County goes after ‘smart growth’ award |

County goes after ‘smart growth’ award

by Christy Chalmers

An effort to map Minden’s future may help bring national recognition from a building group.

Consultants, residents and business owners met Tuesday night to review land use plans and policies as part of a long-term planning effort for the town. The meeting resulted after months of work by the Minden Citizens Advisory Committee, a group that has been working with Bruce Race, a Berkeley, Calif.-based consultant.

The work could also be another argument for the “Best Smart Growth Communities” award for which Douglas County has been nominated.

The Douglas County Building Industry Association nominated the county in February. Douglas will compete with communities around the U.S.

The awards, sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders and Professional Builder magazine, will honor designers, planners, developers and builders whose work reflects a series of smart growth principles.

“We’re going to have some tough competition, but we have a good opportunity here to take advantage of,” said Carole Thompson, executive director of the Douglas County Building Industry Association.

She plans to meet with Douglas County Community Development department administrators to prepare specific examples of smart growth in Minden, Gardnerville and Genoa. Award criteria include protection and access to the natural environment, a mix of land uses, efficient and innovative land use, a mix of housing and respect for local traditions.

Thompson said the Minden work is a strong contender because it is intended to allow development without eroding the town’s atmosphere and other unique attributes.

Though the award winners won’t be named for almost a year, Thompson is confident Douglas County will be recognized.

“I think we have a very good chance of being in this category and winning it,” she said.