Landowner pleads with city to beat developers to the punch
Appeal Staff Writer
A 20-acre hill fronting Carson City’s C Hill has stayed covered in grass and brush while everything before it transformed into homes and streets, but now it’s ripe for recreation or for development. The woman who owns it, and her family, is hoping for the former.
“You guys should just buy it. Let’s not let it get developed,” local resident Rob Potter told parks and recreation commissioners at a public meeting last week. Potter’s mother, Patricia, owns the more-than-20-acre hill next to the much larger C Hill, a west Carson City area popular among developers and recreators alike.
The property abuts city-owned open space and U.S. Forest Service land. Hikers over the years have worn a path through the parcel, possibly making it more attractive to city officials who are in the midst of creating a long-term plan to preserve and enhance the local system of paths and trails.
“Part of our interest in this land is it would help us fulfill some of the goals for our trails,” said Carson City Open Space Manager Juan Guzman.
The land, which lies between Ormsby Boulevard and West Fifth Street, also includes three marked historic graves on its northern edge, some of which are visible behind the homes there.
Patricia Potter said she’s been receiving some calls from developers interested in the grass-covered hill.
“Some people have told me their ideas of what they would like to do here,” she said. “I’d just as soon it would stay open.”
Like her son Rob, Patricia knows the city would likely be the only buyer to keep it undeveloped, but money is a temptation too.
“Let’s tie this up before it gets too expensive to say ‘no,'” Rob Potter told parks commissioners last week.
Buying desirable land for open space before a developer does is always a challenge for the city, which moves far quicker than most other government agencies, but slower than private buyers.
“There is a lot of pressure for this piece and a lot of other ones to consider, too,” Guzman said.
The Carson City Open Space Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet Monday and consider buying the Potter property. If the committee agrees, open space officials will hire an appraiser, talk with the owner and start looking for grants that could help fund the purchase.
The committee will also consider whether two other properties should be pursued: a 10-acre plot near Voltaire Canyon and 320 acres in Kings Canyon, near the recently city-purchased Horse Creek Ranch.
Property owner Buzz Duvall is interested in selling the land to the Forest Service, but the federal government moves slow and Duvall has been waiting several years to get a deal done.
“I’m afraid he’s going to try and market it or develop it himself if something doesn’t happen soon,” Guzman said.
Guzman said there may be a way the city can help keep the property undeveloped until the Forest Service finds the funds to buy it.
“I just want the ability to explore the possibilities.”
n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at email@example.com or 881-1217.
Panel to decide on property
WHAT: Carson City Open Space Advisory Committee meeting
WHEN: 6 p.m. Monday
WHERE: Sierra Room of the Community Center, 851 E. William St.