Thursday, April 22, 2010

Results of the County Commission Hearing on Red Rock Canyon

First I was at the commission hearing (4-21) and listened intently to the four hours of arguments presented.
Here are the facts as they were presented: 
Rhodes owns the land outright (roughly 24,000 acres) on Blue Diamond Hill, not inside the Scenic Loop or any of the peaks we hike and climb.
The land is currently zoned for RU (rural), meaning he can build one house on every two acres of land. That would roughly be 1,200 houses. He could start building on that land today and, here's the important part: have access from State Route 159. This would create a traffic nightmare.

The meeting was to determine if he could file to change the zoning so he could build more houses.
Why would anyone allow him to do this?
1. Because the county made this stipulation: Residents could only have access from the east once construction was complete. There would be construction access from the west and an emergency only access (fire, police) after construction was completed.

2. If the county did not allow the change in zoning and the case went to court (which it would) and the county lost, Rhodes would get BOTH the zoning change and access from State Route 159. THIS WOULD RUIN RED ROCK CANYON.

3. The federal court previously ruled against the county in this case and it seems likely they will do so again.
Why? One can only speculate.

Bottom line:
Rhodes had the county pinned against the wall. The commissioner's decision was the lesser of two evils in my opinion. Of course, I don't want to see homes on Blue Diamond Hill. I didn't want to see the Red Rock Casino, the Summerlin houses built so close to Red Rock, or even the 215. But most importantly I don't want a traffic nightmare every time I drive to Red Rock, because the county gambled and lost and now Rhodes has a housing development of 5,000 homes, which residents drive on SR 159 to and from those houses.

Believe me when you are on the peaks in Red Rock you see plenty of houses now. More houses are not good, but at least SR 159 will not be a traffic nightmare under this agreement.

Other Thoughts:
Could Rhodes have the agreement changed so residents would have access from SR 159? I guess anything is possible, but I don't think the county would vote for this. He would have to go to federal court again.

Will Rhodes ever build on this land? Some say he only bought the land to eventually trade it to the BLM for land that would be easier to develop.

I'm not like a certain person who said they are against this, but said he would be the first in line to buy a house if Rhodes does indeed build on the land. I also was not a pencil pusher for the big oil companies. You must be so proud of yourself.