Carville earns Vision 2020 award for Loma Rica idea |

Carville earns Vision 2020 award for Loma Rica idea

Without a single building erected, Phil Carville will be awarded tonight by the Sierra Business Council for his proposed Loma Rica Ranch development on the eastern outskirts of Grass Valley.

“Phil has become one of the region’s most determined spokesmen for new urbanism, traditional neighborhood design and smart growth,” said a statement issued by the council about Carville winning its Vision 2020 Award.

The project, now entering its environmental study phase, features 700 residences, a business park and retail space on 452 acres, two-thirds of which will be open space.

“The reason we’re getting this award is for advanced planning in the Sierra,” Carville said. “They recognized this is the wave of the future to stop Sierra sprawl.”

The project will feature four distinct neighborhoods with business and residential buildings designed to make it easy for those who live there to walk to stores and services. The idea harkens back to the old days before automobiles when homes, jobs and stores were located near each other in towns like Grass Valley and Nevada City.

Loma Rica Ranch started in 2002, when Carville entered a joint agreement with the Ronald Getty Trust, his firm and long-time friend Bill Newsome. The project, which would require Grass Valley’s annexation, is in the early environmental review stages.

“Bill wanted to build a sustainable community,” Carville said, and was the link to the Getty trust to buy the property. Newsome is listed as manager of the project, with Carville’s Loma Rica Ranch LLC listed as developer.

The Loma Rica Ranch project has already cost $14 million, Carville said, with $7 million going for the acreage and $7 million in planning, research and the cost of the organic farm, which is considered the heart of the current plan.

The project is going through the environmental review process.

Even if Carville eventually doesn’t end up building the project, “The farm is always there no matter what,” he said. “The farm is sacrosanct.”

The Associated Press reported in a recent article that the J. Paul Getty Trust, which the Ronald Getty Trust is under, was planning to cut its budget by 25 percent. The cuts were based on investment losses of $1.5 billion during the last six months of 2009.

Although the cuts are expected in late May, Carville does not expect to be involved. The project is small compared to many the Getty Trust has taken on, and “They have too much invested,” to pull the plug, Carville said.

The free awards ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. tonight at the Grand Ballroom in Sacramento at 629 J St. You can RSVP at


To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail or call 477-4237.

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