Vintage – Californication of Carson City
September 24, 2016
Let's all go to the Community Center at 5 p.m. Thursday Sept. 29 to give developers of the Vintage project the public "input" they've asked for. I'll see you there.
Developers are asking the Planning Commission for a zoning change to permit construction of 212 single-family homes and a 96-unit senior "care facility" on previously undeveloped Andersen Ranch property.
My friend and fellow Appeal columnist Abby Johnson wrote an important column earlier this month in opposition to the proposed development on Carson's west side. "Who will stand up for open space in our community?" she asked. I will, among many other Carsonites, and a lot of us will be at Thursday's Planning Commission meeting to stand up for open space.
Although Ms. Johnson and I disagree on a few political issues, we agree on several important local and state issues such as the Vintage project, a Las Vegas water grab in Eastern Nevada, and Yucca Mountain. She writes well and convincingly on these issues, and I'm pleased to join with her in opposing projects that will damage the quality of life in our state and city.
Vintage developers are using flowery language to sell their project. "The posh development proposed for the Andersen Ranch targets Californians who want to retire to an active lifestyle until they wear out . . . and wine is involved," Ms. Johnson wrote. This is a California-style project because developers have hired high-priced public relations people to convince us it's in our best interest to pave over some of the last open space on the west side of Carson.
As for the pretentious wine angle, Ms. Johnson noted Vintage brochures depict vineyards "and evoke the easy climate of Sonoma rather than the challenging short growing season of Northern Nevada." Ah, the good life. I'll be sitting out on my veranda at the Vintage drinking fine local wine and enjoying my new life in "an organic farm-to-table, 55+ active adult progressive community in the heart of Carson City, Nevada." Excuse me, but my gag reflex is kicking in.
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That's how they talk and write in the California wine country, where everything is "progressive," but we don't care how they do it in California. This is Nevada and we do it our way, and one of the values we treasure most is preserving open space in our cities and state. Ms. Johnson went to Carson's Community Development Office to find out why they were surveying the fields behind her house. That's when she discovered the truth about extensive development planned on the neighboring Andersen Ranch property, so she helped organize the "Save Open Space (SOS), Carson City" group.
"The outcry from the public, especially from adjacent neighborhoods, encouraged the city to scrutinize development plans," she wrote, and that's what happened earlier this month when the Parks and Recreation Commission recommended the project to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors despite objections from nearby property owners.
"We covered a lot of ground and it was great to get input from neighbors," said Vintage general partner Vince Scott. He'll get a lot more public "input" at Thursday's Planning Commission meeting. Mark 5 p.m. Thursday on your calendars and show up at the Community Center to tell Scott and planning commissioners how we feel about this attempt to destroy some of the last remaining open space on Carson's west side.
In her timely column Johnson asserted "some candidates will try to avoid full disclosure about their positions on the Vintage development," and suggested the project may have already been pre-approved behind the scenes. Let's not let that happen.
Guy W. Farmer has been a Carson City resident since 1962.