Grass Valley looks to Glenbrook expansion |

Grass Valley looks to Glenbrook expansion

You have to spend money to make money, the saying goes. And Grass Valley is hoping that saying holds true for Glenbrook Basin.

City Council members voted unanimously this week to add Glenbrook Basin and portions of the Berry Hill area to its Redevelopment Agency – about 700 acres altogether.

The areas have the potential to generate more than $200 million in revenue over the next 45 years, but also need about $44 million in improvements, according to a report released by the agency in August 2009.

Given the current economic climate, Councilman Dan Miller said Tuesday those revenue figures may be a little optimistic, but added the results would still be worth the effort.

“The potential is that we can generate RDA funds for road improvements and improvements to water and sewer in Glenbrook,” Miller said. “There are a lot of areas there that need to be upgraded, but it’s worked really well in our current RDA district in Grass Valley, and we hope to do the same thing in Glenbrook Basin.”

A $120,000 expenditure from the RDA’s fund was approved Tuesday to amend the city’s redevelopment plan to include the new areas. The process should take about a year, said City Community Development Director Joe Heckel.

The Glenbrook Basin area, which has a number of vacant and under-used properties, needs upgrades to stimulate commerce, Heckel said. He pointed to easing traffic through the area as just one of the tasks the RDA could undertake.

“With this, we’re looking to the future,” Heckel said. “We can use the RDA as an economic tool to improve the area.”

The addition would more than double the agency’s current territory, which includes about 400 acres downtown.

Since it was founded in 1988, the agency has undertaken projects such as putting downtown power lines underground and creating a more uniform appearance for businesses in the area.

It is separately funded from the city by property taxes from businesses within the agency’s boundaries. Property values are assessed when an area is added, and as those values grow, the difference between their current value and assessed value is given to the RDA.

City officials have entertained the notion of adding Glenbrook since about 2004, Heckel said. Most of the area has been annexed into the city in the past 10 years.

To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail or call (530) 477-4239.

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