13 Investigates


City of Las Vegas suffers another defeat in battle over Badlands

Taxpayers shelling out millions for losing battle
Posted at 3:26 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 14:37:17-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Another major court victory has been delivered to the developer in the battle over Badlands.

In a Tuesday hearing, Clark County District Court Judge Timothy Williams said, "We have a very vigorous and well-developed record in this case and I'm going to make some decisions right now."

Williams then ruled that the City of Las Vegas illegally "took" the land.

A "taking" is when the government seizes private property for public use.

In the Badlands case, Judge Williams ruled city leaders restricted the owner's rights so much that it equated to a physical seizure.

Developer Yohan Lowie bought the land in 2015 and the city approved his plan to turn the defunct golf course into luxury homes and tree-lined walking paths.

But, as 13 Investigates first exposed in 2018, high-powered Queensridge homeowners fought it, effectively halting any development of Badlands.

As the property was held in limbo, it became a wasteland, safety hazard, and haven for crime.

Lowie sued the city for taking his property, denying his building permit applications and clawing back the zoning.

In March of last year, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled development of Badlands should have been allowed all along.

Tuesday's ruling in District Court adds to that with Judge Williams saying, "I think under the vast facts and circumstances, it's pretty clear that we had a taking."

Vickie DeHart, executive managing partner of Lowie's EHB Companies said,“This has been a six-year battle that has taken all of our resources. Fighting the government and politically connected people who threatened to take our land early on is no easy feat. It is wonderful to see justice prevail and the courts uphold our constitutional rights. A win for us is a win for all landowners.”

This case, which covers 35 acres and 61 lots, is just one of multiple ongoing Badlands cases that have cost taxpayers millions: $4,060,288.00 to date.

And the dollar figure will only get higher as the next phase of the case determines how much the city has to pay for taking Lowie's land.

We reached out to the City Attorney's office for comment, but they declined, saying "It's the city’s practice not to comment on ongoing or pending litigation."

13 Investigates - Send us a tip
Do you have a story idea or tip for 13 Investigates? Fill out the form below.
Are you willing to go on camera?