Community workshop looks at strategies for preserving Minden |

Community workshop looks at strategies for preserving Minden

Sheila Gardner

“Minden-opoly, the board game,” emerged Tuesday at the second community workshop designed to bring residents and business owners into the planning process for the town’s economic future.

Free to dream without zoning or budget constraints, participants at a half dozen tables mapped out land uses for the 95-year-old town that included a community center, another elementary school, additional housing and business opportunities.

Brightly colored squares of paper popped up all over the maps as teams worked independently.

“A game board seems like fun until you think, ‘We have some hard choices to make here,” said consultant Bruce Race, who has been guiding Minden’s planning efforts since January.

“Identify the key features you want to see,” he said.

Based on community input from the first workshop April 25, Race said Minden’s setting is the “runaway winner for assets.”

“Residents want to protect the character of this family-oriented community,” he said. “Minden has an historic plan. There’s a ‘there’ there. Most communities don’t have that.”

He asked participants also to identify the circulation patterns through the town that could make the community more “walkable” to visitors and residents.

“Economic activity is all over the map,” Race said. “The downtown area provides one of the important building blocks. You want to conserve, protect and enhance the historic corridor. The future of light industry will be a big policy issue.”

Participants also planned for recreational areas along the Martin Slough and the Mack ranch.

“Without exception, you’ve developed plans with strong organizational features,” Race said.

“A lot of times when you restore an old house, it tells you what to do. Minden is telling you how it wants to be expanded and grow.”

The next workshop will be held July 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the CVIC Hall on Esmeralda.

Residents are invited to attend any of workshops.

“The next workshop will be a lot of fun,” Race said. “We’ll be looking at the community identity.”

Resident Chris Nenzel, a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee that has organized the workshops, thanked the 30 people who attended Tuesday.

“I learned a lot about how other people in Minden are thinking about how we should grow,” he said. “It’s been very interesting.”

For information, contact the town office at 782-5976.