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City wants oversight of potential development

A 120-residence development proposed for Berriman Ranch just south of Grass Valley appears headed toward construction sooner than city leaders want, with several possible impacts on city traffic and waste-water treatment.

But the developer’s current plan doesn’t go far enough to address those impacts, Grass Valley City Council members decided late Tuesday night after a brief discussion.

The impacts are the city’s to bear, and the city should be the entity to have complete oversight, they said.



“The city doesn’t want haphazard development to occur,” said Interim City Administrator Jeff Foltz.

The developer, Asset Property Management of San Diego, has applied to Nevada County because the project rests on unincorporated land.




Berriman Ranch falls in the city’s sphere of influence – an area south of McKnight Way and west of Highway 49 – that the city anticipates annexing between 2016 and 2020. City leaders say they want Asset Property to follow that time frame.

“It needs to be developed within the city limits,” Mayor Mark Johnson said.

The developer has proposed 120 residences on 121 acres between the farm at Taylorville Road and Picadilly Lane. A vineyard, winery and tasting room also are planned; a preliminary map shows them surrounded by clusters of lots ranging in size from very small to quite large.

Several key development impact fees would not be collected if the developer seeks county approval prior to a later city annexation, and that concerns Johnson, fellow council members and Community Development Director Joe Heckel.

City impact fees for local traffic, police, fire, water, parks and recreation and infrastructure all would be missed if the project goes through the county’s approval process, Heckel said. In addition, Nevada County supervisors recently refused to increase impact fees collected for building in the county – even an increase to make up for inflation.

No specific target has been mentioned to start or finish construction. A letter from the project planner, Dale T. Creighton of SCO Planning and Engineering in Grass Valley, indicates that an initial, tentative map would be submitted to the county shortly.

A formal letter outlining the city’s concerns about the Berriman Ranch project could be sent to county planning officials later this month. The City Council is expected to approve such a letter at the March 27 regular meeting.

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To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail gregm@theunion.com or call 477-4234.


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