Washoe school district votes to sell old elementary school site in Incline to TTD

Miranda Jacobson

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — After much debate over the sale of the Washoe County School District-owned property in Incline Village, the Board of Trustees on Tuesday voted to sell the land to the Tahoe Transportation District.

The decision came after pushback from Trustee Jeffrey Church, who adamantly said that Incline Village residents may not be on board with a mobility hub in the area, which TTD has been proposed for the property at 771 Southwood Boulevard.

“I’m an absolute no,” said Church. “My understanding from being on many zoom meetings and being up in Incline, the community is largely opposed to it.”

Despite adequate notice of the meeting from the Washoe County School District, there was no public comment against the sale of the property.

Church continued on to list a number of other reasons he was against the sale, including that the property, which was sold for $2.35 million, could potentially be worth more now since it was last appraised in 2019.

Additionally, he suggested that rather than sell the land for the sole use of a mobility hub, it would be beneficial to use part of the land for workforce housing in the area for WCSD staff and teachers.

The overall concern for more statistically proven community input on the project as well as the best direction to move forward in was discussed with TTD District Manager Carl Hasty, who attempted to clear up concerns about the use of the property.

“The mobility hub is a concept that is intended to fit in with the community and can be collocated with other needs,” said Hasty, “and that’s part of the process we intended to engage the community on as we go forward … We are a long way from a project. This is just an acquisition of property.”

He continued to explain that there is room to build workforce housing, after proper planning, community outreach, and work to meet TRPA and federal rules and regulations for the project.

“Workforce housing is even hard up there [in Incline Village],” said Hasty. “These are the ideas that I’m referring to when we go through this public process, because I believe there is some room there. We are eager to get through the process of the acquisition to see what’s possible.”

Board President Dr. Angela Taylor pointed out that there is definitely an opening to have conversations with the TTD about workforce housing at the development site, but overall, reappraising the site before sale wasn’t an ethically responsible business decision by the board.

“As we go from public entity to public entity, you consider the public good,” said Taylor. “We have benefited from that in building our schools. We will continue to need to benefit from that as we meet more needs to build more schools.”

In that respect, she believed in good faith, the deal should stay the same given the sale would overall give to the public good of Incline Village and the school district.

Taylor also pointed out that while it was the responsibility of the board to do its due diligence within the sale, it wasn’t the responsibility of the board to dictate how the land would be used following the sale.

“It’s not for us to get involved in,” she said.

A resolution to make the final sale was passed 6-1, with opposition from Church.

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