Alta Sierra park moves closer to being reality
Alta Sierra residents came one step closer to receiving their first public park Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors authorized the county tax collector to sell tax-defaulted land to the Bear River Recreation and Park District for recreational use.
Tax Collector E. Christina Dabis is required by law to put 11 lots in Alta Sierra up for sale because the land owner has not paid taxes for more than five years.
The Bear River Recreation and Park District, which provides recreation for residents living in Alta Sierra and Lake of the Pines, has expressed interest in seven of the lots for trails and picnic areas.
After the sale is approved by the state controller’s office, 12 acres will be sold to the parks district for $28,900 in mid-July, as long as the land owner doesn’t step forward to pay off the debt. The land owner has until 5 p.m. on July 16 to pay the taxes.
The tax-defaulted properties, once marketed as “pearls of the Sierra,” are considered “un-buildable” by Dabis, because a pond sits in the heart of each one and drainage easements provide no room to build a house.
“It seemed like a valuable resource to the public if we could make it work,” Dabis said. She met with the Alta Sierra Property Owner’s Association, the Nevada County Land Trust, the recreation and parks district, and county planners to discuss the plan.
The remaining four parcels could be sold in a sealed-bid auction to adjacent lot owners.
The largest 7-acre parcel borders Dog Bar Road, and the remaining islands of land dot Brewer Road. A trail is already in place along a county right-of-way section of Brewer Road.
“I think it’s a terrific idea,” said Joe Mayer, president of the Alta Sierra Property Owner’s Association. He said the homeowner’s association would conduct a survey before the project gets underway.
Last month, the board abandoned a trail project on Rattlesnake Creek in Alta Sierra after some owners showed fierce opposition to public access in their backyards.
Supervisor 2 Sue Horne, who represents Alta Sierra, showed concern about a recreation area near homeowners, but she decided to vote in favor of the sale along with the rest of the board. “There is a need for walking areas in Alta Sierra that have been requested by residences there,” Horne said.
To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail laurab@ theunion .com or call 477-4231.
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