Letter — Abuse of Power by Commissioners
In my opinion, I witnessed the greatest abuse, or more to the point, calculated use of power to date, by four of our county commissioners at the Sept. 4 Douglas County Commission meeting.
They voted to approve a master plan amendment that will ultimately transform Clear Creek Ranch, a pristine property north of Carson Valley, into a gated community filled with a golf course and many, many homes.
Creating a new receiving area at Clear Creek is not only contrary to the master plan goals as originally adopted in 1996, but also the judgment of the Planning Commission who denied the application in February 2001 and again in August 2003.
Our commissioners seem to have forgotten that state law required the Planning Commission to prepare and approve the original master plan, a comprehensive plan for the physical development and orderly management of the growth in the county for the next 20 years. It would seem that our county commissioners should respect the Planning Commission’s findings; however, they have repeatedly overruled Planning Commission denials and approved amendments that had added hundreds and hundreds of additional homes to our valley.
The Sustainable Initiative Committee was formed because of this type of abuse; volunteers gathered enough signatures to put a slow growth initiative (SGI) on the ballot last November. After it passed, the county sided with the developers in a lawsuit asserting the initiative is inconsistent with the master plan. Blatantly, the county uses and abuses the master plan to their advantage.
After the county commission meeting, one of my friends asked me, “Why do you keep on going to those meetings when you know the developers will win?” I replied, “We have to keep on fighting to save our master plan as it protects our quality of life. One by one, the citizens of this county will begin to understand how poorly managed this county is. One day, a majority of concerned citizens will just say, “Enough.”