Open space plan runs into hillsides |

Open space plan runs into hillsides

Amanda Hammon

A prominent Carson City hillside may be the city’s first opportunity to preserve some open space.

Engineering firm Lumos & Associates is working with property owner Paul Casey to develop part of 80 acres of the hill, which is located west of Eagle Valley Ranch Road in north Carson, and yet save most of the hillside for open space.

The hill is between the Silver Oak and Lakeview subdivisions, and part of the right of way for the V&T Railroad lies along it.

Carol Dotson, director of planning for Lumos, said for the last year the firm has been looking at ways to develop the site without ruining its scenic and recreational value.

“The (Paul H. Casey) Trust has always thought it was a special piece of land,” Dotson said. “It is a beautiful site. Because so much of the area is very scenic we’ve been trying to figure out how to get the development off the the hill. Saving the hill has always been our goal.”

Dotson said the land is hard to develop because of access up the hillside, but could be used as part of the city’s trail plan.

“I see this as being such a win for the community if we can make it all work,” Dotson said.

Project Engineer Glen Martel said he was taking the project to the open space committee to update them of its progress and find out how the committee wants to be involved in the hill’s future.

One of the priorities in the open space plan is saving hillsides. Martel said there were a few development alternatives for the open space committee to explore, including doing nothing or buying the property.

City Senior Planner Juan Guzman said one proposal was to create a planned unit development where the developer can take a piece of the parcel, develop it more densely than usual, and leave the rest of the property as open space. The development process condenses the multiple procedures for such a change of land use into one review.

“It sounds very exciting to us, of course,” Guzman said.

In this case, Martel said the plan would be to develop land on the flatter part of the property near Silver Oak Golf Course and the rest of the land could become open space.

“If it works, it’s a win-win,” Martel said. The community gets open space and the property owner gets to develop his property.

“The open space plan was just adopted and this would be a good showcase. We want to know what direction (the committee) would like to see us take.”

The committee will also discuss some potential bonding options and continue discussions on implementation of the open space master plan. The committee meets at 6 p.m. Monday in the Community Center, 851 E. William St.