Concerns over Dorsey Marketplace brewing: Residents worry about affordabilty, environmental impact at city planning commission meeting. |

Concerns over Dorsey Marketplace brewing: Residents worry about affordabilty, environmental impact at city planning commission meeting.


What: Open house to discuss Dorsey Marketplace

Where: 400 Idaho Maryland Road, Grass Valley

When: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday

Information: Public comment period for the report ends May 6. Comments may be sent to Tom Last at For more information go to this website.

Dorsey Marketplace has the community talking.

Public comments for the draft environmental impact report on the project began when the document was released on March 26.

Some residents want to ensure the mixed-use commercial and residential development is environmentally friendly and offers affordable housing for low-income residents.

“The opportunity here is for new buildings not to add to greenhouse gases,” said Don Rivenes, Grass Valley resident, at a planning commission meeting Tuesday on the drafted report.

Rivenes’ wife, Barbara, chair of the Sierra Club of Grass Valley, was concerned the market rate housing offered in the area will not be inclusive of working class residents.

“Market rate does not necessarily mean affordable so I think that’s one of the things we really have to be careful of,” she said.

Lily Marie-Mora, Grass Valley resident, agreed, adding her nephew is concerned he won’t be able to afford to live in the area when he grows up.

“He’s 13, and he’s already thinking he can’t be here,” she said.

Marie-Mora also took issue with fast food chains potentially coming to the marketplace.

“One of the things that got me down here is the three fast food outlets,” she said. “I mean, why would any town need three fast food outlets?”

Tom Last, community development director for the city of Grass Valley, said the Tuesday meeting on the report was not mandatory. Rather, it was held voluntarily to benefit the public.

“It’s not intended to be an exhaustive discussion,” said Last. “We want to provide an overview.”

Katherine Waugh, senior project manager for Dudek — a construction engineering company contracting for the construction of Dorsey Marketplace — helped prepare the drafted report.

Waugh discussed two alternative projects for the marketplace.

Alternative A proposes more space for commercial buildings, while Alternative B proposes more apartment units. For each alternative, apartment sizes range between 1,013 and 1,600 square feet. A small dog park, clubhouse and pool as a part of the apartment complex are proposed for each plan.

“They have a very similar layout, but differences in land uses,” said Waugh.

Waugh, who has been tasked with understanding the many impacts on the area — including that related to biology, geology, cultural resources, transportation, noise, air quality and hydrology — found construction of either plan will have a “less than significant” impact when mitigation effects are applied.

The draft environmental impact report needs to be reviewed by the Development Review Committee for recommendation, said Last. After, it will be reviewed by the Planning Commission and then given to the City Council to make a final decision on the report. The process could take up to three months depending on public comment, said Last.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, there will be an open house to inform the public about the Dorsey Marketplace at the Foothills Event Center in Grass Valley.

Contact Sam Corey at 530-477-4219 or at

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