Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Pro Gun Club
Shooting range owners who painted a sign into the side of a hill facing Boulder City are asking Clark County commissioners to reconsider and allow the signage to stand.
Attorney D. Lee Roberts, representing Pro Gun Club, whose principals include longtime political handler Sig Rogich and Pete Eliades, owner of Olympic Garden strip club, wrote in an Aug. 29 letter to Clark County commissioners he intends to file an appeal meant to exhaust all administrative remedies.
Two weeks ago, in a 4-3 vote, commissioners ordered Eldorado Hills LLC, the corporate name for the shooting range’s ownership, to remove the sign, saying it did not comport to county code and refusing to grant a variance to allow the lettering to stand.
If commissioners deny the appeal, the matter would likely end up in district court; attorneys for the shooting range promised a lawsuit after the commission’s vote.
In his letter, Roberts argues county code does not regulate lettering chalked onto the sides of hills, so Eldorado Hills did not need county permission when it first created the sign. Among other points, he also argues county ordinances regarding signage is unconstitutionally vague and the denial of the variance was based on the sign’s content.
The county commission’s vote came after its planning commission voted to approve a variance to allow the sign. Then, however, Boulder City officials filed an appeal, which forced a reconsideration by the county commission. Boulder City’s mayor and members of the Boulder City Council said residents uniformly “hated” the sign, which they considered a visual blight.
Roberts argues, however, legal precedent already has determined that only citizens, not governmental bodies, have the right to appeal a planning commission decision.
“Boulder City is not a citizen of unincorporated Clark County,” Roberts’ appeal says.
Roberts also argues that after the county commission’s tie vote on the matter June 20, the vote should have been final. He refers to a similar case in 2008 involving the Elko County Board of Commissioners, which tied in a vote regarding division of 40 acres of land. The Nevada Supreme Court later ruled the tie vote did not overturn the original planning commission vote, so the original vote stood.
“The same logic applies here,” Roberts wrote.
Roberts said late Wednesday that commissioners had the option to hear the appeal; if they do not, Eldorado Hills will file a lawsuit.
However, he added, if commissioners hear the appeal and change their vote, Eldorado Hills would stand by a compromise offered during previous meetings. That deal was for Eldorado Hills to decrease the sign lettering from “Pro Gun Club” to “Gun Club,” then to remove it altogether in a little more than two years.
Commissioners who voted in favor of the deal feared that if the county lost a suit in court, the sign would be able to stay on the hillside in perpetuity.