Carson City is living proof of 'Peter Plan'

Dr. L.J. Peter published "The Peter Plan" in 1975 which completed his trilogy that began with "The Peter Principle" (probably the best known) and "The Peter Prescription." He describes a mythical city called "Excelsior City" located in "Excelsior Valley" which began as a pleasant rural town of several shopkeepers and a small city government in which most of the people knew each other.

This idyllic community rapidly deteriorates as the city expands too fast trying to accommodate new arrivals from other cities where living conditions had become unbearable and too costly.

Dr. Peter's description of a town with little or no plan for its future, which he made 25 years ago, is disturbingly similar to what has occurred to Carson City and its Eagle Valley environs. Many of those who came to Carson City because of its small town atmosphere soon found that progress (aka urban sprawl) dispelled those fond hopes. Changes and revisions made to zoning and land utilization plans were generally made for economic reasons rather than for the quality of life for its citizens.

Our city is geographically constrained by the wall of mountains that surrounds it. As vacant land disappears to various construction projects, the demand to build up rather than out will dominate project decisions. A good example of this is what I euphemistically call "Triangle Tenements."

I, of course, highly recommend Dr. Peter's book. It really should be required reading for those elected to city government and members of planning commissions.


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