Robinson could proffer swap for old airport
Nevada City could sell the old airport property – a 117-acre parcel the city owns off of Cement Hill Road – to Robinson Enterprises Inc., according to a letter released Friday from the Nevada City-based company to the city.
In exchange, Robinson Enterprises would sell its Shell station on Union Street to the city, the July 18 letter indicated. The property, which is now on the market, could be turned into a history museum and office building.
Twelve, five-acre lots would be created on the 117-acre property, owned by the city since 1934 and accessible via Airport Road. Forty acres could be dedicated to the Nevada County Land Trust, the letter also said. The nonprofit organization sets land aside for conservation.
According to the letter, the idea of purchasing the gas station came from City Councilman Steve Cottrell and will be discussed by the Nevada City City Council on Monday.
“After Councilman Steve Cottrell contacted Mimi Simmons of Cornerstone Realty Group to inquire about the possibility of acquiring the Shell station on Union Street, a series of discussions and meetings took place,” the letter, addressed to City Manager Mark Miller, said.
Neither Miller, Robinson Enterprises’ President Lowell Robinson, nor Cottrell could be reached for comment Friday.
Cheryl Belcher, executive director for the Nevada County Land Trust, said she was not aware that 40 acres might be set aside for conservation. The land trust is always working with people in the county for conservation, she added. “We work with everybody,” she stressed. “I just don’t have any details on this property.”
Paul Jorgensen, who lives near the old airport property, said he saw the letter for the first time Friday.
“It’s all news to me,” said Jorgensen of the proposal.
The city annexed the land in 1981. In the 1980s, a company considered planting vineyards on the site, City Clerk Cathy Wilcox-Barnes said Friday. Another company considered turning the land into a Christmas tree farm, she added. “It just really never happened,” she said.
The city now leases part of the property to a BMX bike-racing group. The old airport is also a popular site for stargazing.
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Nevada City City Council
WHEN: 7 p.m. Monday
WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall, 317 Broad St., Nevada City
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