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Way to go

Editor

Not so long ago, business leaders would wag their fingers at Douglas County leaders and lecture them about how economic growth wouldn’t happen.

You’ll never get big box stores, they would say. Your standards are too high, your policies too strict. Businesses aren’t going to locate in Douglas County when they can settle in Carson City and avoid your expenses and restrictions.

Several years, a few million dollars’ worth of infrastructure and the promise of a bypass later, the businesses are coming to Douglas County. They are acceding to the county’s requirements to dress up their big box stores with landscaping and trim.

These developments, and especially Wal-Mart’s decision to relocate to north Douglas from south Carson, show Douglas County’s planning was worthwhile. But Douglas can’t take all the credit – while Wal-Mart is a great trophy, it’s also a sign that the us-vs-Carson era is over.

From now on, Douglas County residents have a vested interest in seeing Carson City’s bypass completed. The Highway 395 corridor between Jacks Valley Road and Highway 50 will be developed, and that development will bring more traffic. Completion of the bypass, in turn, will determine whether the area turns into a parking lot during rush hours or allows Douglas County to design the distinctive “gateway” leaders have talked about.

Meanwhile, Douglas and Carson leaders have agreed to work out a mutually beneficial plan for the corridor. Done well, the result could be orderly growth that demonstrates the principles outlined in Douglas County’s master plan.

Douglas leaders shouldn’t settle for anything less. Though cooperation with Carson is crucial, our leaders didn’t compromise the county’s standards when the stores were flocking to Carson, and they shouldn’t now that they’re flocking to Douglas.