Gypsum Resources, the company seeking permission to build higher-density housing on land near the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, is suing Clark County in state court weeks after a federal judge dismissed similar claims in a decades-long property dispute.
In May, U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the company’s claims that its federal rights had been violated during Clark County’s consideration of Gypsum’s various applications seeking to build homes on the land at a higher density than it was originally zoned for.
Gypsum alleged that Clark County, through years of delays and unfair dealing, deprived the developer of its property rights and claimed through court filings that it was owed more than $1 billion in damages. Although Navarro tossed the federal claims, she did not exercise jurisdiction on any claims involving state law.
That decision left open the opportunity for Gypsum to pursue its case in state court.
The new lawsuit, filed this week, brings similar claims before a court in Clark County. They include breach of contract, breach of good faith dealing, the violation of due process and an effective taking of property. They also request the court enjoin Clark County from continuing “to unreasonably delay” Gypsum’s application to build higher-density homes near Red Rock.
The state case echoes similar allegations presented in the federal case, including claims that former Gov. Steve Sisolak, then the chair of the Clark County Commission and a candidate for governor, entered into a “quid pro quo” with Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones, then a candidate for the commission and a lawyer for Save Red Rock, which opposed the project.
Navarro did not directly address those allegations, and others, in her order last month.
Gypsum owner Jim Rhodes has pushed to build near Red Rock Canyon for two decades. Environmentalists, local residents and recreationalists have consistently pushed back on plans to build a master-planned community in the area, arguing that it was inappropriate zoning for a popular outdoor area.