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Fire station sale snuffed?

The Nevada County Consolidated Fire District has backed off plans to convert the old 49er fire station off Highway 49 into a business.

The fire district cited its desire to have the property re-appraised.

District representative Ken Baker also acknowledged an agreement with a wood-pallet seller had fallen through, removing the district’s option to sell the property immediately.



The sale faced heated opposition from Nevada City because the station is in its “sphere of influence,” a zone delineating land intended for annexation to the city.

The city would like another public agency to purchase the station to ensure the Highway 49 corridor remains scenic. Nevada City’s Planning Commission and City Council voted against rezoning the property to commercial.




The Nevada County Planning Commission had also voted against the rezoning, adhering to its governing document that requires the county to defer to cities in their spheres of influence.

The cities of Grass Valley and Truckee, concerned about the precedent that could be set by the change, also expressed their opposition to a rezoning and General Plan amendment.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors expressed its displeasure with the district’s request, but agreed to give Consolidated until June to re-evaluate its options.

“I certainly have a strong opinion about (the rezoning) and I don’t know if it’s going to change in 120 days,” said Supervisor Sue Horne.

Supervisor Nate Beason said he didn’t think the issue should have come before the board.

“I doubt there is anybody in the room that doesn’t want the fire district to succeed in getting the best price,” Beason said. “(But a rezoning would send the message that) if you can get more money by rezoning it, come on down.”

Baker acknowledged the supervisors’ opposition.

“In my own opinion, I don’t think we’ll be back,” Baker said, realizing the majority of the board opposed the rezoning.

Consolidated plans to get another opinion on the value of the station, he said.

After vacating the North Bloomfield station in 2002, Consolidated placed it on the market. The wood pallet business offered more than twice the amount a public agency had been willing to pay for the building, Baker said.

The district hopes to use the money from the sale to build a new station on Banner Mountain.

Nevada City representatives remain dissatisfied with the situation, Mayor Conley Weaver said.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t resolve it today,” Weaver said. “What (doesn’t Consolidated) understand about no?”


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