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Developer, opponents on board with land swap proposal

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Updated: 1/23/2013 8:50 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- A proposal that could stop a controversial development near Red Rock Canyon is moving forward.

The deal would allow Jim Rhodes to trade his land around an old gypsum mine on top of Blue Diamond Hill for other developable land.

The plan interests both the developer and his former opponents.

“The best thing is that after 10 years of fighting we're finally in a good direction,” said Heather Fisher of Save Red Rock.

Fisher lives in Blue Diamond Village, where many of her neighbors don't want development high above.

It is a view shared by James Moore with The Nature Conservancy.

“Blue Diamond stood out as the highest diversity of cacti, yucca, and other succulents in the entire Mojave eco region,” he said.

He was one of four people who spoke to Clark County commissioners in favor of a resolution that supports a land swap.

Ron Krater, a consultant to Gypsum Resources, and Jim Rhodes, who owns the property, says after 10 years of debating what they can and can't build, they will draft a letter to the Bureau of Land Management requesting they trade 2,600 acres atop Blue Diamond Hill for land somewhere else.

Only Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani was against it, saying she thinks the developer was trying to get better land all along. The resolution passed 6-1.

A BLM representative who was at the meeting said there have been some lopsided land swaps in the past, so they'll have to proceed with caution, But there will be a public process, and he will speak with all interested parties.

Nevada’s Congressional delegation also would have to be on board for this to move forward.
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