Keep growth slow and steady |

Keep growth slow and steady

by John Hefner

There is a report that the 13 lots behind Piñon Hills Elementary School are starting to be built. Several online posters expressed concern about growth and about flood mitigation. These are valid concerns that we all as residents have a right to express and take a position on.

Here is my take:

The rate of growth must be controlled. We do not want and would not tolerate the kind of growth that Reno or even Carson City supports. No one wants to look across our valley and see townhomes and 3-story apartments where we once saw cattle, llamas, longhorn steer and the river. I support controlling growth. However, that does not mean I support zero growth. A zero-growth philosophy kills communities. Look at Hawthorne as an example. It is a beautiful spot out in the middle of Nevada. They depended solely on the ammunition depot for support. Since the depot began to downsize the town has suffered greatly. We are certainly not in danger of going that route but I am concerned with the ideas of some that nothing can be built in the valley and to preserve it in the snow globe.

Here in Johnson Lane there are numerous vacant lots which actually do need to be developed. Consider the vacant commercial lot next to the General Store. What is going to happen here when that lot is purchased and someone does in fact decide to do something with it? Will you automatically oppose the proposal or will you be willing to hear what the buyer would like to do?

Regarding the flooding issue. We hope that the county staff will do the right thing and require the infrastructure when approving projects. I think the staff are much better prepared now than they were 20-30 years ago. I met with the county storm specialist over the issue at Terry Ann. I found her and the engineering staff cooperative and willing to consider options which would be beneficial to the problem. I believe we can trust (but observe) what they approve and not be fearful. I recently built a shop and I will say I have had great support and advice from all the county staff I dealt with. Each were courteous and helped me improve my project. Thank you to all the county staff.

Finally, I want to speak about respect. These days everyone is divided over everything. I doubt we could agree on the choice of Mounds or Almond Joy as a candy. We must however treat everyone with the same respect we expect. Just because someone opposes you doesn’t mean you need to bully and attack them, even if you are a county commissioner. Social media gives us a great platform to air our positions but it is abused far too many times to attack someone. I know I am on social media more than most of you and I most certainly will do my best to follow my own advice. I try to apply the Thumper rule. In the movie Bambi, Thumper’s mother makes him repeat this rule “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

The Park agreement is an example of something we must find compromise on. We need a four-lane bypass through Gardnerville and Minden which allows trucks. A two-lane road just for cars does not meet the need. The Parks are entitled to be compensated for granting that easement. They too will benefit from a proper roadway. I believe they should be willing to pay for half of the entire parkway. The commission is between a rock and a hard place. The majority know we need that land. We cannot apply for the grant funding needed unless there is some sort of surety that the easement belongs to the county. In its current form I wouldn’t sign the agreement but I think there is middle ground. Let’s work toward compromises that benefit where we live and reduces the anger and anxiety we experience. You know I don’t like addressing politics here in the Journal but this is a project that will affect us all as a community and it is important to discuss solutions instead of stomping our feet.

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