. “There is nothing urban about this project.”

Gypsum Resources is scheduled to appear before the commission Dec. 5 to ask to move forward with the project before the company obtains permission from the Bureau of Land Management to build a road on federal land connecting the development site to Nevada Highway 160.

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