Carson City School District has until May 2025 to provide written notice of intent to acquire the school property reserved by the Lompa Ranch North Specific Plan Area developer not to exceed $150,000, Superintendent Andrew Feuling reported to the school board Tuesday.
CCSD entered into a development agreement for the Lompa Ranch 10-acre site in November 2017 after the developer, which collectively includes the Myers Family Exempt Trust, the Arraiz Family 1993 TR, RD Lompa LLC, Lompa Ranch East Hills LLC and Terrasas & Tripp LLC, provided specific conditions toward educational needs for the growing community.
Latest discussions on the development agreement include concerns about city and student population growth, transportation and road needs and limited bonding capacity for rising construction costs.
Feuling said the clock on the district’s three-year deadline for notice began ticking in May 2022 after the pandemic and other factors caused a delay in its decision-making.
“In negotiating this agreement, we were working to come up with a good solution for us,” Feuling said. “In 2016, the city was growing rapidly and schools were growing rapidly. We were having conversations about our ability to house more kids. Most of the schools at that time were at capacity.”
The Board of Supervisors approved the Lompa Ranch North Specific Plan on March 17, 2016, and the Phase 1 tentative subdivision map that comprised 189 single-family residential lots. On Sept. 21, 2017, the board introduced an ordinance to approve a development agreement between the city and the developer regarding the plan area.
The Lompa Ranch North Specific Plan Area totals 251.31 acres, most of which is located west of the Interstate 580, north of East Fifth Street, east of Saliman Road and south of East William Street. The remaining portion totaling 48.04 acres is east of the I-580 along the western side of Airport Road.
The land still remains available to Carson City as a potential school site. The total purchase price for the site was not to exceed $2 million and was subject to appraisal by a Nevada Member Appraisal Institute appraiser. The Carson City School District would pay a maximum of $150,000 out of pocket, then annually turn over the total of $1,000 per dwelling unit fee it collects during that year. The district would be protected from failure to collect the fees from a phase developer.
“The total cost of the 10 acres is not to exceed $2 million ($150,000 out of pocket from CCSD plus $1,850,000 from per-dwelling unit donation fee) but can be less if the property appraises for less than the $2 million,” according to Spencer Winward, district chief financial officer.
Trustee Mike Walker called this a “screaming deal” for the school district.
“I don’t know why we don’t jump on this now,” he said. “The property is not being fully developed as planned. We still have a guaranteed cap of $150,000.”
But enrollment and transportation present challenges. Although Carson High and Middle schools did not have the student population figures in 2017 they do now, the expected residential and commercial developments were producing yield factors that district officials were eying closely, Feuling said. For every 100 additional housing units to be built in Carson City, the district projected enrolling 30 students. Fremont Elementary School, which had one of the district’s lower populations about six years ago, also has added students since then, Feuling said.
CCSD’s transportation department had concerns about ingress and egress at certain times along Robinson Street and Saliman Road. In 2019, North Lompa Ranch developer Blackstone Development Group was in talks with CCSD about providing access from the north part of its land to the U.S. 50 to build a road. It was difficult to establish spine access from the traffic signal at the northern portion of the development to the west of Gold Dust West, and Feuling said the developer was looking for other angles for a road. This meant possibly shaving off part of Carson High School’s junior varsity baseball field to curve around, and this plan never happened.
“Because they don’t have that spine road, as of right now, it doesn’t look like they will be able to develop a significant portion of that northern part and it will reduce a number of units being built,” he said. “Right now, they’re estimating it’s down to about 1,000 to 1,200 units throughout the development.”
Looking ahead, Feuling said, with newer developments taking place and 145 units coming in, CCSD anticipates what this group of housing might bring and has an ongoing yield study for enrollment trends near single-family homes and townhouses by the expected Matterhorn subdivision behind Carson High School.
He said it will be useful to revisit school rezoning needs and previous data collected to determine impacts on elementary schools such as Fremont. With CCSD unable to collect residential construction tax due to having a population of more than 55,000, Carson City’s reality was to consider a K-8 building in the near future anyway.
The item was for discussion only.