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Future Of Now-Closed School Site Still Unclear

The future of the Pleasant Valley School site, which was closed last year, is still up in the air. Negotiations have failed, after the Western Gateway Recreation and Park District attempted to buy it at a discounted price from the Penn Valley Union Elementary School District. Western Gateway officials cited a state law which allows surplus school properties to be purchased for recreational purposes at a price greatly below market value. It’s known as the Naylor Act. But the superintendent for the school district, Tori England, says they rejected the offer. The offer was under 300-thousand dollars, while she says the property has been conservatively appraised at 1-point-1 million dollars. And she says Williams Ranch School can already help address recreation needs…

click to listen to Tori England

But Western Gateway Board Chair, Nancy Peirce, says community recreation is not possible, while school is in session, and Williams Ranch no longer allows any public use of their gymnasium. She says they decided to not file a lawsuit to force mediation, because it would be too expensive…

click to listen to Nancy Peirce

England says the Penn Valley School District will now consider offers from a new tier of potential bidders, including the State Division of General Services, the Regional Housing Authority of Sutter and Nevada Counties, and the University of California and California State University. She also denies reports, including from Western Gateway, that the school district has had talks to sell the Pleasant Valley site to private developers.

2 Comments

February 7, 2018

Cliff Bryant

The Naylor Act has 3 requirements to determine if it applies:
(a) Either the whole or a portion of the schoolsite consists of land which is used for school playground, playing field, or other outdoor recreational purposes and open-space land particularly suited for recreational purposes.
(b) The land described in subdivision (a) has been used for one or more of the purposes specified therein for at least eight years immediately preceding the date of the governing board's determination to sell or lease the schoolsite.
(c) No other available publicly owned land in the vicinity of the schoolsite is adequate to meet the existing and foreseeable needs of the community for playground, playing field, or other outdoor recreational and open-space purposes, as determined by the governing body of the public agency which proposes to purchase or lease land from the school district, pursuant to Section 17492.

If you read (c) you understand that it is the Park District who determines the needs of the community for parks and open space, not the school board or their negotiating team. So, why does Doctor England continue to say that Williams Ranch is sufficient?

February 7, 2018

Cliff Bryant

Western Gateway Park negotiation team merely took the Naylor Act and applied the formula to determine what was thought to be the proper offer, under the law. Perhaps it was right, perhaps we applied the formula incorrectly, we will never know because the school never offered to meet in negotiations and try to work it out. They only said, "okay, if you insist on using The Naylor Act", then the price just went up from 1.1 million to 1.9 million, after paying $7,500 for a professional appraisal. Doesn't make sense, unless there are other forces at play. Especially when the park offered to sit down, with a mediator, and work it out.

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