Opening briefs filed in Douglas growth case

Opening briefs in defense of Douglas County's sustainable-growth initiative will be filed today with the Nevada Supreme Court to appeal the decision in Douglas District Court that stalled building limits in Carson Valley.

Committee member John Garvin said the Supreme Court may decide to hear oral arguments in mid-June.

Mediation between the parties broke down last summer after Judge Lester Berkson filed a report to the Nevada Supreme Court, stating the parties were unable to settle the case. The Nevada Supreme Court requires settlement hearings before an appeal can proceed.

Douglas County is the defendant in the case with the Sustainable Growth Initiative Committee named as an intervenor.

Other defendants include Jumpers LLC, Century 21/Clark Properties, Jay D. Marriage, Douglas County Building Industry Association, Aurora Land LLC and Merrill Construction. They will have 30 days to file a response.

In May, a request to clarify the constitutional validity of the controversial growth initiative was denied. Douglas County District Judge Michael Gibbons clarified the legal issues, but has no jurisdiction because it is under appeal to the state Supreme Court.

The Douglas County Building Industry Association and Syncon Homes also filed an appeal on the constitutional validity issue and are expected to file opening briefs today.

Douglas County voters passed the initiative in November 2002 to limit the number of new residential units built in Carson Valley to 280 per year.

The Nevada Supreme Court ordered the initiative be placed on the ballot after Douglas County had it removed. In December 2002, the high court ruled the initiative established new legislative policy long anticipated by Douglas County's 1996 master plan. At the same time, the Supreme Court reserved the question of the measure's constitutionality and other matters to be determined .

Contact Regina Purcell at or 782-5121.


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