A battle over a golf course in the Las Vegas valley has heated up.
In the Queensridge Community near Charleston and Rampart boulevards, people have been fighting over development issues for nearly three years.
The former Badlands Golf Club remains closed, and it’s still undeveloped. The land looks dead there aren’t any ‘no trespassing’ signs up anywhere.
The property has gone through many legal battles over the last few years, but the latest issue brewing involves a lawsuit which singles out three neighbors in the Queensridge community.
“This wasn’t a fight I was looking for,” said Dan omerza, a resident in the area.
But it’s a fight Omerza has to face legally.
“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think I’ve misstated anything,” Omerza said.
Omerza argues that a lawsuit filed specifically against him and two others by the developers of the shuttered Badlands Golf Course violate his First Amendment rights.
“This lawsuit was done in an effort to stop me from exercising those rights,” Omerza said.
He says it’s because of actions that were taken by him in the Queensridge community a month ago.
“I thought that I would hand out 50 or 100 leaflets; get them signed or not signed and I would present them to the City Council and it would all be over,” according to Omerza.
That piece of paper gave neighbors two options.
“It relied on the master plan, and that my home was on the golf course,” Omerza said. “The other one, it relied on the master plan, but my home was not on the golf course.”
But there was just one problem.
“Except that’s nowhere reflective on any deed,” the developer’s attorney Jim Jimmerson said. “It’s not recorded anywhere, and it’s a false statement.”
The developer’s attorney also argues that neighbors are conspiring to hurt the owners’ rights to develop the land.
“If it were simply a matter of making a statement in front of the City Council, there would be no issue here,” said Jimmerson. “But when someone is going around outside of the protections of a city hall meeting or town hall meeting and knowingly spreading false information and perpetrator fraud, that’s not protected under the First Amendment.”
“These people are working together to petition the government,” Mitchell Langberg, the attorney for the residents. “They are making an effort to have their voices heard.”
And it’s a voice Omerza doesn’t plan to keep silent.
“I was a Marine Corps officer so, for someone to try and take away my First Amendment rights, I think that’s criminal, and no, it makes me more determined to stop that,” Omerza said.
The attorney representing Omerza and two others filed two motions on Friday: One to dismiss the complaint and an anti-SLAPP motion, which is a special statue in Nevada protecting First Amendment rights.
As for the main issue: The Las Vegas City Council planned to talk about an establishing a new way when it comes to public engagement and redeveloping public lands and golf courses.
It was on Wednesday’s agenda, but it was moved for reconsideration in 30 days.