Jason Kuchnicki: Plan offers place for Californians at expense of city’s future
I attended last the meeting to unveil the concept for The Vintage, a plan to develop one of the last vast open spaces on Carson City’s west side into an upscale, high-density retirement/assisted-living/extended-care neighborhood. To the developer’s credit, this meeting was completely voluntary, to gain feedback from the community.
The standing-room-only crowd raised a multitude of serious concerns, including questioning whether the project was even necessary. The meeting led me to the striking reality of this project. This is not a project that addresses the important issue of availability of affordable assisted living to local senior citizens. How many local seniors are able and would want to pay a staggering average of $300,000 per house to move to The Vintage? Thinking past the smoke and mirrors, it became quite evident this project is aimed at one thing: making a killing off baby boomers who are cashing out from overinflated California urban areas to come to Carson City, touted at the meeting as one of the top five cities in the U.S. to which to retire, to live out their golden years.
And then the most disturbing unintended consequence occurred to me, potentially greater than any raised at the meeting. Think about this: these folks would be moving to an area to which they likely have no family … no friends … no history, previous ties or connection. Given this, do you think these people are likely to have, or even gain, much of a vested interest in this community, or any concern for its long-term wellbeing? Will these people support investments that are sorely needed to bolster our decaying education system and revitalize our community through redevelopment and other efforts?
Let me be clear I’m not advocating to keep Californians out, but as one courageous lady stated at the meeting, Carson City needs to be thinking about ways to encourage new, young professionals and skilled laborers to settle here, and supporting opportunities that offer the promise of a bright future for their families.
As a father of three youngsters, my desire is to build a community where my children are going to want to remain once they grow old enough to choose where they want to live. When we talk about the developing Carson City, we need to be thinking carefully with one eye to the future, and acting intently to move our community forward. In my opinion, The Vintage would serve as a significant setback to Carson City living up to its immense potential by seriously compromising our ability to do this.
And if it this project is approved and moves forward, there are undoubtedly going to be additional similar ones to come. If you agree this project isn’t right for our community, contact the Board of Supervisors and let it know.