Proponents of a south county retirement community development claim it will bring economic vitality to the region, while opponents claim it will compromise the rural quality of the area.
Rincon del Rio is a proposed Continuing Care Retirement Community Project located one-half mile east of Highway 49, just south of the Lake of the Pines community.
The Nevada County Planning Commission will consider the proposed project at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Eric Rood Administrative Center.
If the commission approves the project it will come before the county’s board of supervisors for final consideration.
Planning staff has recommended approval of the Final Environmental Impact Report along with two amendments to the Nevada County General Plan and amendments to certain chapters of the Zoning Code.
The proposal calls for the development of a 215-acre site that encompasses four separate parcels near the Bear River that are currently undeveloped. The project as currently configured will provide 345 attached and detached housing units.
The development would be clustered on a 40-acre envelope located on the western half of the site with the remaining 170 acres to remain as open space with potential recreational options.
“The project will generate $1.7 million in property taxes for the county — enough to keep all the libraries open,” said Carol Young, the project proponent.
Karen Abbott, who lives in proximity to the project and opposes approval, said while the development design is nice, the proposed location is poorly selected and there is not enough emergency access.
“There are only two roads going in and out of it and they are not safe in terms of emergency access,” Abbott said.
Abbott said the general plan amendments could serve as a dangerous precedent for the rest of the county, with 22 potential locations scattered throughout the county that also could serve as a retirement community of the same ilk.
Young said the majority of complaints about the project have emanated from people in proximity to the project and most of county residents in Grass Valley and Nevada City are in favor of seeing the development move forward.
Abbott said those in charge of the process have not taken project opponents seriously.
“It’s been a frustrating process,” she said. “We have provided lengthy comments on the many issues but it always feels like they are whitewashed or ignored. It just doesn’t seem to matter.”
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.