Direction sought on open space issues |

Direction sought on open space issues

by Christy Chalmers

Formal direction to develop plans for saving the Carson Valley’s open land is expected Thursday.

Results of surveys taken during a series of workshops on open space preservation will be formally presented to the Douglas County Commission. The results indicated residents who attended the meetings value the ranches and other undeveloped land enough to pay for preserving it.

The main question is the next step. Members of the Douglas County planning commission, which hosted the workshops, have indicated they are eager to proceed with a preservation effort, but wanted official direction from their parent board.

Meanwhile, a parallel effort has been undertaken by a semi-private coalition that includes members of the planning commission, the county commission chairman and many representatives of conservation-oriented groups.

That coalition has talked about sponsoring a ballot question that would establish a revenue source for buying development rights, but hasn’t fully committed.

The commission could officially sanction the preservation effort and authorize the planning commission to develop a plan, or elect to let the coalition handle it. To date, the commissioners have emphasized they want any preservation effort to be a citizen-led endeavor so they can avoid the perception of imposing an unwelcome government policy.

The county commission will meet at 1 p.m. in the old courthouse, 1616 Eighth St., Minden.