Airport Flats open space deadline extended |

Airport Flats open space deadline extended

The Town of Truckee and East West Partners are still exploring a possible solution to preserving Airport Flats as open space.

Located on Interstate 80 across from the California Highway Patrol truck scales east of Old Greenwood, Airport Flats has been designated in Truckee’s general plan as important open space, but a group of parcels may jeopardize the scenic vista with future development.

East West Partners, the developer of Old Greenwood, offered in February to buy 71 acres-worth of property at $1.625 million for open space conservation in exchange for developing 14 acres inside Old Greenwood.

The purchase options for East West Partners to buy the Airport Flats land originally were set to expire this spring, but the developer has extended the deadline to February to give the Town of Truckee time to consider, and possibly approve, the proposal, said Jeff Butterworth, project manager for Old Greenwood and Gray’s Crossing.

Town Planner Duane Hall said ultimately the Town Council would decide if acquiring the 71 acres of new open space is worth the loss of 14 acres of open space within Old Greenwood.

“We are grinding away on our staff report,” Hall said. “But we haven’t identified any red flags [in the deal].”

Hall said the issue is tentatively scheduled to go before the planning commission in August, and town council in September, before the purchase options expire.

The 14 acres in Old Greenwood would be subdivided into 26 lots, Butterworth said, leaving one more business point for East West Partners and the town to consider.

“With the town’s inclusionary affordable housing we would need 3.3, call it four deed-restricted affordable houses with the 26 additional lots,” Butterworth said. “We would probably want to turn four market-rate units at Gray’s Crossing to affordable.”

He said that two additional property owners in Airport Flats have expressed some interest in talking to East West Partners.

“If this one goes through, that would be a great second stab,” Butterworth said.

When the open-space trade was proposed in February, representatives from local environmental groups supported the idea.

“The 71 acres would benefit everybody, and the 14 are only enjoyed by property owners in Old Greenwood,” Executive Director Perry Norris of the Truckee Donner Land Trust said in a February interview. “It’s a no-brainer.”

This deal, however, will not lock up all of Airport Flats as open space, with other land owners, including the Hualapai Indian Tribe of Arizona, still interested in potential development of the Airport Flats area.

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