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Nevada County buys Coach N Four motel

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors has approved the purchase of the Coach N Four motel for $1.75 million in order to eventually convert the property to affordable housing.

The purchase, approved Tuesday, was made possible through a nearly $3 million grant the county accepted as part of the state’s Project Homekey, which set aside $800 million for local jurisdiction to buy affordable housing property.

The grant includes $528,000 for operating funds over the first two years. The county will partner with AMI Housing to oversee the property, including security, navigation services, and on-site management.



According to Housing Director Mike Dent, the county expects renovations for Americans with Disabilities Act required upgrades to be completed by the end of the year.

The county also applied for nearly $6 million in Project Homekey funding to purchase the Golden Chain Motel in Grass Valley. According to Dent, the state initially wait-listed, then reserved funding, for that acquisition, but the county chose not to move forward because it was not confident about meeting the state’s accelerated escrow closing deadline.



Dent said the expedited timeline also led to smaller-than-normal community outreach, angering some Grass Valley officials.

“There’s an institutional deficit that comes about because there is not collaboration and communication,” Grass Valley Councilman Howard Levine said. “These are things that should be talked about for months.”

Levine said the lack of cooperation between the city and county — which is the lead agency on the project — has become a pattern, pointing to a sales tax dispute and the Brighton Greens project.

Grass Valley Mayor Lisa Swarthout was also concerned the project will cost the city about $20,000 in transient occupancy tax it annually collects from the motel.

“This leads me to believe time and time again that we do not have a reciprocal relationship,” Levine said. “Somebody has to stand up and say, ‘County, pay attention.’”

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


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