Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 | 6:30 p.m.
Las Vegas is considering filing a lawsuit against the federal government over a decision to double the amount of protected public lands in the northwest valley the city would like to see remain open for development. The city council will vote whether to approve the appeal and also hear plans for new downtown development when they meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday at city hall, 495 S. Main St.
In 2011, the Bureau of Land Management issued a decision increasing the amount of protected lands in the Upper Las Vegas Wash Conservation Transfer Area from 5,000 acres to 13,622 acres.
The property, located in the northwest valley, is part of a swath of federal land surrounding Las Vegas, much of which has been sold off for development in the past 15 years as part of the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act.
Las Vegas and North Las Vegas appealed the 2011 BLM decision, arguing that the process was flawed and that the significant increase in protected lands would hinder growth in the area.
An Interior Department appeals board upheld the BLM’s decision in June, prompting the two cities to turn to the courts.
On Wednesday, the council will consider whether to approve an appeal challenging the decision in federal district court. If approved, the authorization would also include up to $50,000 for attorney’s fees.
Bus station redevelopment
With the Downtown Grand set to open later this month, developers behind the casino and several other projects near Third Street and Stewart Avenue are turning their eyes toward an old bus station as their next target for redevelopment.
The CIM Group plans to turn the old Downtown Transportation Center located at the corner of Casino Center Boulevard and Stewart Avenue into a retail, dining and conference complex across three buildings.
The developers, whose projects also include the Mob Bar and Triple George Grill, will present their plans for the site near the Mob Museum on Wednesday.
The plans call for 80,000 square feet of retail and dining, 24,000 square feet of conference space and a six-story parking garage.
Party house problems
Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian attempted to get a handle on her ward’s continuing problem with party houses by introducing a new ordinance tightening restrictions on short-term rentals.
But those added rules, which include a licensing requirement, a $500 annual fee and occupancy limits, didn’t go far enough for some council members, who expressed support for an outright ban on home rentals of less than 100 days.
The recommending committee will take the issue back up at their Tuesday meeting after the council voted down Tarkanian’s proposal earlier this month.
Tarkanian said she expects her version of the bill to be scrapped and replaced with an even more restrictive ordinance, including a possible ban.