Developers file appeal to supreme court

MINDEN - A legal challenge to Douglas County's rejection of a master plan change that would have allowed commercial development on agricultural land in Gardnerville has been formally submitted to the state Supreme Court.

Attorneys for Roger Falcke and Herbig Properties Limited filed a request Thursday for a court order granting the change. Attorney Todd Russell had previously said the challenge was planned.

Falcke, a local developer, asked the county to change the agricultural master plan designation for 30.55 acres of pasture land at Highway 395 and Waterloo Lane in Gardnerville. Had the request been granted, 22.87 acres would have been slated for public facilities, with the rest set for commercial development. The property is owned by the Herbig family.

Complementary zoning changes would also have been sought.

The county planning commission, which advises the county commission, recommended approval of the changes. But the county commission voted 3-2 for the master plan change in September and decreed the request a failure because county codes say a supermajority - four of five - of the commissioners must approve master plan amendments. The request was reconsidered, but the votes didn't change.

In their request, lawyers Jim Cavilia and Russell cited a state law that says only the planning commission is bound by the supermajority rule. They contend the county is violating state law by relying on the supermajority rule at the commission level, and are asking the high court to grant the change.


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