Dollar General developer intends to appeal Alta Sierra decision | TheUnion.com

Dollar General developer intends to appeal Alta Sierra decision

"I would hope that we would want to learn from our past mistakes," Nevada County Planning Commissioner Laura Duncan said to a Dollar General representative during an Oct. 26, 2017, commission meeting.

The real estate developer for the Dollar General project said his office will appeal the Nevada County Planning Commission's decision to deny a store in Alta Sierra.

No decision has been made on a possible appeal of the commission's denial of a proposed store in Rough and Ready. The Alta Sierra decision, however, will be appealed to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, said Dan Biswas, vice president of development for SimonCRE.

"We'll definitely be appealing that one, depending on the outcome at the next hearing," Biswas said Monday.

The commission on Thursday approved a store in Penn Valley.

The expected appeal comes on the heels of a statement from Dollar General, which said it's not committed to coming here. According to Angela Petkovic, who performs public relations for the business, Dollar General is now performing due diligence for the locations in Nevada County.

"This means we are reviewing the opportunity to add new stores in the area, but we have not committed to doing so just yet," Petkovic states in an email. "Based on our current timeline, we anticipate to have a final decision on this by the early summer 2018."

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Biswas declined to comment on Petkovic's statement. He said he intended to bring the Penn Valley store, which was approved, to the county.

Deadlines LOOM

The deadline to appeal the commission's decisions about the Penn Valley and Rough and Ready stores is different than the date for the Alta Sierra store.

In its Thursday decision commissioners approved a Dollar General at 17652 Penn Valley Drive, which county staff recommended. They denied a store at 12345 Rough and Ready Highway, following another staff recommendation. The deadline to appeal those decisions is Nov. 6.

Because the Planning Commission denied the 10166 Alta Sierra Drive site — which planning staff recommended it approve — it's expected to convene Nov. 9 to formally oppose that location.

That makes Nov. 20 the deadline to appeal the Alta Sierra Dollar General.

The cost to appeal to the Board of Supervisors is $1,633.94.

There is no scheduled date for when supervisors would review the appeal.

Questions remain

Attorney Barry Pruett on Thursday spoke during public comment, questioning if the Planning Commission had a legal reason to deny the stores.

Contacted Monday, Nevada City attorney Allan Haley said the commission must have sound reasons for denying a project.

"They can't just arbitrarily say, 'We don't like it and we're not going to do it,'" Haley said.

Commissioners cited an unsuitable site and a lack of parking spaces as some reasons to deny the Dollar General.

Haley said commissioners should imagine a judge watching over their shoulders when making their decisions. Those decisions should follow the law and commissioners should cite specific, concrete findings.

"If there is one good one, it's a decision that can be upheld," Haley said.

"To say that it didn't fit, it must look pretty horrible," he later quipped.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.