Downtown development a focus of city master plan

Downtown Carson City has turned out to be such a hot topic with residents that city officials are considering a separate planning effort focused solely on the city's core to coincide with a larger effort to remake the overall master plan.

"We'd already planned to consider downtown in terms of parking and circulation," said Development Services Director Andy Burnham, but the flood of public comment that's come in while the city has been reworking its master plan has included far more interest in downtown than just automobile-related issues.

"We're going to take it to another level."

Supervisors will vote Thursday on whether to contract a $90,000 study of downtown to see what physical improvements and policy changes might help central Carson City.

Along with parking and streetscape designs, the proposed study would consider ways to mix residential with commercial uses of downtown buildings.

The city will also consider different ways to use redevelopment money, said City Manager Linda Ritter.

Under Carson City's redevelopment program, a portion of property taxes in a "redevelopment district" - downtown and the South Carson auto retailer zone - is set aside to help pay for upgrades there. So far, the city has used redevelopment funds for incentives to businesses planning improvements.

Ritter said the city may consider using redevelopment money on public improvements more often in the future.

The downtown-specific study will be done as the city continues work on a master plan that will map out what type of development should or should not be allowed in each part of Carson City. The results will then be folded into the final master plan proposal.

n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at or 881-1217.


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