$7.8M DMV facility planned in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com
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$7.8M DMV facility planned in Grass Valley

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles plans to replace its 42-year-old Grass Valley facility on Sutton Way with a $7.8 million building on the same site that will be three times larger than the original.
Today marks the beginning of a 30-day environmental review period for plans of the project, which gives the public a chance to comment on potential impacts the replacement facility could have on the surrounding area.
Built in 1971, the existing DMV facility was described as “woefully deficient” by DMV spokesperson Jessica Gonzalez. The DMV’s proposal describes the existing facility as undersized and non-compliant with current California Building Codes.
The nearly 1.5-acre site is currently split with the local California Highway Patrol’s 5,000-square-foot field office located on the east side of the building. The DMV takes up 1,862 gross square feet on the western portion of state-owned building, according the DMV.
With a $14 million headquarters of its own taking shape off McCourtney Road near the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, the CHP plans to move into a new 16,800 square-foot facility by spring 2013.
The DMV plans call for a one-story building with approximately 7,600 gross square feet of office space on the same site.
Proposed site improvements include the addition of approximately 50 parking spaces, a motorcycle drive test area, updated aesthetics and site lighting. No demolition on the existing building will occur until the new facility is complete and staff is moved over, according to the DMV.
“With CHP leaving, there is enough land to construct a new building and still provide the same level of service from the building we currently occupy,” Gonzalez said.
The Grass Valley project is one of 10 proposals to completely replace or build new DMV facilities statewide, Gonzalez said. There are 21 offices additionally slated for some type of renovation, including those in Placerville and Auburn.
“Most of our projects are renovations,” Gonzalez said.
No official plans have yet been submitted to Grass Valley’s planning department, said Sue Colbert, a planning clerk with the city.
Currently, seven employees work in Grass Valley’s DMV field office servicing an average of 269 customers per day, Gonzalez said. Services provided by employees include driver’s license renewal, identification cards, written driving tests, road tests, vehicle registration, titling and issuing identification plates.
Potentially significant project impacts include aesthetics, air quality, biological resources and cultural and paleontologic resources, hazards and hazardous materials, noise and transportation and traffic, according to the initial study. Construction may also require the relocation of on-site groundwater monitoring wells.
Comments on the Draft Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration can be emailed to environmental@dgs.ca.gov until Sept. 29. A public meeting will also be held to solicit comments from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 at Grass Valley City Hall, located at 125 East Main St.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4236.


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