Beale housing deal in the works
Beale Air Force Base is negotiating a deal with a private housing development firm to renovate outdated housing and build new homes for families that live there.
The contract to move ahead with “The Landings at Beale” on base could be completed by November, public affairs deputy Lt. Ashley Peltier said Wednesday.
The plan on the base about 25 miles west of Grass Valley calls for the demolition of 644 “inadequate” homes, hiring a contractor to build 242 new homes and renovating 588 existing homes that were built in the 1970s and 1980s, according to Peltier and the Air Force base Web site.
The existing houses are too small and are outdated, the Air Force said.
The base houses about 1,500 people. That’s enough, because those who commute prefer to live elsewhere, Peltier said.
Nearly 8,000 people work on the base, with a majority of employees commuting to homes in Nevada County, Marysville, Lincoln, Roseville, Wheatland and Sacramento, Peltier said.
Possible growth at the base is being cited by supporters of the unrelated Yuba Highlands development as a reason to approve even more housing than what the Air Force is contemplating.
The base may draw a thousand more employees for existing Global Hawk missions – and even more if a cyber command headquarters were relocated there, said Yuba County Supervisor John Nicoletti, who voted in favor of the controversial Yuba Highlands housing project. Nicoletti’s father retired from Beale AFB in 1971.
Building 5,100 residences at Yuba Highlands would provide base employees with affordable housing and reduce the “carbon footprint” of base commuters, Nicoletti said Wednesday.
Critics argue that the project would elevate air pollution by bringing an additional 15,000 people and their cars to the base of the foothills. They also cite the lack of water in the area and the destruction of wildlife habitat.
Nevada County District 2 Supervisor Sue Horne disagreed with Nicoletti, saying the base has 23,000 acres for building additional housing, should that be needed.
“Logistically speaking, there is certainly space to build more housing” on the base, Horne said. Yuba Highlands isn’t the answer because the plan needs to be re-worked and some people don’t support it, Horne said.
The base leadership has taken no position on the development, but speaking personally, Peltier said some military employees would welcome it.
“There is a positive to having a development like that close to our base. It would just give us another place to live,” Peltier said.
To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4230.
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