Late last year, members of the community and County officials began meeting with the goal of establishing a distinct vision for Carson Valley.
Those meetings progressed to public workshops held in April. The process continued this week, with additional workshops to solicit further public input on how the vision is progressing.
Eric Roverud, of Design Workshop, presented the accumulation of efforts thus far to members of the public and the business community Monday morning at the Carson Valley Inn. An additional session was conducted Monday evening.
“The visioning plan focuses on the possibility of seeing a new future in Carson Valley,” Roverud said. “We’re illustrating the possibilities. It’s all about ideas at this point. What’s presented here isn’t regulatory and we’re not writing it into County code. It’s just talking about what could change, and what people want to change.”
The overall goal of the effort has been to create a forum for defining a shared future for the Valley — enhancing the quality of the downtowns, outlining economic development strategies and preserving the area’s natural resources.
During the workshop process, a number of specific challenges have repeatedly come up, most notably the general feeling that the community is losing some of its small-town character.
The Visioning plan is geared toward re-gaining and enhancing the small-town feel, Roverud said.
To do so, the plan focuses on a revitalization of all downtown areas — with a primary target of somehow alleviating the flow of vehicle traffic.
To offset any potential future traffic bypass, the plan outlines ideas on creating more pedestrian-friendly venues, areas and events in the various downtown districts of the Valley. For example, part of that would be eventually burying utility lines and readdressing pedestrian space in Minden with more landscaping.
Another focal point of the plan will be on unifying tourism efforts with a consistent theme and series of road signs to help get tourists to the places they want to be. Additionally, an emphasis would be placed on further enhancing the available trail systems in the Valley, as well as improving access to the trails.
“We heard over and over about the importance of the land,” Roverud said. “A lot of what we are working on hopefully reinforces that connection to the land.
“We talk about things like branding the agriculture here. Maybe restaurants making a name with locally-grown produce.”
He also said the Valley’s vast historical resources could be used to assemble a Valley-wide tourism strategy.
“There is great historical architecture here,” he said. “In future development, those are things you can use and build on to give Main Street a distinct feel.”
Anyone with comments or ideas for the visioning plan, can e-mail email@example.com.