Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell was honored on Sept. 15 by the Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association with the DeBoer Award for Distinguished Leadership by an Elected Official, for his role in championing the Carson City Downtown Urban Design Streetscape Project.
Nominated by Susan Dorr Pansky, and Lee Plemel, both of the Carson City community development department, Crowell, along with Carson City Supervisors Karen Abowd, Brad Bonkowski, and past Supervisor John McKenna, advocated the recent passage of the 1/8th percent sales tax increase to support not only that project but other needed infrastructure projects in the community. Additional funding will come from other city budgets already allocated for improvement projects.
“Mayor Crowell is an advocate for smart growth, mixed-use development and quality infill projects and a supporter of sustainable development,” Dorr Pansky said. “He understands the importance of a strong, vibrant downtown to attract first-class business and industry to a community.”
The project includes replacing 50 year-old water and sewer lines on Carson Street and streetscape improvements for Carson City’s major commercial corridors with the goal to promote tourism, increase retail sales, hotel stays and attract new businesses to the area, all of which add to the sustainability of Carson City’s quality of life.
Crowell accepted the award at the APA Nevada Chapter’s 43rd annual conference held at the Joe Crowley Student Union on the University of Nevada, Reno campus.
“I’m truly honored and, although I may be getting this award, the brains behind an award such as this go to the folks sitting over there at that table and many others that are part of our staff in Carson City,” Crowell said of Plemel, Dorr Pansky and other Carson City employees attending the conference.
Citing Carson City’s motto, “proud of our past, confident in our future,” Crowell said Nevada, particularly Northern Nevada, had been handed a “brass ring” with Tesla, Switch, Apple, and the new freeways between Carson City and Reno, and east toward Fernley.
“Those things are going to amount to a huge economic and demographic diversification in our area,” he said. “My goal is to ensure the capital of our great state represents what Nevada can truly be, without giving away our past.”
Crowell said the project will provide a mixed use, pedestrian friendly downtown to compliment the many trails available in the City.
“We are definitely looking for a sustainable, forward-looking community,” he said. “Lots of places for all our residents to enjoy a quality of life that is unparalleled anywhere in the United States of America, and quite frankly, in my opinion, anywhere in the world.”
The DeBoer Awards are named after Saco Reink DeBoer, considered to be one of the master planners of the 20th century and who authored the Boulder City plan, according to the APA website.