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A new development could add six townhouses in Nevada City

A new project on 601 Searls Ave., to be reviewed during an October Nevada City Planning Commission meeting, will add six more townhomes to the housing market.
Courtesy of City of Nevada City |

A property owner in Nevada City is proposing to build six new townhouses near the Seven Hills Business District, a project he says will offer affordable housing options.

“There is a real shortage of housing in Nevada City. I’m trying to fill that gap,” said Steve Bowden, owner of the “The Bungalow,” a proposed new development on 601 Searls Ave.

According to a tentative map, submitted Aug. 8 and available on the Nevada City website, the 0.82-acre parcel will be divided into six residential townhouse lots with a common parking lot and a courtyard area. Each townhouse would measure 1,716 square feet, and will be equipped with a 288 square foot garage, 128 square foot porch, as well as a 1,300 square foot living space.



Bowden said “The Bungalows” project is in its preliminary planning stage, and he is still considering options for the property.

“I initially was going to do them as apartments. As we went through it, it makes more sense to build them as townhomes, and I thought I could sell a few of them and then rent out a few of them,” he said.




Although Bowden has yet to set a price for the homes, he said he is trying to provide housing that is more on the affordable end.

“The other thing is we are taking advantage of it being on a flat lot, so it’s going to be disabled accessible,” he added.

The project is located in the R-2 zoning district of Nevada City, which allows for single-family dwellings and multiple-families residential units. Neighboring properties include residential, office and commercial buildings.

“It’s a nice little site for this,” said Project Engineer Andy Cassano. “It’s the kind of place where you can live and probably actually get by without a car if you have to.”

The project also calls for the removal of 28 trees.

“We made an effort to save all of the trees that we can, especially some trees located in the front part of the property,” Cassano said. “There will be some light grading, and building construction and the drainage facility and such.”

Nevada City Planner Amy Wolfson said the design plan for the project had undergone modifications to accommodate the aesthetic values of Nevada City.

“I know the developer is trying to keep the cost down so the project is profitable for him, but also trying to be mindful of our aesthetic goals in the city,” she said. “I think he has done a big improvement from the first time I looked at it, but ultimately that is the Planning Commission’s call.”

Monday was the deadline for agencies to submit their initial reviews of the project, but Wolfson said none of the comments she had received would impact the project significantly.

Wolfson anticipates that “The Bungalows” would come up during a Planning Commission meeting in October.

Bowden said he hopes to begin construction next spring.

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please email tliu@theunion.com, or call 530-477-4236.


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