Open-space plan draws questions |

Open-space plan draws questions

John Barrette

Carson City residents concerned about a management plan for 5,300 acres of rural open space along the Carson River on Monday sought a full airing as the plan gets written.

Among them was Maurice White, a retired government worker vocal about allowing motorized vehicles where possible both east and west in Carson City’s rural areas, who was the first person testifying at an Open Space Advisory Committee review of the draft plan’s opening chapters.

He urged in the east side’s river-area management plan that off-highway motorized vehicles not be barred from properties unless they are “a menace to the area.” He urged that previously closed tracks or roads be reopened unless those same menacing conditions prevail. He called the first of the draft chapters “a fine document,” but said off-road motorized vehicles weren’t given their due.

It was White who recently appeared at the city’s Board of Supervisors to make similar points regarding plans for the rural Ash Canyon Road area on the west side. The board kicked the matter back to the committee and it is expected to tackle that at a subsequent meeting. Bruce Scott, committee chairman, asked White if he would work with city staff on the east side issues he raised Monday evening.

“I would be glad to work with staff to get them to understand my concerns,” White replied.

Terri Green-Preston, who formerly served on the Open Space panel, and Dan Greytak, who was on the Carson River Advisory Committee until it disbanded itself last year, testified in favor of a full public airing of the management plan even as work on the draft proceeds. The final document is expected to be eight chapters.

Green-Preston said she thought the management plan should be reviewed in public and matters “should be determined by a much larger group than this one.” She didn’t talk of off-road motorized vehicles, but did say historical rural accessory roads are important. She also said she didn’t appreciate having conservancy restrictions applied to any non-conservancy lands.

Staff and committee members agreed to public input because various and sometimes competing interests are involved. Time will be set aside for it in future meetings and a workshop or workshops are planned before a final draft is sent to the Board of Supervisors.

Staff and board members also said many restrictions come either from the Bureau of Land Management, which will convey much of the acreage to the city soon, or by virtue of the city’s own Open Space ordinance. Open space, under governing city language, is for passive recreational pursuits, they noted. The next advisory meeting is set for Feb. 24.