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Sparks City Council Meeting 2/25/2019

General Business: 9.1

Title: Consideration, discussion, and possible direction to the City Attorney concerning whether to dismiss pending litigation, City of Sparks v. IPC D’Andrea LLC, CV17-01066.
Petitioner/Presenter: Chester H. Adams, Sparks City Attorney/Alyson L. McCormick, Assistant City Attorney
Recommendation: The City Attorney’s Office recommends that the City Council direct the City Attorney to either: (1) dismiss the pending litigation with each party to bear its own attorney fees and costs; or (2) actively prosecute the pending litigation.
Financial Impact: No direct financial impact is anticipated.
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
    
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief:

This agenda item gives the City Council the opportunity to provide direction to the City Attorney in pending litigation.
 



Background:

On March 27, 2017, the City Council authorized the City Attorney to seek declaratory and injunctive relief to abate the nuisance conditions on the property at 2900 South D’Andrea Parkway, the home of the former D’Andrea Golf Club. Based on that authorization, the City filed a complaint in State court in June 2017, seeking a court order declaring the property a nuisance and ordering the property owner to demolish the ruins of the clubhouse and otherwise abate the dangerous nuisance conditions on the property. Upon agreement between the parties, the litigation was stayed several times between November 2017 and October 2018 while the property owner was trying to sell the property.

While the litigation was stayed, the property owner or its agents took steps toward cleaning up the property. Most significantly, the vast majority of the debris from the clubhouse, which burned in 2015, has been removed from the site. In addition, weeds have been removed from the perimeter of the property to create defensible space between the property and adjacent homes. This is not to say that the property is in pristine condition; weeds still cover much of the former golf course, the clubhouse and other structures remain abandoned, and complaints to the City’s Code Enforcement team are ongoing. Although the property owner had secured the clubhouse, some of the boards securing the building have been removed. Other evidence of recent vandalism, such as graffiti, is also present. In addition, fifty-five gallon drums were observed at the maintenance building on the property. Nevertheless, the most dangerous condition on the property—truckloads of debris from the clubhouse fire—has been removed from the site.



Analysis:

Removing the debris from the clubhouse fire required significant resources and effort. Given this significant improvement of the condition of the property, the City Attorney believes that a primary objective of the litigation has been achieved. As a result, the City Council may choose to dismiss the pending litigation, with each party to bear its own attorney fees and costs. However, as discussed above, problems on the property will likely persist for the foreseeable future, until the property is redeveloped. This pending litigation may be an effective tool for addressing those conditions that have not been corrected. Therefore, the City Council may prefer to direct the City Attorney to actively prosecute the pending litigation.



Alternatives:

The City may direct the City Attorney to either: (1) dismiss the pending litigation with each party to bear its own attorney fees and costs; or (2) actively prosecute the pending litigation.



Recommended Motion:

If the City Council chooses to dismiss the pending litigation, the motion should be stated as follows: I move to direct the City Attorney to dismiss the case currently pending as City of Sparks v. IPC D’Andrea LLC, Case Number CV17-01066, with each party to bear its own attorney fees and costs.

 

If the City Council chooses not to dismiss the pending litigation, the motion should be stated as follows: I move to direct the City Attorney to actively prosecute the case currently pending as City of Sparks v. IPC D’Andrea LLC, Case Number CV17-01066.




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