Save Red Rock, a citizen’s organization working to preserve and protect Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is rallying in opposition to developer Jim Rhodes’ Gypsum Resources, LLC proposed 2010.6-acre high-density development near the Red Rock Canyon Visitor’s Center. Gypsum is asking Clark County Commissioners to rezone the land from rural to high-density.
The proposed development includes 5,000 homes making it equal in size to the third largest city in Southern Nevada. It would increase pollution and traffic to the Red Rock Canyon area, as well as raise the cost of water for all Las Vegas Valley residents.
The public is invited to express concern at the Clark County Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, Oct.18 at 7 p.m. at the County Building, located at 500 S. Grand Central Parkway. The public can also attend the final vote by Clark County Commissioners on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 9 a.m., also at 500 S. Grand Central Parkway.
Those in opposition to the proposed rezoning can email Commissioner Susan Brager and sign Save Red Rock’s petition by visiting www.SaveRedRock.com.
At a planning commission hearing on September 20, Clark County Commissioners agreed to issue a 30-day extension for more public outreach because of a lack of public notification and public meetings on the issue.
The land known as Blue Diamond Hill is located on the top of the mountain directly south of the Red Rock Visitor’s Center, across SR159 Scenic Byway and borders RRCNCA, 13 Mile Campground, and Southwest Ridge Recreation Area. Having purchased the land in 2002, in 2011 Gypsum sought approval for high-density zoning from the County Commissioners. The plan was put on hold, and the developer tried unsuccessfully to swap land with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Despite letters, petitions
and documents supporting the transfer by all levels of government, the offer was denied. As a result, the developer is seeking to have the land rezoned for high-density development.
“Gypsum has the right to build a rural development, which means one house per two acres. Save Red Rock is not fighting the landowner’s property rights. The controversy is rezoning to high-density, which would change the character of the canyon. Gypsum Resources is asking the county to approve a major project with 5,040 units,” explains Heather Fisher, SRR president. “This means a master-planned development bringing an estimated 14,500 residents, more than Boulder City, making it Southern Nevada’s third largest community. This is not a judgment on the developer’s plan but rather the location, which is not appropriate or sustainable for the fragile desert ecosystem and peaceful recreational nature of Red Rock Canyon. The impact of this project is far-reaching.”
Fisher and her husband own Las Vegas Cyclery and Escape Adventures. Her group says the impact of this development extends to all Vegas Valley residents, by increasing pollution, driving up the cost of water and posing a threat to one of most majestic features of Las Vegas and its draw for tourism. It has characteristics similar to other abandoned master-planned projects, such as the failed Coyote Springs development, 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
The Gypsum project proposes a road engineered to accommodate over 44,000 car trips per day from the development to Blue Diamond Highway (SR160). There are no plans, however, to improve traffic access to the 215 Beltway via Blue Diamond Highway, Fort Apache Road, Durango and Buffalo Drives, and Rainbow Boulevard, with the heaviest impact affecting the Mountain’s Edge community and Pahrump commuters.