Cordevista lawsuit postponed; talks possible

A change in management of the proposed Cordevista subdivision appears to have caused a delay in court action on the project.

It could also lead to talks between the parties that may head off further court action.

According to Stephen Mollath, attorney for Virginia Highlands LLC, which proposed the master-planned community in central Storey County, former managing partner Blake Smith is no longer in charge of the project.

"He's still involved to a degree, but there's been a change in the point person in the overall management of the project," Mollath said. "He's just had a full plate."

That change led to a postponement of the scheduled June 16 court hearing on a lawsuit filed in 2007 by Virginia Highlands LLC after the Storey County Planning Commission and County Commission rejected a master-plan amendment and zone change request. Those requests would have allowed the company to change 11,000 acres from an industrial area to a mixed-use, residential and commercial area with 8,500-15,000 homes, shopping and office complexes.

The company is seeking court costs, attorney fees and damages in excess of $10,000.

Mollath said the county needed more time to respond to the plaintiff's briefs; however, Mark Gunderson, attorney for Storey County, said it was Mollath who asked for the postponement.

"He said the developer had had a change in management and the new management wanted an opportunity to sit down and talk to the county about the development," Gunderson said.

He said he didn't have an objection to ever resolving any dispute, "and if the consensus was this may be a positive resolution, I'd be happy to postpone."

He said the delay was at the request of Mollath to see if the parties could come to some agreement.

He confirmed the new managing partner for Virginia Highlands LLC is Fritz Duda, assisted by consultant Rob Winkle of Reno.

Gunderson said he had a preliminary meeting with Winkle, and recommended he meet with county officials. No meeting has been scheduled as far as he knew, he said.

"The way I would describe it is they're having some very preliminary discussions at the request of Cordevista," he said.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-7351.

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