Residents group challenges Lyon
February 15, 2014
The Lyon County Commission's decision to modify the county master plan and change zoning for Comstock Mining has prompted a lawsuit by a residents group.
The Comstock Residents Association is mounting the challenge to a 4-1 commission decision last month, charging the commission "provided no basis to depart from its prior precedent, acted contrary to law and without proper notice and record support, and was unduly influenced."
The complaint/petition, filed by CRA attorney John Marshall with the 3rd district court in Yerington, has four causes of action. It seeks injunctive relief and declaration that commission action is null and void.
Among the allegations is that the commission circumvented the state's open-meeting law and that undue influence stemmed from mining company efforts to "purchase influence" via campaign donations and dispensing of jobs to family and friends of key people. The association's legal action is aimed at stopping plans of the firm just south of the Storey County line in Lyon County.
"Our focus now is on protecting the town of Silver City and its residents from open-pit mining," said Robin Cobbey, residents association president. The group's focus is to protect the Virginia City National Historic Landmark and towns within it. Joe McCarthy of Silver City joined in the comments disseminated by news release.
"The (Lyon County) commission ignored 75 percent of the citizens of Silver City, the Silver City Advisory Board, the (Lyon County) planning commission and the staff report," he said.
Corrado De Gasperis, Comstock Mining president and CEO, declined to comment on specifics in the allegations but defended commissioners for being "incredibly diligent" in assessing data and the requests. He also has said there are no immediate plans for open-pit mining in Silver City.