Clear Creek land offered to county |

Clear Creek land offered to county

A developer with plans to build an upscale housing and golf community in the hills above Jacks Valley wants to give Douglas County more than 1,000 acres of open space.

If approved by county leaders, it would be the largest open space donation in recent memory.

Under the proposal, Jeff Dingman has offered to give the county 1,064 acres known as the Upper Schneider Ranch in northern Douglas County.

The total dedication includes a sensitive meadow and forested areas that link the property to Forest Service land that extends to the Tahoe Basin.

“The intent of this transaction is to provide the county valuable open space without creating financial obligations to its taxpayers,” Dingman said.

County leaders will hear the proposal Thursday at a special commission meeting at 1 p.m.

Referring to a taxpayer-driven open space initiative that was defeated last year, Dingman said Tuesday he recognizes the desire among residents to keep areas open and free from development.

“The county has obviously shown its desire for open space. This is an opportunity for the county to get open space, with an attached maintenance subsidy, at no cost to the taxpayers,” he said.

In return, Dingman hopes the transaction helps clear the way for a master plan amendment that would allow more homes than the one per 19-acre parcel the county has zoned for the area.

Plans to develop the Schneider Ranch property have been a source of contention among open space and property rights advocates earlier this year.

In March, Douglas County commissioners rejected Dingman’s request for a master plan amendment that would have allowed 300 homes on the property.

Since then, Dingman has worked with open space advocates and planning officials to come up with a new concept that he believes is acceptable to county leaders.

In the proposal, Dingman said the land would be dedicated as open space and recorded on county maps. Access would be made available for hikers, horseback riders and sightseers. Motorized vehicles and overnight use would not be allowed.

Also, Dingman proposes a developer built trail system to be constructed on the property, to promote access and connection to the Lake Tahoe Rim Trail.

Details of the revised planned unit development will go before planning commissioners Aug. 14. Dingman wants one home per 10 acrea, comparable with surrounding land uses in Carson City and Alpine View Estates.

Plans for an 18-hole golf course, which have already been approved by county leaders, are in the works. Dingman said he hopes to have the course open by 2003.

Before making his proposal to county leaders, Dingman contacted the Forest Service and state lands division asking if they would accept the land.

Both agencies indicated that it would take “a considerable amount of time” to determine whether they would accept the donation, Dingman said.

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