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DarkHorse plans affordable housing

As many as 30 affordable homes within the luxury DarkHorse housing project will be built within three years if county supervisors approve a contract today.

If they do, DarkHorse would be the second major new source of affordable homes in Nevada County. Wildwood Ridge, a development near Lake Wildwood that was approved in February 2006, is projected to build 36 affordable residences, including rented garage apartments and for-sale duplexes.

But it remained unclear how many rental units in DarkHorse would actually go on the market. In the Wildwood Ridge development, the county is not requiring that the 12 homeowners who would take on the affordable garage apartments actually put the units on the market.



Yet in both cases, the affordable residences would meet county requirements that developers in certain zoning districts provide 10 percent of proposed units as affordable housing for 10 years.

Affordable housing can be a single family house, a duplex, apartment complexes, a garage apartment or a granny unit for seniors.




The contract before the supervisors today would move the affordable homes in Dark Horse – between 23 and 30 of them – into one centralized area in the fourth phase of the project near the golf course, Planning Director Randy Wilson said. The 330-residence development is on a former cattle ranch in the southern part of the county next to Lake of the Pines; it features a golf course and ponds.

In the Wildwood Ridge development, planning commissioners required the developer to build affordable residences with each phase of construction.

In Nevada County, the median income for a family of four is $65,100. A family of four with an income of $52,100 is considered low income, said Nina Bigley, program manager at the county’s Planning Department.

A security fund of $67,777 per affordable unit will be established to provide financing for roadway and other improvements at DarkHorse.

Also at the meeting:

• Supervisors will consider recommendations from the Planning Commission to amend zoning that would allow for roadside farm and produce stands on county roads.

• Supervisors will consider several wastewater issues in Lake Wildwood, Lake of the Pines and Higgins Village.

• Supervisors will review increases to road maintenance fees for residents living off Newton Road.

• Public Health Officer Dr. Joseph Iser, M.D. will give a presentation on his report and findings of the county’s recent pandemic influenza preparedness exercise, “Operation Sick Chicken.”

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To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail laurab@theunion.com or call 477-4231.


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