City to review RV site design |

City to review RV site design

Grass Valley’s architectural character and how new developments fit in with that will be discussed at the City Council meeting tonight, when the design of a new development is up for a vote.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m.

DeMartini RV Sales on East Main Street is one of the city’s biggest generators of sales taxes – in the top 25, according to city financial reports. The company makes the majority of its sales over the Internet, including international customers, owner Timothy DeMartini said.

The family is planning to move its cramped operations on East Main Street and Maltman Drive to a 12-acre property on Idaho-Maryland Road. DeMartini has said he hopes to open by this fall.

The city’s General Plan says the architecture of new developments should reflect Grass Valley’s history and architectural character. Exactly how to do that, however, is not spelled out.

Timothy and Margie DeMartini have been going through the city’s design review process since the spring of 2004. They met with the Development Review Committee four times and with the Planning Commission three times. In the process, they revised their design three times to meet concerns raised.

However, one City Council member said the design needs more work.

Councilman Dean Williams said Monday he would like more information about the landscaping, especially about how many trees will be planted, what kind, how fast they grow and how tall.

“I’m pretty sure the community doesn’t want to look at acres of RVs parked there,” Williams said.

He also raised questions about the similarity of DeMartini’s latest design to big-box architecture that can be seen anywhere in suburban California. Williams has submitted photographs of The Home Depot, Chuck E. Cheese, Cost Plus World Market and REI camping equipment in Roseville to the council to show the similarity of design.

“A very large percentage of our sales tax revenue comes from his business,” Williams said. “We want to accommodate him, but we want to find a balance.”

After nearly two years of investment and design changes, DeMartini said he is frustrated with the length of the process that includes design review and repeated public comment, much of it contentious. When he started to think about expanding, DeMartini said, the city leadership asked him to stay in Grass Valley and worked with him to select a site.

Now, he said, the project is being held up by people who are “anti-progress.”


To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail or call 477-4231.

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