Washoe County School District Trustees on Tuesday approved the sale of a 6.41-acre lot in Incline Village for $2.35 million–below market value–to the Tahoe Transportation District (TTD).
Trustees voted 6-1 on the motion, with Trustee Jeff Church opposing the sale.
The property at 771 Southwood Blvd. is the site of the former Incline Village Elementary School, purchased in 1962 for $76,800. The school closed in 2010 and has since been vacant. TTD has used the school’s parking lot as a park-and-ride location for its summer shuttle service.
WCSD Chief Operating Officer Pete Etchart said the district has been working to sell the land for several years. Trustees twice approved resolutions to sell the property, first in August 2019 and again in September 2020.
Church, whose district includes Incline Village, said he wanted to postpone the decision.
“I don’t think the Incline folks are aware of this meeting,” Church said. “My understanding is the community is largely opposed to [the sale].”
The meeting was noticed as required by open meeting law.
TTD held a series of community meetings on the purchase, Etchart said.
Carl Hasty, a manager with TTD, said there is a vocal group within the Incline Village community that’s opposed to the development of a “mobility hub” on the property. However, he said, the parcel is a rare find that can serve the community and reduce congestion on area roads.
TTD’s board, Hasty added, would be working closely with the community, Washoe County and other public entities as the process of the sale and development of the hub proceed.
“The idea is to work with the community,” Hasty said. “There will be a lot of opinion, and it’s our job to make sure we’re reaching for those folks, not just the ones that are vocal but the ones that rarely poke their heads up.”
Church said he was also concerned the district would be losing a valuable piece of property that could be used for a variety of district purposes, such as staff housing or temporary district lodging. He also suggested TTD could resell the property for a profit should the plan for a mobility hub fall through.
Trustee Diane Nicolet agreed with Church on the value of the land, but said TTD’s use of the land was for community good.
“It kind of hurts me to even think of letting it go, but I understand it,” Nicolet said.
Funds from the sale will be distributed to the district’s Building and Sites Fund.
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.