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Condos could face new hurdles

Owners of apartment buildings in Grass Valley soon may face more-stringent requirements before they can convert their properties into condominiums.

Currently, a substandard apartment complex without parking spaces or landscaping can be converted into condominiums, Gary Price, the city’s associate city planner said Friday.



A new ordinance, which the city’s Planning Commission will consider Tuesday, would prohibit the conversion of Grass Valley’s cheaper apartments into condominiums unless the city provides enough housing for its low-income residents as required under state law.




Grass Valley has met its fair share of affordable housing, city officials have said repeatedly.

City staff started working on the new rules last year, soon after the owner of an apartment complex on South Auburn Street received permission to convert an apartment complex into condominium units.

The Auburn Gardens Apartments were built in 1963.

As condominiums, the apartments do not meet building code standards nor provide enough parking, city staff said last year.

None of the 18 apartments has been sold so far, Jim and Jean Sutton, the managers at the complex, said Saturday.

Owner Fred Daenzer told the Planning Commission in May the apartments will be sold as they become vacant. No one will be evicted, Daenzer told the commissioners.

Cate Landberg, who rents a one-bedroom apartment for $565 a month, has lived at the complex for the past three years and intends to stay.

“As a renter, it is so hard to find an affordable rental in this town,” said the 39-year-old engineering technician. “I know I’m not going to find a better deal anywhere.”

She does not want to buy her apartment.

“I would not buy here (in this complex),” she said. “They’re older apartments,” Landberg said. “I like living here and everything, but it’s a rental.”

If she had enough money, she would rather buy a house, she said.

The City Council’s approval of the proposed ordinance would be required before it could take effect.

WHAT: Grass Valley Planning Commission

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall, 125 E. Main St.


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