Land trust acquires 140 acres

Scott Hess

In an effort to preserve a chunk of land unused in a recently built housing tract, developers Pine Forest Truckee, donated approximately 140 acres to the Truckee Donner Land Trust.

Truckee Donner Land Trust Executive Director Perry Norris said his organization has been working with Pine Forest’s managing partner Robert Schwartz for more than a year and a half, ironing out the details of the donation.

“It’s a very generous donation and we’re glad that Bob considered us as the appropriate group to donate this land to,” Norris said.

“When we planned for Pine Forest, we used what was allowed (to be developed), and we had a large parcel left over, which was the 140 acres,” Schwartz said. “I could not use it, so I thought it would be nice to tell people at Pine Forest that this area would be left alone.” He said he wants the community – especially the homeowners on the land – to know the 140 acres will never be developed.

The 140 acres is a massive chunk of the Pine Forest land, taken out of 236 acres. and has 118 home sites.

Schwartz said he and Pine Forest Truckee took great consideration in the development, putting home sites on the flattest land possible, so people could use their whole lot, and save money and the environment. Constructing homes on flat land greatly reduces the need for grading, which saves money and does less harm to the environment.

Schwartz and Pine Forest Truckee went through the area and cleaned up the property before donating it to the TDLT. Schwartz said he wanted the land to be “pristine” and that “it’s supposed to look like a park.”

“We get nothing out of it,” Schwartz said of the donation. “[The community] approved our project, so we wanted to give back to them.”

Now the TDLT will work with the Truckee Trails Foundation to develop the land’s trails, making the area a spacious recreation area for all to enjoy. Norris and Schwartz said that the trails will eventually connect Olympic Heights, the Trout Creek area, PC-2, Tahoe Donner, Old Greenwood, the Pine Forest Development and downtown Truckee.

Schwartz and Norris both said that the trails will be a great way to travel through the town while enjoying the beauty. This also complies with Truckee’s General Plan and vision statement, both of which charge that Truckee needs to decrease the dependence of the automobile and find alternative means of transportation.

The TDLT, Norris said, is dedicated to preserving Truckee’s open space and hopes to preserve as much land as it can.

“We have protected over 4,000 acres in the Truckee Donner area, and we want to protect about 10,000 acres in the next couple years,” Norris said. “Truckee is booming. We have a limited window of time to preserve the most land we can before it gets developed.”

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