Douglas County residents invited to contribute to Master Plan |

Douglas County residents invited to contribute to Master Plan

by Kirk Walder

It has been an honor and privilege for me to serve on the Douglas County Planning Commission for the past two and a half years, and as chair for the last five months. As one who has always been civic-minded, I offered to serve on the Planning Commission for the good of the county.

I’m writing this column as an individual citizen but with our county’s best interests in mind. In the coming weeks Douglas County residents will have an opportunity to contribute to our 2020 Master Plan. This planning document provides a blueprint for the future of our county.

Everyone who lives or works here is invited to give their thoughts about a variety of elements, ranging from agriculture, to economic development to land use. Your suggestions will be an important part of constructing a Master Plan that reflects the goals and needs of the county.

Our current Master Plan was written in 2011 and needs updating to reflect current conditions. A revised plan was put forward in 2017, with significant involvement from the public, but did not receive final approval.

It is important to hear what the people want for their communities and the county. You will be commenting on the role of agriculture in our county, the desire for open space and recreation, and the types and locations of future housing. Your participation will be incorporated into goals, visions and actions to guide future decisions of the Planning Commission and other government bodies.

It is unfortunate that the current meeting restrictions due to the coronavirus preclude the type of in person meetings that have been held in the past. Safety of our citizens must be our highest priority, but does not prevent public input in a variety of ways.

Your views can be provided by answering a short survey, which can be found at The county will also be hosting two days of public workshops at the Community Center on Nov. 9 and 11. So that group size can be kept at 50 or below you are asked to make reservations by calling 775-782-6210 or by emailing

The Planning Commission and the Planning Department welcome your comments, whether in person or in writing. With a diverse population with different interests, we most assuredly will not have agreement on every issue. But I pledge to listen and respect everyone’s views and the Planning Commission will try to forge compromises for a better future for Douglas County.