I grew up in Grass Valley and will be returning this year after 10 years of pursuing advanced degrees. I’m currently an organizer for a Southern California civic advocacy organization.
I was reading Dave Brooksher’s article on Russ Jeter’s Dorsey Drive development project and wanted to share some knowledge with the public.
This type of project, with its potential to generate new jobs and increase city revenue, as well as the city’s tight-knit, traditional residents and the beautiful history of our small town, is a complex and tricky one. That’s why I believe the only way to do it correctly is by facilitating a community benefits agreement between the residents of Grass Valley/Nevada County and the developer.
A CBA is a legally binding, negotiated agreement between a developer and a broad community coalition that outlines a specific project’s contributions to the community and provides legally binding assurance that the community will support the project.
Forming a partnership with a project’s stakeholders (the residents) is an innovative, pragmatic approach for developers to create a mutually beneficial relationship with the community.
Community benefits are part of a win-win development strategy: meaningful, upfront communication between the developer and a broad-based community coalition decreases a developer’s risk while maximizing the positive impact of development on residents and economies. The developer benefits from active community support of the project, and community members gain when the project responds to their needs.
Starting this process early allows the developer to creatively address the community’s needs at a practical time in project planning and generates early community buy-in, saving time and money.
I wanted readers to know that this tool is available to the public in hopes that we can have a win-win development plan for the future of our beautiful community.
Kristen Davis currently attends school in Long Beach. She will be returning to Grass Valley this year.