Las Vegas Sun

November 21, 2017

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Calico Ridge homeowners take offensive

Homeowners in Calico Ridge say they are done being in limbo over plans for the property that lies directly west of their development.

More than 100 members of the Calico Ridge Owners' Association gathered Monday for an update on the mediation process orchestrated by the city between the homeowners and the owners of 60-plus industrially zoned acres adjacent to the custom homes.

Association president Bob Reynolds told his neighbors that despite the board's efforts, negotiations had come to a standstill.

So now residents are ready to take action.

Homeowners plan to confront the Henderson Planning Commission Thursday to protest a planned-unit development proposal for the neighboring Eagle Rock industrial park property.

"Our move is to go to the Planning Commission and state our positions," Reynolds said. "If they (planners) approve the PUD, we will go to the City Council."

Residents were waiting for the next mediation session when they found out about the Eagle Rock proposal last week.

The association late last year responded to the city's offer of a 25-foot buffer along with a berm -- to be created with some type of greenery such as trees or shrubbery -- and a 25-foot setback from Calico Ridge's perimeter wall, by asking for a minimum of 75 feet.

Reynolds said it is obvious the city is ignoring the association's request, because the Eagle Rock proposal calls for a 50-foot combined buffer and setback.

"Today we don't know where anything is, because no one has talked to us including the mediator," he said. Lansford Levitt of Reno was hired by the city to oversee the negotiations between the property owners.

Henderson City Attorney Shauna Hughes said she is surprised by such comments, noting that the city has worked diligently to resolve the situation.

"Right now, we have two choices -- either hold one or two more mediator sessions or provide a recommendation to the citizens advisory commission," Hughes said. "We have come to the end of our negotiations."

Hughes said that if the homeowners have one or two points that need to be clarified, then she believes another mediation session would be helpful. However, if the homeowners have a lot of unresolved issues at this point, additional mediation would probably be fruitless.

"I think when this matter will be resolved, it will be a 90 percent solution, not 100 percent based on the number of people with diverging interests," she said.

Reynolds questioned how plans could be proposed and considered by the Planning Commission on property that is still in mediation.

"Or is the mediation over and they haven't made us aware?"

The Eagle Rock plans also call for one solid building to traverse 10 acres.

"We argued that the building should be broken up," Reynolds said. "That's not in the PUD. I aim to make those points (to the Planning Commission)."

Hughes said the city staff will recommend approval of the Eagle Rock plan because the developer has agreed to several compromises. Among them are that no building will exceed 35 feet although 50-foot structures are allowed and that there will be a 50-foot buffer where just 10 feet of buffer is required.

Atlas Cold StorageThe city is considering purchasing 7.7 acres between the site of a proposed cold-storage company and the residents' homes because of an admitted zoning mistake. That acreage is shown on the city's zoning map as rural residential although it is actually zoned for an industrial park, according to city officials.

While the developers of Atlas Cold Storage have approached the city about building on 10 acres sandwiched between the possible city-owned piece and the existing Gold Bond ice cream factory, they have yet to file a formal application, only a conceptual plan.

Although Atlas, a Midwest-based company, has tentatively agreed to a maximum 35-foot height as opposed to its original proposal of 60 feet for its proposed 150,000-square-foot facility, Calico Ridge homeowners have remained adamant about the fact they do not want to see Atlas move in next door.

Talks broke down in January and Atlas pulled out of the negotiations. Homeowners vehemently deny earlier accusations by an Atlas representative claiming that association members threatened the company with vandalism.

"The association firmly does not and has not at any time suggested, promoted or otherwise agreed with any form of illegal activity by anyone for any reason against any party or property anywhere," Reynolds wrote in a letter to the Sun.

Reynolds, who has been president of the association since April, represents the group of nearly 400 homeowners.

"The only mediation that is over is with Atlas," he added.

Calico Ridge was built in the 1980s on the south side of Henderson north of Lake Mead Drive.