Residents comment on Carson City’s future |

Residents comment on Carson City’s future

Robyn Moormeister

A mish-mash of local residents young and old, business owners, city officials and planners gathered on the Community Center Theater stage Monday night to brainstorm the future of Carson City.

It was a night of “speed planning,” said Ben Herman of Clarion Associates, the firm hired by the city to gather public questions and concerns about the formation of a new master plan, which hasn’t been revised since 1996.

More than 50 people threw their demands into the pot for the plan city staff hopes to complete by December 2005.

People played “musical tables” for an hour, spending 15 minutes at each of four tables, each equipped with a hot topic and a city staff member to take notes and field questions.

The air was filled with the urgent, frenzied buzz of opinions confined to a time limit.

At the economic development table, Dayton resident Diana Young, 72, said she wants more health food stores and a better movie theater in town. She said she’s getting old, and the commute to Trader Joe’s and Wild Oats in Reno is too physically taxing.

“There are no decent health food stores here, so I’m spending a fortune on gas every week to drive 45 minutes to shop,” she said.

Other residents said the city should foster small businesses downtown, where it should also support an increased mixture of residents and businesses.

Sitting at the Land Use table, Carson City community development director Walt Sullivan told his audience the city is running out of land to develop. Former Open Space Advisory Committee member Patrick Anderson said the city should make room at the expense of the Carson City Airport.

“You’ve got 600 acres right there in the middle of town,” he said, raising his voice with the rest of the room above the amplified two-minute warning from Herman and his microphone. “I’m not convinced there’s any benefit to the existence of a general aviation facility in Carson City.”

Over at the Natural Resources and Public Lands table, City Engineer Larry Werner took a running tab of concerns, including water conservation, protection of the Carson River, fire prevention in urban interface areas and the creation of more trailheads.

“These lands are a visual resource,” said Carson City Equestrian Alliance President Beth Scott. “Growth is degrading that resource.”

Scott spent her last 15 minutes at the Parks, Recreation and Trails table, where she told park planner Vern Krahn the city could use an equestrian park for children.

Other attendees told Krahn they want cleaner restrooms at parks, lighting improvements, better-posted park policy signs, an expanded fairgrounds and ensured access for horses and pedestrians after the freeway bypass construction is complete.

Contact Robyn Moormeister at or 881-1217.