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Proposed housing development would deliver 77 acres of open space to city

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer
Midvalley engineering The Corte Reale development is planned for northwest Carson City. The plan is for 12 homes to be built west of Silver Oak Golf Course, just below the historic V&T right-of-way.
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A proposed housing development in North Carson City could bring 77 acres of open space, including 700 linear feet of the historic V&T Railroad right-of-way.

The Corte Reale Planned Development Unit, 12 homes at 4000 Murphy Drive, would be built on a three-acre site north of Western Nevada Community College, adjacent to the Silver Oak Golf Course.

The entire area had been zoned as a conservation reserve. Construction will be constrained to the northeast corner of the nearly square-shaped site.

Six of the homes would stand alone; six more would be grouped by twos. All of the residences would be two stories, with a third lower level for parking and an entryway. Sizes will range from 1,800 square feet to 2,200 square feet.

The agreement allows for variances to building requirements, such as density, retaining walls and minimum street width. It also will be built to accommodate the heavy slope of the hill.

Carson City planning commissioners last week unanimously recommended approval of the project map.

The concept still must be approved by the Board of Supervisors, which could consider it as early as mid-February.

It won’t be constructed until utilities and other necessary infrastructure become available through the continued development of Silver Oak so that the hookups of utilities in the area will occur sequentially. This is also why the applicant is asking for four years, instead of two, to file final maps with the city.

Discussion about development within the site began in 1999 between representatives of the Paul H. Casey Trust, the owners of the land, and the city. A plan with 10 homes was created and presented to the Open Space Advisory Committee. The idea was put on hold until late 2003, when it was revived because of renewed interest in development on that side of the city, according to the city planning division.

This news came moments before an announcement Wednesday that the owners of parcels that comprise Buzzy’s Ranch will resume negotiating with Carson City for the sale of the 480-plus acres for open space.

Last week, the supervisors approved a deal to sell roughly 37 acres of open space to the U.S. Forest Service. The $1.12 million the city would receive will be used to finance future land purchases.

“Our goals for preserving open space one by one are being accomplished,” said Juan Guzman, the city’s open-space manager.

The biggest drawback is, development could occur on the ridge if Corte Reale ends up not being constructed.

More than one group owns land along and over the hillside. Though the ridge has been identified as a priority piece of open space, it might end up developed if the project fails because it’s less likely development would occur throughout the ridge area if the city controls a significant portion of it and keeps it free from development, Guzman said.

The ridge, with its unique and picturesque rock formations, “gives a sense of place to residents of Carson City,” he said.

— Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.