Comprehensive trails plan turned down by planners

With more adjustments to be made to proposed access roads and trail sites, the Comprehensive Trails Plan will go before Douglas County Commissioners on April 3.

Mimi Moss, county planning and economic development manager, said if commissioners approve the plan and adopt the resolution, they will refer it back to the planning commission.

Planners could take no action, which would mean the plan would become part of the county's master plan. Or, Moss said, planners could disagree, which would mean the county has to adjust the plan.

Commissioners voted down the plan March 11 because of a lack of a super majority. Commissioners Valida McMichael and Carolyn Whitmere voted against it.

Commissioner Mark Neuffer left the meeting early and did not vote.

McMichael, chairwoman of the commission, voted against the plan because she said she wanted to first see recommended changes in the text.

"I want to read the whole thing together," she said. "... to write language on something this important on the fly is not good for master plan amendments."

After considerable public input Tuesday, planners recommended removal of proposed access and/or trails on private properties owned by the Washoe tribe off of Dresslerville Road in the Gardnerville Ranchos, Clear Creek Road, and agricultural land owned by the Settelmeyer and Mack families, long-time ranchers.

Old Kingsbury Grade would be designated an historic trail, and private land allotments owned by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in south Douglas County would remain in the plan.

James Settelmeyer asked the county not to pursue future trail sites on private land that may be subject to ownership changes in the case of death or divorce proceedings. Planners agreed. Moss said the plan will include an implementation strategy to address that.

Creation of trails and access roads may be a condition for new developments, or the county may seek money from developers to pay for future trails in designated receiving area -- areas with residential or commercial development.

Moss said having a trails plan in place is necessary before the county can seek federal funding to build trails and access roads.


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