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Nevada briefs

Tribune News Service

— Carson City

Open meeting charge dismissed

An allegation that the Redevelopment Agency violated the state’s open-meeting law during a discussion about a commercial development in north Douglas County has been dismissed by the Attorney General’s office.

Lyla Lane resident Jerry Vaccaro filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s office May 17, accusing Douglas County’s Redevelopment Agency of violating the open-meeting law when that body failed to provide enough support material for an agendized item on May 5.

An agreement between the agency and AIG Baker, the company involved in development of that commercial property is at the heart of the issue, according to a press release from the Douglas County District Attorney’s office.

“An affidavit by Barbara Reed, Clerk-Treasurer for Douglas County, stated that support material for item 43 of the agenda did not exist, and this Office has no evidence to find otherwise,” said Neil Rombardo, senior Deputy Attorney General in his decision. “According to Ms. Reed’s affidavit, her office made the contract available to the public prior to the meeting.”

In situations where a request for agenda-supporting materials is made at the meeting, a public body can satisfy the open meeting law by having one public copy of the supporting materials available for review, according to the Attorney General’s office.

“The public body need not delay or disrupt its meeting to provide time for several in-meeting requesters to review the one ‘public’ copy provided at the meeting,” the opinion states.

“The Douglas County Board of Commissioners sitting as the Douglas County Redevelopment Agency Board complied with the Open Meeting Law.”

— Minden

Growth initiative appeal sent back

An appeal of a Douglas District Court decision throwing out the sustainable growth initiative has been sent back by the Nevada Supreme Court for clarification.

The initiative, which limits the number of homes built in Douglas County to 280 a year, was approved by voters in November 2002.

Following the approval, the initiative was appealed in district court, where Judge Michael Gibbons ruled against it. Gibbons’ decision was appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Justice Nancy Becker, writing for the high court, ordered the case back to the lower court, saying she wants clarification as to what was decided, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Chally.

“She said it’s not ripe for Supreme Court review,” Chally said.

According to the Supreme Court’s show-cause order issued earlier this month, only one of three claims addressed in the order prepared by Gibbons is up for review by the court – whether the initiative conflicts with the master plan. Gibbons’ 2003 decision appears to deny both sides’ motions for summary judgment, according to the Supreme Court order.

His final ruling concluded the controversial sustainable growth initiative was a legitimate governmental purpose by affecting the “public health, morals, safety and welfare of its citizens.” Gibbons also ruled that the initiative is inconsistent with Douglas County’s master plan.


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