Grass Valley City Council to resume Dorsey Marketplace public hearing |

Grass Valley City Council to resume Dorsey Marketplace public hearing

John Orona
Staff Writer

The Grass Valley City Council this evening will resume a public hearing on the Dorsey Marketplace project after researching and incorporating feedback from its initial January hearing.

The meeting can be viewed at 7 p.m. on Comcast Channel 17, Grass Valley’s YouTube channel, or on the city’s website:

If approved, the project will advance to a first reading at the council’s next meeting. A second reading must occur before final approval.

At issue in tonight’s vote is what form the project will take, with a handful of alternatives having been discussed over several months.

The project calls for a 28.6-acre mixed-use infill with a 172-unit apartment complex and 104,350 square feet of commercial and community space in the version recommended by the city’s Design Review Committee and Planning Commission.

During the January meeting, citizens and council members raised concerns about the potential economic impacts on existing businesses; the affordability of the housing; the lack of solar panels and environmentally friendly heating; the possibility of fast food drive-thrus; and potential traffic congestion on Dorsey Drive and Highway 49.

One possible solution to the economic apprehension raised at the meeting was whether the city could employ use permits and zoning regulations to influence what businesses populate the development and limit competition from similar existing enterprises.

According to the city’s staff report, the council will consider general use restrictions for the project which would prohibit businesses who primarily sell tobacco or vaping products; head shops; live adult entertainment businesses including arcades; bargain variety stores; theaters; dance and pool halls; second-hand stores; massage parlors; schools; adult bookstores and betting parlors from filling out the marketplace.

“You want your businesses to complement one another and not cannibalize one another,” Grass Valley Mayor Lisa Swarthout said. “We’re really hoping people will use the opportunity to fill a niche that isn’t already here.”

According to Swarthout, notwithstanding the new virtual meetings the council and public has had to adapt to, she expects rigorous public participation. The city is receiving feedback levels similar to its January in-person meeting, Swarthout said.

“This is not how we want to be doing this,” Swarthout said, pointing out that online meetings may continue through the summer. “We have no choice.”

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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