Martis Valley Opportunity
In 2008 landowners and conservationist started discussing a unique opportunity to preserve the last piece of land within the eastern Martis Valley watershed owned by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI). The joint conservation and development project would work to shift land use designations out of the heart of Martis to an adjacent parcel owned by SPI near Northstar Resort, while preserving 6,376 acres of critical habitat in the valley. The land owned by SPI in Martis Valley has land use designations under the 2003 Placer County-Martis Valley Community Plan that could allow 1360 residential units and 6.6 acres of commercial development. Our goal is to protect the last piece of land in Martis Valley, creating over 50,000 acres of continuous open space adjoining Martis Valley to Mt. Rose Wilderness Area.
Past Development Threats in Martis Valley
MAP had responded to development threats in the early 2000’s with our conservation partners to protect critical habitat and open space in Martis Valley. Our efforts in the Valley and Truckee were victorious after five litigations and settlement agreements to limit development in Martis, while permanently protecting land at Waddle Ranch. MAP negotiated private settlement agreements and conservation transfer fees on the following development proposals; Martis Camp, Northstar, Timilik (now Shaffer’s Mill), Old Greenwood and Grays Crossing. Real-estate transfer fees on new development have helped to fund open space acquisition and restoration in Martis Valley. The SPI land on the east side of Highway 267, is the last piece of land (approximately 6,376 acres) that was outlined in our shared conservation priorities to be permanently protected.
The Martis Valley Opportunity Agreement
The Martis Valley Opportunity Agreement (MVOA) was the result of our shared interests to further conservation in Martis Valley. The MVOA was entered into between MAP, Sierra Watch, East West Partners, and SPI. The agreement outlines each parties interests, the land use process and initial approvals for how the east parcel will be permanently protected. The agreement outlines the land use process for the landowner and developer for a Placer County Specific Plan for the west parcel owned by SPI. The intent is to transfer land use designations from the east parcel to the west parcel, under a Placer County application by East West Partners and SPI. If the initial approvals within the MVOA are achieved a limited conservation easement will be placed on the 6,376 acres on the east side. Our land trust partners, Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land have a purchase and sale agreement with SPI, to purchase the land if the initial approvals are achieved.
As the application process unfolds for the Martis Valley Opportunity project MAP will be diligently reviewing land use applications and environmental documents to ensure appropriate development and conservation is achieved for Martis Valley.
For questions or updates regarding the MVO please call our office at 530.582.6751.