Minden turns down open space offer | RecordCourier.com

Minden turns down open space offer

by Sheila Gardner

Citing a lack of value to Minden, town board members on Nov. 6 turned down an offer of 14 acres of open space from developers of The Ranch at Gardnerville.

The offer was a condition of approval for the 633-unit housing development that straddles Minden and Gardnerville.

The open space runs north from Zerolene Road to Buckeye Road.

Minden joined Douglas County in rejecting the offer.

“From our perspective, it’s difficult,” said Town Manager Jenifer Davidson. “We’re limited in what the Town of Minden can do. We don’t know the amount of maintenance, and are unsure what it looks like if we receive it.”

Other concerns town staff raised included a term that the developer would retain the right to make improvements to the property including utility improvements, drainage, flood control, water and sewer improvements and use of the property for generating or distributing solar power and developing wetlands.

The terms of the quitclaim deed would prohibit the town from making aboveground improvements.

Board member Roxanne Stangle said she had taken a look at the property.

“I am not sure I’m sold on any advantage to the Town of Minden. As it is, we are stretched to the limit (with maintenance). I have some real reservations,” she said.

By offering the open space, developers of The Ranch at Gardnerville have fulfilled their obligation.

Town attorney Ryan Russell said the offer remains open, and is shown as open space.

Board chairman Charlie Condron said the board might reconsider down the road.

“We may look at it a few years from now when development takes place. It’s possible the town might revisit this item. There could be a lot of things we can’t see. Today all I see is willows. I hate to close the book on it. There may be some value down the line. We’re anxious for prosperity. This is a piece of it,” Condron said.

Project representative Rob Anderson said The Ranch dedicated 30 acres within the 208-acre project to Gardnerville in 2007.

Minden staff also discussed access to the proposed Martin Slough trail system.

“A landscape plan should also be provided which shows trails, pathways and trail heads, trail connections and areas for parking. Perhaps the open space is an opportunity to address this concern,” staff said in a report to the board.

The property was described in the report as including “significant, disturbed, weed-ridden areas without any plan as to what, if anything, will be constructed or developed in the areas during the development process, and in what condition it would be left to the town.”

In other action, board members renewed Davidson’s contract, and gave her a 4 percent merit increase.

The raise boosts Davidson’s salary to $78,582.40 per year.

She was appointed town manager on Nov. 21, 2011.