Carson City seeks to buy former Clear Creek Camp site

Carson City is trying to purchase 100 acres off Highway 50 West, the site of the former Clear Creek Camp.

The Board of Supervisors on Thursday authorized the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space department to apply for a Forest Legacy Program grant, which requires a 25 percent match from the city.

The city would designate the 100 acres open space, and provide public access to trails there.

The land is now owned by the Nevada Division of State Lands. In 2014, the division applied to the city for a zoning change so it could be sold and developed for residential development. The supervisors denied the request. In 2015, the Nevada Legislature passed a bill requiring the property be sold and the proceeds from it used for the rehabilitation of the Stewart Indian School.

The property has yet to be appraised, but the division estimates its value between $1.4-1.6 million. Ann Bollinger, Open Space administrator, said the appraisal process hasn’t started and would likely take a few months.

“I want to make sure we’re entering into an agreement that says (the purchase price) is based on appraised value,” said Supervisor Brad Bonkowski, who thinks the appraisal will come in lower than the division estimates.

Bollinger suggested the city’s grant application include a 30 percent match because the grant is highly competitive. The match would come from the Quality of Life Open Space budget and possibly another $50,000 grant from Nevada Conservation and Resource Protection grant program.

Bollinger also said the purchase of 206 acres in Timberline and Vicee Canyon area, being paid in part by a $250,000 grant from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund, is expected to close Friday.

An item to approve technical corrections to the Carson City Lands Bill that would change ownership or designations of more than 150 acres was pulled from Thursday’s agenda. Nancy Paulson, interim city manager, said the city was taking the information to a joint meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission and Open Space Advisory Committee first for input, and then would bring the item back to the supervisors.

The board also postponed an item to adopt the latest version of the International Fire Code, which outlines code for builders, for further work, said Paulson.

Most of the board meeting discussion involved an appeal of a decision by the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee (RACC).

In September, RACC rejected an application for money from the Facade Improvement Program to paint a house used as an office building in the historic district. The motion to deny the application failed by a vote of 3-3 so the applicant, Cowee Investments LLC, represented by Joe Cowee, appealed the decision to the board.

At issue was whether a property tax deferment is a tax incentive, which would disqualify it from the program.

The board also discussed at length whether RACC or the board had the discretion to deny projects that meet all the eligibility requirements.

The board decided to approve $9,292.50 for half the cost of the painting project, with the condition that the vote does not set precedent, and agreed to work on the language that governs the program to make its parameters more clear. The board voted 4-1 with Bonkowski abstaining.

The board also approved several new ordinances on second reading. One ordinance changes sewer pipe design criteria, and the other two involved zoning, converting 1588 Old Hot Springs Road from General Industrial to Tourist Commercial, and Lompa Ranch property near Railroad Drive from Agricultural to Single Family 6000. Supervisor John Barrette voted no on the last two items.

After interviewing five candidates, the board appointed Christopher Leyva and Mylo McCormick to the Cultural Commission.


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