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Henderson annexation opposed

Updated December 16, 2021 - 3:41 pm

City Council has officially opposed the annexation of almost 8,000 acres of land in the Eldorado Valley into Henderson.

At its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 14, evening, council members approved a resolution to oppose Henderson annexing the land, most of which is currently under the purview of the Bureau of Land Management.

“It is the entrance into Sloan Canyon,” said Mayor Kiernan McManus. “It has been often thought of as open space for conservation and recreation. That is what I believe that land should remain as. … All we’re doing is expressing opposition to the annexation of that particular piece of land. We really have no other authority to do much of anything else on this.”

The 7,938.56-acre parcel includes 150 acres of privately owned land, according to Henderson senior public information officer Kathleen Richards. She also said that portion is the only part that is developable.

The parcel is also part of the Southern Nevada Economic Development and Conservation Act that was introduced by U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen. Both represent Nevada.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilwoman Sherri Jorgensen submitted a written statement asking the council to postpone this item until the first meeting in January so that the full council could discuss it. She said she could not be at the meeting because she was attending her daughter’s college graduation.

Councilwoman Claudia Bridges and Councilman Matt Fox voted to have the item removed from the Dec. 14 agenda and moved to January, but Councilman James Howard Adams and McManus did not approve the change.

McManus said the council could continue to discuss the annexation and what they wanted to do, but the plan had been gaining momentum and Congress could vote on the bill whenever it wanted.

“The city of Henderson has already proposed and passed an annexation plan,” he said. “This bill (in Congress) has been around I would say for at least two years. … I think it’s imperative for this council to understand that the bill in Congress could move at any time. And once it does, if that area is included, it will make it much more difficult to oppose the annexation of that land.”

McManus also spoke against annexation during a public hearing at the Dec. 7 Henderson City Council’s regular meeting.

Richards said that Henderson is still in the process of annexing the land and it will be discussed again at a future meeting.

“All we did was accept the annexation report from the Public Works Department,” she said.

Additionally, she said that even if it is annexed into Henderson, it’s still BLM land and would have to go through its disposal process.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Bridges said she was opposed to the annexation, but she wanted the full council to discuss it. She also said she was concerned how it could affect Boulder City’s relationship with Henderson.

Fox said he agreed with Bridges.

Adams said he didn’t think the action would “drive a wedge between” the two cities. He also said he had heard a “pretty unanimous sentiment” from the community that this was bad for Boulder City.

“It’s important, I think, that we pass this tonight,” he said.

Council also approved another resolution that opposed including that land for BLM disposal in the Southern Nevada Economic Development and Conservation Act.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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