Eight small parcels of land along Imus Road, just north of the Arrowhead Drive roundabouts, will be donated to Carson City by the Nevada Department of Transportation for a future park site, if approved by officials next month.
"We're moving forward with a positive recommendation June 7 to the Parks and Recreation Commission," park planner Vern Krahn said Monday.
The parcels amount to about 11 acres, with a fair market value of $890,000, Krahn said.
NDOT acquired the property for construction of the adjacent Carson City Freeway, but it no longer needs the land and has offered to donate it to the city for public use.
"The city has no funds to build a park right now," Krahn said, "but this is a window in time for us, and if we don't get it, the state will sell it off for development. In-filling is a rare opportunity."
During a hearing on the matter this month, a number of residents living in homes near the property turned out to weigh in.
Dan Webster, who lives on nearby Ruby Lane, objected to the fact that the state wants the land set aside for public use.
"I don't like that it says for public use. I would want it to say for neighborhood parks or open space," Webster said. "And I want it understood that we (nearby neighbors) get to participate in the planning of the park, not the whole community."
Parks and Recreation Director Roger Moellendorf said there was a slight possibility that the park could be developed soon.
"There could be some grant money to develop parks, but we'd be competing with other communities. We won't be thinking about developing it for at least five years unless we get grants," he said.
The city parks master plan of 2006 divides the city into 30 neighborhoods, Moellendorf said last month.
"We did an inventory of facilities in each area, and we also surveyed the residents," he said.
Two-thirds of the people surveyed in Neighborhood 19, which is where the Imus Road property is located, said having a park in their area was important to them, particularly for off-street biking and walking, and about the same number of people said natural parks were important, Moellendorf said.
"We don't want to make assumptions, but the trend is to incorporate features having natural elements with some park playground equipment. In this city, there is a high preference for natural areas so we could integrate walking paths," he said.
Carson City has 30 parks in its system, ranging in size from very small to large ones, such as Mills and Riverview parks.
Based on national averages, Moellendorf said, Carson City is below average in number of parks. Most of the studies don't count open space, however, and Carson City has about 5,000 acres for passive recreation such as walking, biking and horseback riding.