|New 2,900 acre shooting range
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|Author:||Rick618 [ Wed May 20, 2009 7:58 am ]|
|Post subject:||New 2,900 acre shooting range|
Clark County Shooting Park website
Supporters of shooting range prevail
All but one challenge dismissed
By ADRIENNE PACKER
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
The legal battle over a controversial 2,900-acre shooting park appears to be over, meaning gun enthusiasts will likely pack up their weapons and head to the public facility when it opens late this year.
Senior U.S. District Judge Lloyd George on Monday dismissed most of the claims lodged by residents who filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop construction of the park north of Moccasin Road between Decatur Boulevard and Buffalo Drive.
Homeowners argued they were not properly informed of the proposed use of the land, that a shooting range would violate county noise ordinances and that the appropriate environmental impact studies were never performed on the land.
George tossed out all but one claim. He declined to dismiss the argument concerning the environmental impact because the Bureau of Land Management is in the midst of its own study. The BLM, which conveyed the land to the county, is analyzing whether the range would significantly and adversely affect the land, a ruling that could require further studies. The report is expected to be released Aug. 3.
Deputy District Attorney Rob Warhola said he believes George's ruling marks the end of the legal wrangling. Residents may file an appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but by the time that process runs its course the park probably will be done.
Even if the BLM decides that more environmental work needs to be done, the county would complete the required work and finish the park.
"We did so much out there already, I can't imagine they'd find any (additional work) anyway," Warhola said. "If they do, we'll just do it."
Attorney Matthew Callister, who in the past has referred to the park as "Disneyland with guns," was out of town Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.
The county began planning the park in the early 1980s and the land was transferred to the county in 2003. Between the time the park was designed and the time the construction began, development in the Las Vegas Valley crept up to its border.
The first phase of the park will cover 900 acres and cost around $64 million. The park, which ultimately will be the largest shooting range in the country, will include a 1,200-yard high-power rifle range, 125 trap ranges and 24 skeet ranges.
Warhola said the first phase should be completed by the end of the year.
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