Grass Valley City Council to take look at another growth initiative
Senior Staff Writer
A second Grass Valley growth initiative endorsed by Mayor Mark Johnson will be opposed by city staff members at tonight’s City Council meeting.
The Limited Growth Initiative was brought forward by Johnson, city Historic Commission member Peggy Levine and volunteer leader Dennis Cassella, the mayor said. It came on the heels of the Managed Growth Initiative offered by the Citizens Concerned About Traffic and the Rural Quality Coalition, and both have been certified for the Nov. 4 ballot.
The Limited Growth Initiative would limit the number of housing units to 2,820 through the year 2020 and put any city annexations or boundary changes to a vote. It would also require any development over 100 housing units to prepare an economic impact plan.
“I wanted to give the voters a second chance to endorse the general plan,” Johnson said of the Limited Growth Initiative Monday. “It makes sure future development will not put a negative impact on the city, and that’s the big one for me.”
The staff report against Johnson’s plan was prepared by City Administrator Dan Holler and Community Development Director Joe Heckel. It says the Limited Growth Initiative and the Managed Growth Initiative would create “ballot box planning” that restrict the city’s ability to approve or disapprove projects through the existing planning process ” one that already includes public input.
The report says lawsuits could result from the Limited Growth Initiative and keep housing prices high by limiting supply. Staff members also fear Johnson’s plan would force growth outside the city area ” contrary to the Nevada County General Plan.
The Managed Growth Initiative has already been opposed by the City Council, because it would require voters to approve amendments to the land-use element of city’s general plan. Opponents say it would also drive development out of the city into the county, creating the sprawl the authors originally intended to arrest.
The mayor said Monday he would recuse himself from the Limited Growth Initiative discussion tomorrow night and any others in the future because of his involvement.
Despite the staff’s recommendation against the plan he endorses, Johnson said he thought city employees did a good job analyzing it. Staff members already feel the existing planning process is adequate, Johnson said.
“They don’t want anything the city doesn’t already have,” the mayor added.
To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4237.
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