Grass Valley Planning Commission to review Dorsey Marketplace’s environmental impact | TheUnion.com

Grass Valley Planning Commission to review Dorsey Marketplace’s environmental impact

John Orona
Staff Writer

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Grass Valley Planning Commission review of Dorsey Marketplace project

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Grass Valley City Hall Council Chambers, 125 E. Main St.

After more than five years of off-and-on planning and revising, the Dorsey Marketplace project will go before the Grass Valley Planning Commission Tuesday for approval before heading to the Grass Valley City Council, its final step before development is approved.

The project, a 26.8-acre integrated mixed-use infill residential, retail and commercial development set for the southeast corner of Dorsey Drive and the northbound Highway 49 off-ramp, will require approval of its final environmental impact report, zoning changes and amendments to the Grass Valley General Plan in order to move forward.

The project has two alternative plans, one with more housing and another with more commercial space, that the council will also have to decide on. Both commission staff and the Design Review Committee recommended the commission choose Alternative B, which would provide a 171-unit apartment complex and 104,350 square feet of space for commercial and community use, compared to the 90 units of housing and 178,960 square feet of commercial and community space offered in Alternative A.

The housing complex would feature one-, two- and three-bedroom units, as well as a pool and fitness center, according to developers.

The project, whose first iteration began early in 2014, has since gone through many changes, including the removal of a movie theater, inclusion of the residential component, sidewalk and crosswalk additions and solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations.

The initial and subsequent versions have been met with community pushback due to traffic impacts, affordability, environmental concerns associated with construction and with the use of a brownfield site that was formerly Spring Hill Mine. These concerns as well as changing market conditions are what led to the development of Alternative B, developers say.

According to environmental impact report, the project will definitively result in significant traffic and climate change impacts that the city deems as unavoidable if they go with Alternative A.

“Traffic generated by the project under Alternative A would create vehicle queues that exceed available storage at the Dorsey Drive/SR 20/49 ramps,” the report states.

Under Alternative B, the traffic issue would be mitigated, although the impact on greenhouse gas emissions would remain.

The staff report justifies going forward despite the significant impacts to climate change due to the overriding conditions of increased economic activity, remediation of the brownfield site, increased multifamily housing stock and improved walking and biking choices that the project would provide.

“This is because there is uncertain state guidance or impact thresholds, and no adopted local or regional standards to properly evaluate GHG (greenhouse gas) impacts of a project at a statewide or global level,” the report stated. “Therefore, it is not an uncommon practice to evaluate GHG impacts, incorporate the most current mitigation measures known to reduce GHG impacts, but still identify the issue as not being fully mitigated.”

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Grass Valley City Hall Council Chambers.

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


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