The Carson City Open Space Advisory Committee agreed this week to draft a deal to purchase 40 acres in a watershed area on Carson's west side.
The decision will allow city staff members to put together a formal letter of purchase for the privately owned property approximately 1,300 square feet southeast of where the pavement ends on Kings Canyon Road.
Carson open-space manager Juan Guzman said the purchase will prevent homes from being built on the property.
The vacant land abuts public land owned by the U.S. Forest Service and is important to the Carson City watershed, Guzman said.
"Those lands have a good capacity to recharge the Carson City watershed," he said.
The soil of the private land percolates water into the ground efficiently, he said.
The 40-acre parcel is the only privately owned enclave of any significance in Borda Meadows. If it is developed into homes, the development would include building a road through the meadow, which would disturb it, Guzman said.
The Open Space Committee agreed to begin working with owner Mike Gilbert to purchase the land at an estimated $740,000. If all goes well, the issue will be presented to the Carson Board of Supervisors in January, Guzman said.
The Open Space Program has $2 million to purchase lands in the Carson City area. The Quality of Life Initiative, passed by voters in 1996, provides funding for open-space acquisitions and maintenance and operation of facilities through a quarter-cent sales tax.
To date, the city has acquired approximately 90 acres through the program.
The next major purchase will be considered by the committee at its Jan. 27 meeting. The committee will consider whether to purchase a 467-acre parcel appraised at $1.4 million.