Douglas County commissioners expressed relief after Carson City supervisors' vote to drop a lawsuit over the sale of 144 acres of public land to two Carson City auto dealers.
The action allows Michael Hohl and Dink Cryer to finalize their purchase of the prime property from the Bureau of Land Management for $14.6 million. They were the high bidders for the northern Douglas County land at a public auction in August.
"Obviously, we are pleased to see that the suit has been dropped," Douglas Commissioner Tim Smith told Gardnerville's Record-Courier. "It's going to be nice to proceed forward with some sort of specific plan for the property."
Carson City supervisors agreed to drop the suit after reaching an agreement with Hohl and Cryer to work with the city for two years to develop an auto mall or row in the capital city.
But if those efforts fail, the dealers would be free to build an auto mall on the Douglas site. Hohl and Cryer, who own separate automobile fanchises in Carson City, are undecided about plans for the site.
"It's a win-win situation for everybody," Cryer said. "We have so many options. We can build homes and a hotel (on the Douglas land). It's zoned for you name it."
The flap over the Douglas land chilled relations between the two counties.
Carson City officials have been concerned about losing sales tax revenue to Douglas because of a development boom just across the county line.
In July, Carson City filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C. to try to stop the land sale. The city alleged the BLM failed to adequately address impacts to water, transportation and air quality in its environmental analysis of the sale.
Douglas commissioners criticized the city's interference and filed a motion to intervene in the suit to protect their interests.
A judge later ruled the auction could proceed.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale are to be used for buying open space and conservation easements in the scenic Carson Valley south of Carson City.
"It has very positive consequences for Douglas County," Douglas Commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen said.
Douglas officials have been working with the BLM for more than four years on a plan for commercial development of the surplus federal land near the county line.