Bureau of Land Management auctioning 206 acres in north Douglas County

GARDNERVILLE - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is auctioning off 206 acres - divided into two parcels of about 100 acres each - in north Douglas County on Oct. 27.

The land lies just south of the Carson City limits, for the most part bordered by Topsy Lane, Center Drive and North Sunridge Drive.

The 106-acre parcel defined on the north and east by Topsy Lane and Center Drive is zoned for residential development. The required minimum bid is $10 million.

The second parcel, about 100 acres is zoned for commercial development, borders North Sunridge Drive adjacent to a proposed commercial mall. A minimum $6.4 million bid is required, according to bureau officials.

Open space and conservation easements could affect development.

The property has been master-planned and zoned for those respective residential and commercial uses, the two parcels are related to the sale of 144 acres in August 2003 to Carson City auto dealers Michael Hohl and Dink Cryer. The pair purchased the land adjacent to Highway 395 in north Douglas County for $14.6 million.

"The drainage and buffer zones were all planned. A lot of work went into development of the property prior to this sale," Douglas Commissioner Kelly Kite said. "The BLM also assured us that the money from the first sale would be spent to protect open space, wetlands and conservation easements in Douglas County.

"They have not come through with one of those promises," he said.

Jo Simpson, spokeswoman for BLM, said the funding is in place for a number of conservation easements and the first of those should be completed this fall.

BLM's Carson City office is handling the transactions, but they also have 13 transactions through the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act, Simpson said.

"Several issues are involved, including crafting the language with legal counsel for each easement," she said. "The Hussman easement (in Douglas County) is our first and it will probably be the hardest. Hopefully, any subsequent transactions will close a lot quicker than this one."

Fred Slagle, a realty specialist for BLM, said 4 percent of the proceeds from these land sales fund state education and another portion is to defray administrative expenses from selling the property.

The balance of the proceeds from the sale, or about 80 percent, is deposited in the Federal Land Disposal Account for Nevada to preserve or support environmentally sensitive land. The procedure was established in accordance with the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act of 2000.

Bureau officials have a mandate to look at land disposal, the criteria based on what makes sense from a community growth perspective. Smaller planning groups usually express a number of concerns, particularly in Douglas County, according to Tom Crawford, BLM economist and team leader for the Pine Nut Mountains Land Use Plan amendment.

During this process a number of options are considered, the main criteria being what is logical with respect to growth. Options include continuation of the current management, or any proposed plan alternatives, like sale to a developer.

The latter results in a lot of contention, putting bureau officials in a quandary, Crawford said.

"That's part of the reason we work closely with (county) supervisors or commissioners, consulting with them to see where they would like to see growth," he said.

Place a bid

• Sealed bids must be received by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management no later than 3 p.m. Oct. 20.

• The oral auction will be at 10 a.m. Oct. 27 at the Douglas County Administration Building, 1616 Eighth St., Minden.

• Detailed information concerning the property, including encumbrances, reservations, planning and environmental documents, is available for review at BLM's Carson City office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road.

• For information, call the land sales hotline at (775) 885-6111 or go to www.nv.blm.gov/carson/lands_realty/landsales/htm.

- Contact reporter Susie Vasquez at svasquez@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 211.


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