Meetings set on Costco land deal |

Meetings set on Costco land deal

Amanda Hammon

Carson City residents will have plenty of opportunities this week to weigh in on the debate of adding land at Fuji Park to the redevelopment district.

The vacant land is being eyed as a site for Costco, but city officials must get the opinions of the public before they can work a deal with the warehouse company.

City supervisors acting as the redevelopment authority, parks and recreation commissioners, and members of the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee will discuss the issue this week.

The 15.3 acres north of Clear Creek Road and south of Highway 50 is part of park property. City officials say putting the land into the redevelopment district allows the city to sell the land without going through the public bid process, which would allow the city to directly negotiate with potential buyers.

Redevelopment committee members like the idea, partly because of the boost it would give to the weary redevelopment district from property taxes.

Redevelopment committee member Joe McCarthy said the addition would allow the district to complete a variety of projects and help “enhance business in and strengthen the appearance of downtown.”

“It’s a real wonderful opportunity to complete tasks that have not been addressed,” McCarthy.

The committee meets Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. at City Hall.

The parks and recreation commission on Wednesday will decide whether it wants the land to be available for retail development.

Parks and recreation commissioners generally agree the potential sales and property tax benefit of a retailer such as Costco would be a large enough incentive to release the land.

“We need to do whatever we can to get a business of that kind to Carson City,” Commissioner John Simms said. “This type of business gives us other types of opportunities for parks (because) Question 18 will win. When you’re serving the public you have to make tough decisions, and this is one of those decisions we have to make.”

Commissioners are also hoping the land will be replaced for park use elsewhere within the city.

But as land in the area straddling Carson City and Douglas County is developed, commissioners recognize they will have to discuss the future of Fuji Park. The park’s position in the middle of a busy intersection could force the park to be relocated.

“That may be where we go,” Commissioner Glen Martel said. “I wouldn’t mind having that discussion. That area is ripe for some commercial development. I don’t want to see Fuji Park go away, but relocating it is definitely worth looking into.”

“That bridge is going to have to be crossed if indeed that area is prime commercial property,” Parks and Recreation Director Steve Kastens said.

Construction on the 40-acre Fuji Park began in 1965. It is used as the city’s fairgrounds with a rodeo grounds, go-cart track, exhibit hall and picnic area used by groups from kennel and rodeo clubs to 4H. Kastens said about 20 acres of the park is developed.

Commissioner Ken Elverum said he isn’t in favor of sacrificing park land without “a really good reason.”

“Once you have a park, it’s hard to get one rebuilt,” Elverum said. “Fuji Park is used for a lot of different things, and we’re setting a precedent with this decision. If we lose a Fuji Park, I don’t know how we’d replace a Fuji Park. I’m not anti-development, but I am pro-parks.”

The Redevelopment Authority will consider the issue Thursday about 1:30 p.m. Supervisors have expressed their support of the project, but Mayor Ray Masayko also expressed his concerns over use of the redevelopment law. The decision heads to the planning commission for review next week and then will return for final approval by supervisors.

If you go:

What: Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission

When: Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.

Where: the Community Center’s Bonanza Room, 851 E. William St.

What: Carson City Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee

When: Wednesday, 5:15 p.m.

Where: City Hall’s Capitol Conference Room, 201 N. Carson St.

What: Carson City Board of Supervisors and Redevelopment Authority

When: Thursday, 8:30 a.m.

Where: the Community Center’s Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.