Sam Bauman: A look at Vintage from neighborhood point of view

A meeting by the Carson City Planning Commission Thursday night ran on for almost six hours, as most Appeal readers already know. It was hectic as developers spelled out some factoids about the planned Vintage development on the Andersen Ranch property on the west side of Carson City.

I wasn’t there, but a real estate agent friend sent me a note. This was after she told me this:

The residential buildings would cost from $300,000 to $800,000.

Occupancy would be limited to two married persons (unclear if to each other) with no third person allowed.

Minimum age would be 55.

A vineyard would be included (to make grapes for wine?).

Here’s more of what she wrote from the standpoint of a professional realtor:

“My opinion on building for 55 plus. If they check on the ones that are already here, where they could not sell them and had to separate the property with a wall so they could sell to families. The 55s are not moving in the 55 plus units — the residents are a lot older. Also — two married people per household. Doesn’t make much sense to me.“We are trying to bring young people/families to Carson, yet we built for older people. Developing the ranch is fine — but why restrict it? This area should be for everyone. The downtown is geared to have more entertainment for the younger generation. I don’t think the wide sidewalks are there for wheelchairs and walkers.”

Well, she makes sense.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need more time mixing with youths. (Maybe try substitute teaching.)

But perhaps an effort by the Supervisors to create new neighborhoods would do lots to make Carson more fun, more congenial. After all, the “hoods” are the building blocks of cities.

Here’s a long definition of the word from the Internet as it applies to Vintage:

“A neighborhood is a geographically localized community within a larger city, town, suburb or rural area. Neighborhoods are often social communities with considerable face-to-face interaction among members. Neighborhood is generally defined spatially as a specific geographic area and functionally as a set of social networks. Neighborhoods, then, are the spatial units in which face-to-face social interactions occur — the personal settings and situations where residents seek to realize common values, socialize youth, and maintain effective social control.”

In the words of the scholar Lewis Mumford, “Neighborhoods, in some primitive, inchoate fashion exist wherever human beings congregate, in permanent family dwellings; and many of the functions of the city tend to be distributed naturally — that is, without any theoretical preoccupation or political direction — into neighborhoods. Neighborhoods are typically generated by social interaction among people living near one another. In this sense they are local social units larger than households not directly under the control of city or state officials.

“In some preindustrial urban traditions, basic municipal functions such as protection, social regulation of births and marriages, cleaning and upkeep are handled informally by neighborhoods. Ethnic neighborhoods were important in many past cities and remain common in cities today. Economic specialists, including craft producers, merchants, and others, could be concentrated in neighborhoods, and in societies with religious pluralism neighborhoods were often specialized by religion.

“Neighborhoods, as a core aspect of community, also are the site of services for youth, including children with disabilities and coordinated approaches to low-income populations. While the term neighborhood organization is not as common in 2016, these organizations often are nonprofit, sometimes grassroots or even core funded community development centers.”

End of academic outline.

It seems that Vintage as envisioned could never be a neighborhood with its limited population of those over 55, its isolation and property costs. We need the “hoods” in Carson, not the islands of senior citizens.

I remember from my youth in Dayton, Ohio, that our neighborhood was bounded by two levees, a car dealership and a dead-end street. Except for the movies, I rarely left it. After all, I knew everyone there, even the patrol cops.

As far as the arguments for protect green islands in Carson City, we’ve plenty of green space — start with Mills Park, add the Boys and Girls club green playing field, Riverside Park, Silver Saddle Ranch and all the smaller parks. Not a lot of Carson folk enjoy our green spaces. Or at least I don’t meet them there.

As regards to the Anderson Ranch’s right to sell, remember the original words of our founders was to be, “Life, liberty and the protection of property.” Somehow “pursuit of happiness” was substituted.

Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.


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