How does 77 acres for $1 sound?
A bargain, perhaps, but the deal could set a precedent in open space acquisition.
Last month, Carson City's Open Space Advisory Committee delayed making a decision that would preserve part of a prominent city hill for open space. Members wanted more information on how much the land could cost the city.
They also questioned how a densely developed parcel would look against the hillside and how development would affect the V&T trail, which lies between 60 and 80 feet from the proposed site development.
The hill is between the Silver Oak and Lakeview subdivisions and part of the right of way for the V&T Railroad is on its slopes. Of the 80 acres of property on the rock-strewn hillside, about three acres are developable.
Property owner Paul Casey, with the support of city staff members, would like to see the small parcel of land developed and the rest of the site dedicated to open space. The plan is to create a planned unit development, which allows a developer to take a piece of a parcel, develop it more densely than usual and leave the rest as open space.
The open space committee will meet with engineers from Lumos and Associates on Monday at the Eagle Valley Children's Home so members can get a first hand view of the site, project engineer Glen Martel said.
"We hope to allay their concerns about where the site is on the hillside, its visibility from different parts of the city," he said. "It will be easier to see how everything relates."
Residents asked the committee what taking the property off the tax roles would do. Park planner Vern Krahn said the city would lose approximately $900 in property taxes if the site were purchased by the city for open space.
Casey and city staff members had talked of giving the city a public easement to the hard-to-develop 77 acres, but the newest idea is to either sell the property to the city for $1 or donate the property for open space, Martel said.
Krahn said he and other city staffers think the 77 acres fit the open-space criteria.
"Do we have a willing seller? Yes," Krahn said. "Is the price right? We think so. Right out of the chute with the open space plan, wouldn't it be nice to say the first thing we got was 77 acres for $1?
'But we're setting precedents about how we're going to go about things, so we want to give it a close look. I hope we can put together a nice project and create open space."
The committee will also be presented with another parcel for consideration that is key for the city's trail plan. The parcel is on the west side of Mexican Ditch between Hells Bells Road and Carson Creek.
It would help link the Linear Park trail to the Mexican Ditch trail. Property owner William Moffat Jr. has granted easements to the city for its bike path through other parts of his property, but one of his parcels would be undevelopable with an easement on it.
Krahn said he wants to see if the committee is interested in the property before continuing discussions with the property owner. About 10 other property owners have approached the city with possible open space acquisitions.
Those with a land parcel they feel would fit open space criteria may contact Community Development Director Walt Sullivan at 887-2188.
If you go:
What: Carson City Open Space Advisory Committee meeting
When: Monday, 5:15 p.m.
Where: the group meets at 5:15 p.m. at the Eagle Valley Children's Home, 2300 eagle Valley Road and then reconvenes at 6 p.m. in City Hall's Capital Conference room, 201 N. Carson St.