City seeks help in planning for the future |

City seeks help in planning for the future

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal An elderly woman crosses Carson Street in the downtown area on Friday afternoon. The city's master plan will address downtown and traffic issues, as well as the growing elderly population.

The number of seniors calling Carson City home is expected to continue increasing as the population ages and people relocate from other areas, and officials are taking that into account when considering the master plan, among other things.

Residents are invited to share their thoughts at two scheduled meetings next week. They will also be able to review the documents as part of the Envision Carson City planning process to examine needs, desires and trends that could effect the composition of the City for the next 20 years or more.

City staff members have been obtaining comments from residents throughout the past year about how they would like the city to develop.

“We use our planning knowledge to create the plan from the public’s ideas,” said Lee Plemel, principal planner.

Changes in the needs of the citizenry require changes in services provided by the city, Plemel explained. For example, more seniors means a greater need for public transportation because health problems prevent some older people from driving. Though traffic will increase during the coming years, so will the need for more public buses.

And once Interstate 580 is completed in 2007, traffic patterns in Carson City are expected to change, especially downtown. The plans call for making the area more hospitable to pedestrians by reducing the number of traffic lanes on Carson Street downtown from four to two and allowing vehicles to park on the street, something that hasn’t happened for decades, Plemel said.

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Because downtown is different from the rest of the city, its needs differ, too. Big parking lots don’t work as well because the area wasn’t originally designed that way.

Street parking would foster more foot traffic and improve business there, Plemel explained.

There are several changes in land-use designations.

A plan to buy federal land between Carson City and Lyon County and incorporate it for future development wasn’t what residents wanted, so other solutions will be used, Plemel said.

“We don’t need to find additional lands to expand,” he said.

One solution is “infilling.” This means using existing areas in different ways instead of creating new developments on open land. This will prove less costly for taxpayers because infrastructure won’t have to be created to serve new homes and businesses.

Public comment is being sought for and about the master plan through January. Copies of the plan will be available at the Carson City Library, 900 N. Roop St., the city’s Northgate offices, 2621 Northgate Lane, and online at

The final integrated draft is expected in late February or March, Plemel added. For information, call the Planning Department at 887-2180.

A draft of the comprehensive master plan will be presented to the Carson City Board of Supervisors at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. And the final draft of the Parks and Recreation master plan will be presented during a commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

— Contact reporter Terri Harber at or 881-1215.

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Planning Commission meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.


WHAT: Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.