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Dorsey Marketplace project plan withdrawn by applicants to reassess

Project applicants for the Dorsey Marketplace shopping center in Grass Valley have withdrawn their formal application in order to reassess the proposal, although they intend to reapply at a future date, according to Community Development Director Tom Last.

“I think their intention is to reapply,” said Last. “They just want to fully understand everything and understand areas they need to work on before the city really starts to formally process this application.”

Russell Jeter, property owner of the proposed 26.75-acre shopping center adjacent to the Dorsey Drive interchange, had submitted formal development plans to the Grass Valley City Planning Department in late March.



On Tuesday, though, Dale Creighton of SCO Planning & Engineering submitted a letter to Grass Valley city staff on behalf of the “Jeter Family Trust,” stating that they wished to withdraw their application at this time.

“The owner wants to spend more time on the design components and the community care components,” Creighton told The Union. “He was trying to push to get the application filed so he can start some of the environmental documentation, because those take a long time to get done. But just sensing some reaction (to the application), he thought more effort is needed to take place toward the design of the project.”




Jeter purchased the property in 2008, one year after the Grass Valley City Council approved the Dorsey Drive Interchange, which has improved vehicular access to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Sierra College from the freeway. The interchange would also provide easy access to Jeter’s proposed Dorsey Marketplace.

The conceptual plan for the proposed retail site was submitted on Jan. 30, 2014, and quickly became a hot-button issue in late February 2014 when Jeter’s proposal went before the Development Review Committee.

Local residents and city officials addressed concerns that small businesses in the downtown area could be affected if the shopping center rented space to big-box stores and fast-food restaurants.

The proposal at the time was still a conceptual design, however.

When the formal application for the marketplace was submitted last month, community members continued to air concerns on local online groups, some claiming the development would “Roseville” Grass Valley.

“He’s heard general reactions from the public. He follows stuff pretty closely … the reaction online, in newspapers, and radio shows,” said Creighton. “The owner’s very conscious and sensitive to input and he wants to bring forth the best project he can do, and that’s what his goals are.”

Jeter could not be reached for comment.

The application proposed approximately 150,000 square feet of retail space, 7,745 square feet of restaurant space, 2,825 square feet for office and financial services, 26,450 square feet of mixed-use space, and a 30,450-square-foot movie theater. More than 1,100 parking spaces were also proposed.

Jeter previously told The Union he was looking into bringing two local tenants to anchor the shopping center, but would not disclose names of businesses.

He also added that Wal-Mart would not be a tenant on the property.

Last said, prior to its withdrawal, the city was in the process of reviewing Jeter’s application and had contacted representatives of the project earlier this week about general concerns city staff had about the design.

“We didn’t believe they properly addressed the items from the (Development Review Committee), or the staff report from the (committee), and the comments we gave them last year,” Last said. “They definitely addressed some things, but not all of the things that were in that report from last year … So staff expressed concerns about that.”

Last has previously advised that the city expects “a unique plan” for the Dorsey Marketplace that would encourage residents to shop locally and create a destination that was “representative of Grass Valley and the Gold Country.”

If Jeter were to reapply, Last said, the application process would start over, going through city and environmental review, before seeking approval from the Development Review Committee, Planning Commission, and finally the City Council.

“Over the next couple weeks we’re going to set up a time to meet with (the applicants),” Last said. “And go over any issues or concerns and walk through our previous comments, and make sure they have a clear understanding of what the city is looking for.”

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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