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July 8, 2015

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ANSWERS: CLARK COUNTY:

Wayne Newton project opponent sued by developer

Wayne Newton Neighborhood Meeting

Entertainer Wayne Newton and his wife Kathleen listen to homeowner's concerns during a meeting at the La Quinta Inn Monday, September 20, 2010. Newton hosted the neighborhood meeting to discuss development plans that would include tours on his property. Launch slideshow »

The people who want to create a tourist destination of Wayne Newton’s home, Casa de Shenandoah, are suing.

Suing for what?

Steve Kennedy and CSD LLC, developers of the Newton project, are suing longtime Paradise township activist M.J. Harvey for alleged slander, defamation, invasion of privacy, intentional interference with contractual relations and intentional interference with “prospective economic advantage.” The civil suit was filed in District Court in Clark County last week.

What do they claim Harvey did?

First, a little background. CSD purchased land north of the Newton home, at Pecos and Sunset roads, where it wants to build a combination theater/gift shop and museum. Plans say Newton may perform in the theater. The developer also plans to create a tour of Newton’s expansive ranch, with shuttle buses going from the theater across Sunset and around his property, making stops to tour Newton’s private jet, among other things. Neighbors are unhappy, saying the proposal will draw unwanted traffic and threaten the area’s semirural character.

As for the lawsuit, it generally says Harvey made repeated false statements about how the project might affect homeowners and communities around it, and that she did so “with the intent of denying the project the necessary community endorsements.” Allegations touch on the use of “Graceland West” in reference to Newton’s project and purportedly call the project developer a “criminal.”

What does Harvey say about the suit?

She would not comment.

What’s next for developers and neighbors?

A Paradise Town Advisory Board meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 will consider the Newton project. The meeting has been moved to Clark County Commission chambers, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway.

•••

Do town boards in Clark County — such as the Paradise Town Advisory Board — really hold any sway over county commissions?

Town boards are like neighborhood associations in the city. And increasingly, elected officials seem to be listening to them. “They are the embodiment of grass-roots citizen participation and bring a neighborhood perspective to policy decisions,” Commissioner Larry Brown said.

Town boards are one of the first places where developments — such as the Newton project — are publicly aired.

How do you get on the boards or citizen advisory councils (there are 13 town advisory boards and six advisory councils)?

By applying with the county. Clark County is seeking applicants to serve two-year terms on town boards in Bunkerville, Enterprise, Indian Springs, Mount Charleston, Paradise, Spring Valley, Sunrise Manor, Moapa, Moapa Valley, Whitney and Winchester. Also needed are people to sit on advisory councils for Lone Mountain, Mountain Springs, Red Rock, Sandy Valley, Lower Kyle Canyon and Goodsprings. Terms begin Jan. 3.

Applications must be requested by Nov. 19 and are available at accessclarkcounty.com, or in the Administrative Services Department of the County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway.

•••

And the county wants volunteers.

For what?

For the annual effort to help the thousands of Southern Nevada homeless people through Project Homeless Connect. This year, the event will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 10 at Cashman Center, 850 Las Vegas Blvd. North. The event provides food, clothing, job training, health care and mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and other services.

The county needs more than 1,000 volunteers to escort homeless people around the event, work at check-in tables and clean up. For information, call 892-2300 or go online to helphopehome.org.

Donations of T-shirts, socks and nonperishable food are also sought, as well as cash. For information, call 743-1487.

What are the homeless numbers in Southern Nevada?

A census in January 2009 reported an average 13,000 people living in shelters at any given time, with more than 50,000 cases of people becoming homeless over the year.

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