Gardnerville on tap for new park
GARDNERVILLE – Getting to the Carson River could be a little easier if Douglas County officials get their way.
Five acres along the river’s banks near Waterloo Lane have been earmarked for a park, said Craig Burnside, superintendent with the Douglas County Parks and Recreation Department.
“This parcel was brought to our attention about two years ago,” he said. “We expect to improve foot access to the river, provide structured parking and try to minimize erosion by stabilizing the banks.”
A trail could connect the new park and Lampe Park, said Scott Morgan, community services director.
“The county has no legal public access to the river,” he said. “The majority of access to the river is achieved by trespass.”
Sandwiched between Centerville Lane and the East Fork of the Carson River in Gardnerville, the area is popular with locals, evidenced by the trails leading through the property. Trees and willows line the rocky banks and on a hot day in July, the river eases along to the northeast.
To the west, it borders agricultural lands. Rancher Fred Stodick recently voiced his concerns at a planning commission meeting.
When the river is low, Jeeps and other four-wheel-drive vehicles come up the river into his back yard. Drivers often ask how they can get back to a road. “I tell them to go back the way they came,” he said.
He catches kids throwing rocks at his irrigation equipment, which stands not far from the proposed park site.
“If the county is going to put up a fence to keep people off my property, I’m for it,” he said. “People say they want to preserve agriculture but they don’t want the dust, they don’t want the smells and they don’t want me to stop them from coming through my property.
“It’s darn hard to farm or preserve agriculture with attitudes like that,” he said.
District Attorney Tom Perkins said Parks and Recreation officials are working on barrier designs to restrict access to private property.
Burnside said one of the keys is controlling access from the county property where it enters the river.
“We would be preventing people from driving down the river in their vehicle,” Burnside said. “I don’t see it as a problem. We’d be happy to meet with any adjacent property owners to allay their concerns.”
Douglas County officials entered into an agreement with owner Bing LLC, to purchase the property in March.
The property survey has not been completed and the price has not been set, but the land is expected to cost about $30,000 per acre, Perkins said.
No timetable has been set for the project and officials will be asking for input from residents as the process moves along, Burnside said.
Planning commissioners recently approved a zoning change for the property, from single-family one-acre lots to public facility. The original plot was 7.57 acres, zoned single-family residential, the minimum plot size one acre.