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Lawsuit seeks new environmental report for Dorsey Marketplace project

A lawsuit filed against the Dorsey Marketplace project alleges Grass Valley officials failed to conduct a complete environmental impact review, did not adequately support their findings with evidence, failed to enact feasible mitigation measures, and did not respond sufficiently to public comments before approving the project.

The Dorsey Marketplace, a mixed commercial/residential development with 104,350 square feet of retail space and 172 apartments, was approved in April following years of discussions and redesign.

The suit, brought this month by environmental nonprofit Community Environmental Advocates and community group Protect Grass Valley, asks the court to set aside any project approvals already made, suspend all activity in furtherance of the project, reimburse their legal costs, and to “conduct a reasonable and accurate environmental review of the project.”

Specific allegations include that the city did not account for how zoning changes would impact future development, did not discuss the cumulative impacts that adding residents would have on traffic and air pollution along Highway 49, and did not include enforceable mitigation measures like requiring solar power or energy efficient space and water heating.

The suit also alleges the city’s project description was vague, “shifting and unstable,” it does not allow the public to fully grasp the project or study the complete environmental impacts. It claims critical information like the remediation of the project site was not included and impacts to biological resources were not studied with appropriate methods.

The plaintiffs allege the city was notified of these deficiencies and showed a pattern of a predetermined approach.

Parties to the law suit could not be contacted for comment.

Responses to the suit are due Jan 29.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

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