The development company behind a stalled plan to build homes on the former Badlands Golf Club near Summerlin is ready to settle its longstanding legal dispute with the city of Las Vegas for $64 million, according to documents on the agenda for an upcoming council meeting.
The proposed resolution is up for possible discussion at City Hall on Wednesday, depending on the agenda item. If approved, the settlement will resolve four ongoing lawsuits and absolve the city of liability, the document says.
“This dispute has gone on far too long,” Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, who submitted the article for possible action, wrote in a text message to the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday. “We have to end this now, and we have this opportunity on Wednesday.”
An attorney representing 180 Land Company LLC, a subsidiary of EHB Cos., which purchased the 250-acre land in 2015, said the developer welcomed the potential resolution.
“We never wanted to plead,” lawyer Elizabeth Ghanem said on Sunday. “We want to build; we always wanted to build.
“We will never be compensated for the loss of time and market,” she added. “Litigation is costly and damaging in every possible way.”
Settlement includes judgment
The proposed monetary settlement would include $49 million from a court judgment in favor of the developer, who accused the city of taking 34 acres of land – an appeal by the city is pending in the Supreme Court of Nevada — and construction of drainage facilities on the property that would cost no more than $15 million, according to a summary included in the council’s agenda Wednesday.
“The settlement is contingent on City Council’s review and approval of certain land use rights for the property,” according to a summary of the agenda minutes. “Upon payment of settlement funds and approval of land use rights, pending cases will be dismissed with prejudice and the City will be given a full release of liability.”
It was unclear what future projects the developer would seek city approval to build, but Ghanem reiterated that the company intended to build on the land.
If the settlement is approved, the developer would also seek to dismiss three separate lawsuits involving other Badlands parcels that are pending in Clark County District Court, according to documents.
District Court Judge Monica Trujillo ruled late last month that the city’s rejection of development plans for a 65-acre parcel of land was an unlawful taking under the Fifth Amendment. Damages for this decision were to be decided at a future hearing.
Seaman, who represents the region, said lawmakers have an opportunity to ‘correct previous mistakes and end the pain that has been placed on the shoulders of our ratepayers’, adding that the lawsuits continue to rack up costs. which may likely increase the “taxpayer burden”. ” if a resolution is not reached.
EHB Cos., led by CEO Yohan Lowie, purchased the gated golf course with plans to build housing.
But the development proposal has drawn opposition from a coalition of residents of the upscale Queensridge district, which surrounds the course. They said they feared high density and declining property values.
The plans were stalled at City Hall due to disagreements over whether the zoning allowed housing development. The issue also sparked a political upheaval, as former councilman Bob Beers – who favored allowing development in the area – was ousted by former councilman Steve Seroka, who campaigned against the development authorization. A bitter legal dispute ensued and talks between the city and the developer appeared to stall until 2021.
Seroka resigned in 2019 amid a recall effort, and Beers is looking to return to the board this year, albeit from Ward 4 and not Ward 2.
Lowie said in December that city officials sought to settle the lawsuits and invited the company to file building applications on the land, offering fee reductions provided certain conditions were met, including holding a public meeting for each plan. project.
He then told the Review-Journal that he wanted the right to build, not just approval of the application, as well as reimbursement of unspecified costs.
Ghanem said “what’s on the table” isn’t much different from what the developer has been asking for all along.
“It’s just politics got in the way,” she said, citing the city’s “fiscal responsibility to taxpayers.”
“I hope they still don’t have a political motivation and respect the court and the law,” Ghanem added.