Supreme Court to hear Clear Creek Tuesday

The Nevada Supreme Court will hear arguments 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in a case that could affect the Clear Creek subdivision near the north Douglas County line.

The proposed development includes high-end homes with a golf course, clubhouse, development of a Highway 50 underpass with access to the site, in addition to a water and sewer system to connect to the Valley.

The increased density sought by developers would permit 366 single family homes on 200 acres of the 1,576-acre property.

The topic of debate since it was first proposed in December 2000, the controversial development was first approved by Douglas County commissioners in November 2003, with a 2-1 vote.

Commissioners Bernie Curtis and Kelly Kite voted in favor and Commissioner Tim Smith voted against. Commissioner Steve Weissinger was absent from the meeting and Commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen, then an employee of the American Land Conservancy, recused himself.

Property owners in Alpine View Estates filed a lawsuit in December 2003 against the Douglas County and the board of county commissioners to block development of Clear Creek, charging the development was approved without a board majority.

The lawsuit also argues that the board didn't follow the county's master plan guidelines.

On two occasions the county's planning commission, an advisory board to the Board of County Commissioners rejected the project.

In May 2004, Gamble ordered development plans be sent back to the county for review and county commissioners addressed the issue again in June, as part of a public hearing.

Douglas County commissioners subsequently approved the resolution 4-1, with Commissioner Tim Smith casting the dissenting vote. Commissioners sent their approval to Douglas County District Court.

In late June, Gamble denied the development, ruling Douglas County commissioners abused their discretion and acted arbitrarily when amending their master plan.

"County officials cite the record to justify the master plan amendment, but it appears that the needs of a development project are driving an amendment to the master plan, rather than the reverse," Gamble said. "Substantial evidence points to denying the request rather than granting it."

Clear Creek LLC, managed by developer John Serpa, appealed that decision to the Supreme Court in June 2004.

Settlement negotiations began in October 2004, but fell through in February 2005.

Douglas County joined Clear Creek Ranch in that suit, which is still pending in the Supreme Court.

Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.

What: Oral arguments for the Douglas County Board of Commissioners and Clear Creek Ranch LLC vs. Alpine View Estates Property Owner's Association

When: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday

Where: Nevada Supreme Court, 201 S. Carson St.


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