SGI settlement conference continues Thursday

A third attempt to iron out Douglas County's controversial sustainable-growth initiative will be Thursday after little progress was reported from the first of two settlement conferences.

"Basically, it really is going nowhere," said John Garvin, co-chairman of the Sustainable Growth Initiative Committee, which started the process almost a year ago with a petition to slow growth in the county in accordance with the 1996 master plan.

A closed mediation hearing before Judge Lester Berkson was held at the Nevada State Library and Archives in Carson City Monday. Thursday's closed hearing will be at the county commission chambers at the Douglas County Administrative Building, 1616 Eighth St. in Minden at 2 p.m.

Douglas County Commission Chairman Kelly Kite said "things are positive" for a possible settlement.

Carole Thompson, executive director of the Douglas County Building Industry Association, a plaintiff in the court case, said the closed hearings are "a work in progress." She declined to comment on any particulars of Monday's hearing.

Judy Sturgis of the Initiative Committee said "everybody is laying their cards on the table" at the closed hearings, but she said the permanent injunction imposed by Douglas District Court Judge Michael Gibbons in February "literally wiped SGI off the face of the world."

"We are hopeful," she said about a settlement. "It was never our intention to pit the community against the community... We want people to understand what is going on.

"The growth element of the master plan calls for slow growth, and the county has never implemented that and that is our concern."

Sturgis plans to be "all over" upcoming master plan amendment hearings, which start Aug. 12. So far, eight amendments are proposed.

"Once again, (the county is allowing) higher density," she said. "The master plan has holes in it, and a vibrant community works for the betterment of all."


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