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Las Vegas to appeal $34M judgment in Badlands ruling

The Las Vegas City Council voted on Wednesday to appeal to the state Supreme Court a $34 million judgment against the city after it was found liable for “taking” a nearly 35-acre parcel on the defunct Badlands Golf Club course.

District Court Judge Timothy Williams, who found the city liable for the so-called government taking in late September, awarded the multimillion dollar judgment late last month to 180 Land Co. LLC., a company belonging to developer EHB Cos.

City lawmakers previously voted to appeal Williams’ liability ruling, with the city attorney’s office finding it to be “legally improper.” It is the same justification that led the council on Wednesday to appeal the monetary judgment too, a move that was expected.

EHB had sought to construct housing on the closed golf course after its 2015 purchase of the 250-acre plot winding through the upscale Queensridge neighborhood near Summerlin.

But after nearly all of its plans stalled in City Hall, it accused the city of illegally interfering with development to the point that it made the land impossible to build upon and wiped out its economic value.

Government-taking cases that involve parcels of 133, 65 and 17 acres remain undecided, raising concerns that the damages to city taxpayers may significantly grow.

“I, along with the Las Vegas taxpayers, are getting more frustrated by the day,” Councilwoman Victoria Seaman said.

“We must get this settled once and for all.”

Seaman sought assurances that the city was involved in active negotiations with the developer.

City Manager Jorge Cervantes said the city met with EHB Cos. representatives two weeks ago, noting that “those conversations are ongoing.”

The city has spent more than $4 million defending itself in at least a dozen lawsuits and in staff expenses related to the politically charged Badlands dispute since fiscal year 2015, according to city-provided figures.

Councilwoman Michele Fiore, the lone dissenter to both appeals, has claimed the real costs are about $10 million.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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