County panel mulls over zoning rule changes
Attendance was low in theater two of Nevada County government Thursday night.
At Rood Administrative Center, Nevada County planning commissioners received requests from two activist groups to hold off on clarification of the county’s zoning codes, pleading a more important government meeting across town: Natural Heritage 2020’s Community Advisory Committee session.
Three citizens attended the planning commission meeting, where the five commissioners studied senior planner Stephanie Wagner’s 52-page report about whether day care centers belong in industrial sites, where hazardous materials might be stored, and hundreds of other details.
Karen Chileski, a representative of California Association of Business, Property and Resource Owners, presented a letter from the organization’s field representative, Pat Davison, asking the commission to hold off making any decisions since Davison had to attend the NH 2020 meeting. The Nevada County Contractors Association made the same request verbally, Wagner said.
Commissioners considered whether reducing the size of industrial and commercial projects it reviews from 20,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet – one change in the June 2000 zoning ordinance – meant that they reviewed more projects. Projects less than 10,000 square feet go before the zoning administrator, county Planning Director Mark Tomich.
Commissioners asked Tomich for a report on how many projects and what size projects went before him in zoning administrator hearings last year.
“We want to see your report card, Mark,” Commissioner Sharon Boivin told Tomich.
Tomich said he thought he could get the information on one page.
Commissioner Kurt Lorenz explained that often commissioners hear about projects from concerned residents after the zoning administrator has reviewed them, and that the commission should consider whether more projects would benefit from review by the commission.
Planning commissioners will likely continue the clerical cleanup at their next meeting Feb. 14.
County officials adopted the current zoning ordinance after three years of public hearings.
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