(Chuck Muth) – As noted back December, the really bad actor in the Battle of the Badlands is a pompous bully of an attorney named Frank Schreck.
He’s been the prime agitator and flame-thrower; stirring up a mob of homeowners in the adjacent gated community of Queensridge in opposition to a residential development plan for the land on the former Badlands golf course in northwest Las Vegas.
But on Thursday, the Ogre of the Badlands was embarrassingly smacked down “bigly” by the Nevada Supreme Court. So, let’s take a look at the decision.
As we’ve been arguing here over and over again, the land under the former Badlands golf course is, and always has been, zoned for residential development – not “open space.” The Court agreed, writing that “the parcel carries a zoning designation of residential planned development.”
So that point of dispute is now settled once and for all. Onward…
The development company that bought the Badlands land, Seventy Acres LLC, “filed three development applications with the (Las Vegas) City’s Planning Department in order to construct a multi-family residential development.”
Subsequently, “the City’s Planning Commission and City Council approved the three applications.”
At which point Schreck and his angry horde of homeowners broke out the torches and pitchforks and stormed City Hall; demanding that the developer “obtain a major modification of the Peccole Ranch Master Plan before it could develop the parcel.”
They also filed a lawsuit to overturn the city’s decision. And Eighth Judicial Court Judge James Crockett ruled for the mob and overturned “the City Council’s approval of Seventy Acres’ three applications.”
Seventy Acres then appealed Judge Crockett’s decision to the Supreme Court.
In its March 5 decision, the Supreme Court concluded that “the City Council properly interpreted the City’s land use ordinances in determining that Seventy Acres was not required to obtain a major modification of the Peccole Ranch Master Plan before it could develop the parcel.”
The Court further noted…
“In approving the applications, the City primarily relied on a report prepared by the Planning Commission staff that analyzed the merits of each application. The report found that Seventy Acres’ applications met the statutory requirements for approval.
“The City also relied on the testimony of the Planning Director, who found that the applications were consistent with the goals, objectives, and policies of the City’s 2020 Master Plan, compatible with surrounding developments, and substantially complied with the requirements of the City’s land use ordinances.”
Therefore, the Court determined that Judge Crockett erred when he ruled in favor of Schreck and his band of angry NIMBY’s (Not in My Back Yard), concluding…
“The City correctly interpreted its land use ordinances and substantial evidence supports its decision to approve Seventy Acres’ three applications. We therefore ORDER the judgement of the district court REVERSED.”
Now here’s the kicker…
In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal last month, “Schreck said he bet his law career that the state Supreme Court would affirm that it (the City’s approval) was improper.”
We look forward to this media hound summoning local TV news cameras to film him handing over his law license on Monday!
Seriously though, the Queensridge residents who have been blindly following this officious Pied Piper right off the cliff need to wake up, smell the coffee, see the writing on the wall and vote this guy off the island.
Schreck’s shenanigans have already cost Las Vegas taxpayers a king’s ransom in legal fees and have succeeded in doing nothing for the Queensridge residents other than prolonging their pain and suffering.
It’s time to stop the madness.
As former Congresswoman Shelley Berkley put it in a recorded phone message to Councilwoman Michele Fiore back in January…
“As a Queensridge resident, it is time to resolve this issue. If the developer owns the property, and if he has a legal right to develop, then we need to move forward on this because the status quo simply is not working. If he conforms to the zoning and comes up with a good density plan, then I would suggest that we look at moving ahead because it cannot continue in this manner.”
Well, thanks to the Supreme Court we now know definitively that the developer owns the former Badlands property. And he has a legal right to develop it. And he’s conformed with the zoning. And submitted an approved density plan.
Time to wash that ogre right out of our hair!
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Mr. Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.org, a limited-government grassroots advocacy organization, and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com. He blogs at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.