How much is enough?
So now we’re getting a “Super Wal-Mart.” A regular Wal-Mart a few miles away was too far and not enough? What are we gaining except a few miles and combining a grocery store, which it seems like we already have enough of, with a Wal-Mart, which we already had. OK, we’re supposedly gaining 200 new jobs and some sales tax. And, coincidentally, someone wants to build 300 new homes nearby, which will generate 3,000 more trips per day on Clear Creek Road, not to mention wherever else they’re all going. And which will perhaps bring in 100 more people than there are jobs, which will mean… what? A Super Costco?
We now have Costco, Target and Home Depot. In Carson we have an Office Depot and I think we’re getting a Staples. Do we really need all these “super” stores?
We used to have Carson Valley Mercantile and Minden Mercantile, where we could get everything from produce to canned goods to Levi’s to dynamite. And where we knew all the employees. And we could charge a month’s supplies and get a discount if we paid by the tenth. We had a drug store with a soda fountain, a shoe repair shop, a nice little unpretentious, one-man “western wear” store with real western wear for real ranchers and cowboys. We had a five-and-dime and a hardware store. All “Mom and Pop” operations. All gone.
Well, enough of that. That’s progress, they say.
But why must we join the mindless march toward the homogenization of America where every town looks like every other town? Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot, Target, Office Depot, Staples, Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and on and on and on.
Why must we have 300 more homes, this time in the Jacks Valley area? Up in the trees where it’s “environmentally friendly.” Oh, come on. And do we really need yet another golf course?
I have my fingers crossed that the planned review of the master plan will somehow begin to make a difference for the better for the future of Carson Valley. Access to public lands is an issue, for sure, but I just hope that retaining the agricultural integrity and open space, what’s left of it, throughout the Valley is a very, very high priority issue as well. Because what is happening to Carson Valley is all too reminiscent of what has happened to much of California, the Santa Clara valley, for example, and Sacramento and Stockton and on and on. I can easily envision a day not far away where everything from the south end of Carson Valley to Reno is one megalopolis, like the Bay Area, with freeways and gridlock and air pollution and road rage and everything everyone is moving here to get away from.
I just hope Douglas County can get on top of this elusive issue of balancing uncontrolled growth with protecting property rights before it’s too late.
Nancy C. Thornburg