RENO, Nev. (AP) — The city of Reno is allowing new construction to continue in the valleys north of town while its lawyers appeal a jury verdict that found the city liable for flood damage to dozens of homes in Lemmon Valley in 2017.

The city attorney is preparing an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court after the Reno City Council voted last week to try to overturn June's ruling in favor of more than 50 plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit accusing the city of negligence in the flood-prone area.

The Reno Gazette Journal reports the council rejected a proposal by Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus to place a moratorium on new construction in the area pending the outcome of the appeal. She was the only one to vote for the idea.

The district court jury found the city was liable for using private property without adequately compensating the owners. It determined the city was not guilty of trespassing or causing a nuisance.

The city says it has been denied due process.

City Attorney Karl Hall said only a few of the 54 plaintiffs in the Washoe County lawsuit had been required to provide proof that floodwater ever touched their property.

The suit says the city pumped, diverted or discharged excess storm water into the normally dry bed of Swan Lake, which overflowed during the winter of 2016-17. The city maintains the homeowners were the victims of an unforeseen natural disaster.

A separate jury trial currently is scheduled to begin Dec. 2 to determine the damages owed to homeowners. Washoe District Judge Barry Breslow has scheduled a status hearing Aug. 21.

The Gazette Journal cited documents in a series of stories last year that indicated the city knew Swan Lake likely would flood and ignored suggestions to build flood mitigation projects alongside new development in Lemmon Valley.

The council also passed a resolution last week to take steps to address future potential flooding at Swan Lake.

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com

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