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Red Rock Development Approved

On Wednesday, the Clark County Commission approved a dense, 4,700-home development at Blue Diamond Hill, at the base of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The commission voted 5-2 in favor of Jim Rhodes’ plan for the housing project and business park, despite ardent opposition from community members, who spilled into the hallway at the Clark County Government Building center auditorium at Wednesday’s meeting.

In addition to showing concerns about the development compromising the natural beauty of Red Rock for climbers, hikers and other users, opponents of the project are apprehensive about the viability of such a large development in this scenic, but barren location.

Chris Giunchigliani, one of the two commissioners who voted against the project, argued that Rhodes has not proven that he will be able to supply the isolated site with water and other utilities. He also expressed concerns that the homes would not sell with the city’s existing surplus of housing and depressed market.

However, the county had no concrete evidence that the project would hurt the conservation area itself, said Deputy District Attorney Rob Warhola, and the commission does not take community sentiment into account in making their decisions.

Because commission approved just 4,700 of the 7,200 proposed units, Rhodes plans to add another 2,000 homes by swapping about 800 acres of land with the BLM. While this is a major step toward development of the area, Rhodes still must develop and execute his conceptual plan, which will entail site design, engineering and architecture before he can get the land rezoned and start construction. Execution of the project is still years away.

Read more about Rhodes’ plan in the August 8, 2011 NewsWire”.