What’s in a name?
It’s pretty interesting the names people come up with for their causes, committees, or organizations. I am not sure if the names are meant to outright deceive or just appeal to people who haven’t studied the issue in depth.
The current “Master Plan Preservation Committee” may fall into one of these categories. After studying the arguments and attending the NNDA presentation it has become apparent that this committee does believe that growth and planning issues are the province of the county commission and planning commission and I think they are right about that. But, it is also quite apparent that they don’t want the county commissioners to implement the part of the master plan that allows for a growth cap. The fact that this group consists of the developers, builders, and real estate sellers also makes me suspect that they may fall into one of the above categories.
At the Northern Nevada Development Authority meeting, Barry Penzel presented a lot of figures and made a lot of statements that really didn’t tie together and/or support their opposition to a growth cap. But he did make one thing clear and that was his admiration for Germany. Maybe the fact that most of the land in Germany is owned by the federal government, like Nevada, makes him think that it is a good model for Douglas County.
He said “Germany is a beautiful place and they have got their housing situation all figured out.” Germany has been able to cram 22 million people into a country the size of Oregon by building ultra high density cluster housing and building up the sides of the mountains, “building vertically.” He said he thinks this is a great thing because it preserves open space. Is this a model we want for rural Nevada?
Bill Shaw made a great point that the only people to benefit from unlimited growth are the members of this committee and some unknown future residents, mostly from large urban areas who move here for the quality of life but then often try to change that back to what they just left. He also pointed out that the job of the county was to protect and serve the CURRENT residents of the county, not some future population.
It may be that an initiative may not be the way to inform our county employees of the majority opinion of the population. I would suggest an advisory question or public meetings like those that were held about the new casino and residential complex in Minden, which as I remember was to be a 20-year buildDout. Which makes you wonder about the purpose of the lawsuit by Nevada Northwest, LLC. Are these people really from Northwest Nevada or is this just another name?