Commission approves delay to Riverwood litigation
County commissioners agreed Thursday to extend for another year an agreement that suspends litigation between Douglas County and principals in the disputed Riverwood development.
Ex-actor Max Baer is suing Douglas County, Riverwood Partners and Riverwood Redevelopment over the failure of his “Beverly Hillbillies”-themed casino and hotel to be located near the north Douglas County-south Carson City line.
The 75-year-old Baer played Jethro Bodine in the 1960s television comedy.
Negotiations have been hampered by ongoing litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Nine Circuit Court of Appeals and Nevada Supreme Court between the Riverwood parties and Max Baer Productions.
It is estimated the litigation in the Ninth Circuit and Nevada Supreme Courts will be decided within the next 12-18 months, delaying settlement of the Douglas County lawsuit.
Approved in 2007, Riverwood was a commercial proposal similar to Clear Creek and Carson Valley plazas at Topsy Lane.
Deputy District Attorney Cynthea Gregory explained Thursday the agreement preserves the statute of limitations for claims challenging the validity of the agreement which the county is asking the court to declare invalid and unenforceable.
She answered questions posed by Riverwood neighbor Jerry Vaccaro who has been fighting the dust generated by the undeveloped site for years.
“Our challenge has to do with contractural claims, not the development,” Gregory said. “Those dust issues are somewhat irrelevant to the contractural issues.”
“To extend this another 18 months is to extend the agony for residents plagued by the ‘fugitive dust,’” Vaccaro said. “You’re not putting anybody’s feet to the fire to get this accomplished. That (dirt) pile has been there since December 2008, now it’s approaching December 2013.”
“Whether we extend the agreement or not, the owner has the responsibility to address the dust,” said commissioner Doug Johnson.
Gregory said the air quality issue was under the jurisdiction of the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.
In other action Thursday:
■ Commissioners authorized increasing the speed limit from 35 mph to 45 mph between Stockyard Road and Sandra Lane, and to increase the speed limit on Fremont Street from 25 mph to 35 mph between Sandra Lane and Sunrise Pass Road.
The action followed a meeting in August during which some residents in the Johnson Lane-area neighborhoods objected to where the speed limits were to be adjusted.
The board asked staff to shift the speed limit transition to the south relative to the original recommendation, and to consider zoning and population density of the area.
“The current recommendation shifts the transition six-tenths of a mile south,” said Jeff Foltz, senior civil engineer.
There was no public comment on the change as compared to last month when several people spoke in opposition.
Foltz said the speed limits proposed are consistent with adjacent zoning and population density. He added they were consistent with the planned future alignment of East Valley Road in accordance with the county master plan.
■ The board appointed Marian E. Vassar to the Genoa Historic District Commission for four years. Vassar is a long-time Genoa resident, and a former member of the historic commission.