Airport Flats inches toward preservation |

Airport Flats inches toward preservation

Key open space in Martis Valley may soon be turned over the Truckee Donner Land Trust and preserved from development.

A deal that would preserve 73 acres of Airport Flats, the northern reach of the Martis Valley, is awaiting final approval from town council in exchange for more development inside the neighboring Old Greenwood subdivision.

The proposal, which the Truckee Planning Commission endorsed, exchanges the $1.75 million purchase and preservation of a portion of the open space for 26 additional townhomes in the East West Partners community.

In the first town council hearing on the proposal, three council members approved the deal, while Mayor Anderson, who lives within 500 feet of Old Greenwood, and Councilmember Mark Brown, who has a business relationship with East West Partners, recused themselves, said Town Planner Duane Hall.

“We will be back at the October fourth meeting with info on the community center and pool that would go with the new townhomes,” Hall said. “But it looks like it’s moving forward.”

Executive Director Perry Norris of the Truckee Donner Land Trust said the land trust’s board of directors has authorized him to accept the purchased open space from East West Partners. The conservation group now awaits a final decision from town council.

“It is really clear that town council and town staff view this as critical open space, and the land trust shares that view,” Norris said.

However, the 73-acre purchase does not sew up the entire Airport Flats, with a few remaining privately owned properties in the valley, Norris said.

“The crux in Airport Flats is the Hualapai (an Arizona Native American tribe that owns property in Airport Flats), and we continue to speak to representatives of the tribe to see if they are willing to sell,” Norris said.

At past town meetings, the Hualapai have expressed interest in developing the property, but the land in question is zoned as open space, not for development, according to town staff.

A few smaller parcels, the result of illegal lot subdivision before the incorporation of the Town of Truckee, are less likely to be developed due to their legal standing, Norris said.

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