City trades pit expansion for open space
December 21, 2004
In exchange for mining access on 23 acres of public land, Cinderlite Corp. will lend Carson City 40 acres of its untouched high-desert land for open-space use, allowing public access for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding.
“It’s a goodwill gesture for the good of the community,” said Carson City Parks and Recreation Director Roger Moellendorf. “We should really celebrate a company that has that kind of foresight.”
Greg Lehmen, vice president of the sand and gravel trucking company, said he will sign an agreement with the city to hand over the Virginia Range land for 30 years, as part of its lease agreement with the Bureau of Land Management, and expand existing mining operations onto property designated conservation reserve lands.
“It’s a temporary exchange to keep all parties satisfied, and it’s really for the benefit of the city,” Lehmen said.
Cinderlite leases 80 acres off of Goni Road from BLM, and began mining aggregate at the pit on the southern 40 acres in 1991. The pit has existed since the 1960s.
The northern 40 acres of untouched land off of Goni Road will be temporality granted to the city. It lies a half mile north of the Goni Estates subdivision, 2,400 feet from the existing pit.
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It is covered in sagebrush, with several single-track trails and dirt roads throughout.
Carson City Open-Space Manager Juan Guzman said the land is ideal for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding and has a view of the city and the Pine Nut Range.
“There is a a designated four-wheel-drive road with nice views of the west side of the city and drainage basin,” Guzman said. “It’s pretty neat, with beautiful hills and vistas.”
The 23 acres of adjacent BLM land to which Cinderlite will expand was designated as open space in 1996 with the establishment of the BLM/Carson City Interface Plan.
The plan restricted mining for silver and gold, but allows for sand and granite mining in urban-interface areas.
On June 30, the Carson City Planning Commission approved a special-use permit allowing Cinderlite to mine on the 23 acres of interface land. But the Open Space Advisory Committee stepped in to recommend the permit be approved only if Cinderlite helped to improve the quality of life for city residents.
Since then, BLM staff, Cinderlite and city staff have worked to strike a deal: Cinderlite will lease the land from the BLM, and the city takes control of 40 acres of the untouched high desert.
The only cost to the city is maintenance of the dirt roads and trails, surrounding sagebrush and sporadic riparian areas.
Guzman said, as part of the deal, Carson City gets the right of first refusal if the land is ever for sale.
Lehman said a lease agreement with the BLM will be solidified within the next month.
Contact reporter Robyn Moormeister at email@example.com or 881-1217.
It’s a Done Deal
•The Carson City Planning commission issued Cinderlite Corp. a special-use permit on July 28, subject to the condition it contribute to the city’s quality of life.
•The permit allows the extraction of sand and gravel within 23 acres within the city owned by the Bureau of Land Management for 30 years.
•As part of the agreement, Cinderlite will provide public with open-space use of 40 acres of its land for 30 years.