After more than a decade of being unable to access his property south of Minden-Tahoe Airport, Gardnerville resident Gary Dykes has sued the county.
Dykes has owned the 40-acre parcel off the southern end of the airport for 42 years.
Access to the property is via a road that crosses the airport. Dykes and his family lived on the property until his house burned down April 2, 1997.
Dykes filed his lawsuit March 3 in Douglas County District Court against Douglas County and Airport Manager Bobbi Thompson in her official capacity.
In the court documents, Dykes claimed to have paid $350,000 to pave the road with the airport’s knowledge.
In 2011, the FAA prohibited through the fence access to residential parcels.
When ABS took over management of the airport, the gate Dykes used to get to the property was locked and he was ordered not to use it.
On March 20, 2010, Dykes tried to bring the issue to a head when he cut the chain crossing the access road.
Ten days later in an R-C story, Dykes said he had to convince a deputy to cite him, hoping that going to court would allow him to clear up the issue.
“I need to prove to them that I haven’t been trespassing in 30 years,” he said. “I don’t have any other way. I’m stuck.”
However, when he went to court he pleaded guilty to the charge and received a suspended fine.
Dykes said that since then he’s been trying to negotiate a way to access his property.
Dykes’ property is surrounded on three sides by property owned by Christopher Bently. He purchased two 40-acre parcels from Bently, who is selling most of his holdings in Carson Valley.
No court date has been scheduled.
Thompson and airport management firm ABS have given their 90-day notice to the county, which is looking for new airport management.