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Grass Valley council to discuss vacation rental regulation

Grass Valley will discuss the regulation of short-term vacation rentals such as AirBnB, VRBO and HomeAway during Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

The issue has been a hot topic in Nevada County, with some groups — including the newly-formed Tenants of Nevada County and local hospitality industry business owners — expressing concerns over the market’s adverse effects on prospective long-term tenants and on revenue for hotels and bed-and-breakfast businesses. Proponents of the short-term vacation rental market say the business helps bolster tourism and doesn’t negatively impact tenants or landowners.

Following a heated debate over the topic during Grass Valley’s June 27 council meeting, Vice Mayor Lisa Swarthout directed city staff to bring recommendations to the council, which could be used to inform new regulations. Those recommendations are expected to be presented Tuesday.



The council will also vote to appoint Tim Kiser to the position of city manager Tuesday. Kiser was offered the position Aug. 29 after the council reportedly conducted a statewide search for the best candidate, and he subsequently accepted the offer. Kiser is the city’s current public works director and city engineer, and has been serving as interim city manager since February, when Bob Richardson — Grass Valley’s previous city manager — resigned.

Other topics for Tuesday’s meeting include the introduction of an ordinance that would amend various sections of the city code related to criminal enforcement of code violations. The council is also scheduled to discuss the purchase of a property at 341 East Main St. — the former site of the Old California Restaurant, where a fire occurred in September 2010. According to a staff report, the building was demolished in 2011 due to severe fire damage and has since been listed for sale.




City staff is interested in purchasing the property for “the opportunity to install new road improvements, including road widening, bike lanes, sidewalks, etc,” the report states. The purchase would cost the city $83,000 and an estimated $9,000 in cleanup.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email mpera@theunion.com or call 530-477-4231.


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