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Reno Iron Works appeals to Supreme Court to continue construction near SPCA facility

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By Mark Hernandez and Bob Conrad

Reno Iron Works last week filed an expedited motion with the Nevada Supreme Court seeking to have Washoe County Judge Kathleen Sigurdson’s order to stop construction overturned.

William Peterson, the attorney representing the company, said: “Reno Iron is suffering irretrievable and irreparable daily loss and damage from the failure of the District Court to order a bond to secure Reno Iron’s loss and damage in the event this court affirms the order of the District Court and the Reno City Council’s decision approving the project.”

At issue is Reno Iron Works’ new, 40,000 square-foot facility located next to the SPCA of Northern Nevada’s building on Spectrum Boulevard.

First reported by This Is Reno last week, Sigurdson reversed her own prior ruling that paved the way for Reno Iron Works to proceed with construction after SPCA sued to prevent the company from building next door.

Sigurdson’s order halted construction last week, and Reno Iron Works has now taken the fight to the state court. 

“Reno Iron will never be able to be compensated for its ongoing losses and damages resulting from the Court’s having issued an injunction without bond, because recovery of the enjoined party from a wrongly issued injunction is limited to the amount of the bond, and there is none,” Peterson wrote in a court document.

“If Reno Iron cannot move onto the property it acquired it will have nowhere else to move and may have to shut down operations,” he added. The company’s existing location on Parr Boulevard is on a month-to-month lease, “which is expected to be terminated in the near term….”

SPCA maintains the Reno Iron Works facility, and its construction, will harm companion animals at their facility. 

“As of last week, the district court approved our emergency motion of stay and that was approved last Tuesday or Wednesday,” Jill Dobbs of SPCA said today. “The City of Reno then filed a stop order. They are not allowed to be doing anything other than dust and erosion control.”

The work that has taken place is only at the first stage of construction, which mostly entails dirt removal and leveling but this has resulted in a small hill between the two properties being flattened. 

When asked about if the SPCA were against any building of properties around them, Dobbs said absolutely not.

“An appropriate development can take place there, and this is a big frustration because they keep trying to contend that any development would have required the demolition of that hill,” she said. “Absolutely not true.”

Jill Dobbs with the SPCA of Northern Nevada. Image: Mark Hernandez / This Is Reno.
Jill Dobbs with the SPCA of Northern Nevada. Image: Mark Hernandez / This Is Reno.

According to Dobbs, there were other developers who were considering commercial properties that would have left most of the area intact, with a lot less displacement than the current Reno Iron Works construction. 

As of now, the SPCA is waiting on claims in courts to be decided. 

With the legal fight in progress, the SPCA is launching their “Spring into Giving” fundraiser to fund their operating costs. 

The fundraiser started Tuesday and will be matched dollar for dollar once they hit $50,000 so donating $10 really gives the SPCA $20 to work with. The amount of work that the SPCA puts into each pet has a cost of about $700 per animal.

Dobbs said they see this year being especially busy. More than 10,000 pets are helped each year at the SPCA where there are 112 pets on location as of today. 

All of the animals had a noticeable reaction to the work being done by Reno Iron Works, Dobbs said.

Luke Busby, attorney for SPCA, also represents This Is Reno in two cases against the City of Reno. He would not comment for this article.

Mark Hernandez
Mark Hernandez
Mark was born in Mexico, grew up in Carson City, and has recently returned to Reno to continue to explore and get to know the city again. He got his journalism degree in 2018 and wants to continue learning photography for both business and pleasure. Languages and history are topics he likes to discuss as well as deplete any coffee reservoirs in close proximity.

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