City of Grass Valley moves forward with Dorsey Marketplace plan with additional housing |

City of Grass Valley moves forward with Dorsey Marketplace plan with additional housing

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For more information on the Draft Environmental Impact Report, go to the city’s website at For more from the developer, go to

Grass Valley’s Design Review Committee on Tuesday signed off on the Dorsey Marketplace project, recommending an option that includes more housing.

The move now advances the project to the city’s Planning Commission. From there, the project would go to the City Council for final approval.

Community Development Director Tom Last said city staff still is wrapping up the final environmental impact report, adding the Planning Commission hearing likely will not be scheduled until October “at the earliest.”

It’s been a multi-year process for the mixed-used development just off the Dorsey Drive interchange with Highway 49. The initial version proposed in 2014 drew protests from community members, which led to the elimination of planned a movie theater and added a residential component.

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Developers of the project — which stalled out due to changing market conditions — began the environmental report process this spring with two alternatives proposed.

Alternative A offered 178,960 square feet of commercial space and 90 multiple-family dwelling units, while Alternative B — the option picked by the Design Review Committee — featured 104,350 square feet of commercial space, 8,500 square feet of office space, and 172 apartments (96 two-bedroom units and 38 each of the one- and three-bedroom units) ranging in size from 1,013 to 1,600 square feet. A small dog park, clubhouse and pool are proposed for each alternative plan.

The 45-day public review period for the draft environmental report ended in May, with the city receiving 17 letters about the project. The Design Review Committee met later that month and provided comments on the site plan and architecture. Since then, Last said, revisions have been made that include removing some of the parking in Alternative B while still providing more than required, and adding a path from Dorsey Drive.


A Nevada City resident and a United Food and Commercial Workers International Union representative spoke in opposition to the development, citing traffic and employment concerns.

Representatives from the Nevada County Association of Realtors and the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce expressed support for Alternative B.

“I’m very pleased to see the evolution of this project,” said chamber CEO Robin Galvan-Davies. “This will benefit the entire community.”

Realtor Teresa Dietrich said the association supports smart growth — specifically walkable elements — and workforce housing, adding the Dorsey Marketplace Project accomplishes both goals.

Design Review Committee members also unanimously expressed support for Alternative B, with Senior Civil Engineer Zackary Lake noting it better addresses the community’s need for housing while having less of a traffic impact.

“Alternative B is the right one for our community,” said city architect Robert Wallis.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4236.

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