Carson City Open Space Advisory Committee reviews possible acquisition properties

The Carson City Open Space Advisory Committee Monday reviewed several properties on its radar for acquisition and received an update on a possible conservation easement on 130 acres.

The properties for open space consideration are either on the market or the owners are interested in selling.

The most interest was in 102 acres owned by the State of Nevada, once the site of the Clear Creek Camp, primarily due to the access it could provide for connecting trails.

But the city may not be interested in purchasing all 102 acres or in doing it alone.

“I’d hate to see us acquire more land than we can manage,” said Bruce Scott, the committee chair.

Jennifer Budge, director, Parks, Recreation & Open Space, said one possibility is to work with the state on a relocatable trail easement which ensure trail access for the city no matter who acquires the property.

There are several interested parties that the committee directed staff to continue to work with on a possible solution.

“I’d like to see the (Clear Creek Tahoe) golf course and Douglas County getting involved,” said committee member Donna Inversin. “Somehow or other it’s important we get access to the land and the more people we get involved the better.”

Two of the other properties might be purchased by other entities.

One is 220 acres north of Highway 50 West and east of the Clear Creek interchange owned by Schulz Investments, which is currently for sale for $2 million.

That property is adjacent to land owned by the U.S. Forest Service and Ann Bollinger, open space administrator, recommended the city continue to work the Forest Service to acquire it.

Another area is 320 acres called Washoe Hillview Properties, north of Goni Road and next to Washoe County, owned by Cinderlite Trucking Corp.

The Bureau of Land Management might acquire it, although it could take the BLM years to do so.

The final property is two parcels totaling about 200 acres near Timberline owned by Gerald and Luann Hamm.

Bollinger said the site had long been on the open space list to consider and the larger parcel is currently on the market.

But Budge pointed out the difficulties in managing it because the city would be responsible for providing defensible space to surrounding properties and Committee Member Jeremy Hall pointed out that the property has no advantages in terms of trail connectivity as the trails there are already connected.

“This seems lower priority,” said Hall.

The committee also heard about progress on a conservation easement for 130 acres of Old Woods Ranch north of Highway 50 West.

The owners, which are 12 family members, would like to retain five to 10 acres for possible future development of a family campground while the city would like to see access for a trail to connect to Carson Valley.

“We’ve had to for 100 years, it’s always been a working ranch,” said Charlie Gifford, one of the 12 owners. “In all likelihood we may not build there. We want to preserve it, hand it down and not place any financial burden unduly on next generation.”

The city is working with Nevada Land Trust on negotiating the easement.

“This five acre piece, you can either exclude it all together or include it with restriction,” said Kevin Hill, Nevada Land Trust. “The best case is to include it with restrictions then you have some control. That becomes the issue to resolve.”

Next, the owners and open space staff meet with the Community Development department on Jan. 10 to see what zoning will allow.

Budge said the department has hired a new recreation superintendent, Dan Earp, who will start on Jan. 9.

In April, the department should get three AmeriCorps VISTA workers for a year who will help with the department’s web site, education and outreach, and coordinate its volunteers. The department is also recruiting for two jobs: a 20-hour a week trails coordinator position and a senior natural resources specialist, a full-time position recently vacated by Rich Wilkinson.


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