Grass Valley Planning Commission approves amendments to the Berriman Ranch, Loma Rica Ranch projects | TheUnion.com

Grass Valley Planning Commission approves amendments to the Berriman Ranch, Loma Rica Ranch projects

Teresa Yinmeng Liu
Staff Writer

A dozen residents filed into the Grass City Council Chambers Tuesday night to express concern about two large-scale development projects with the potential to transform the landscape of the region.

The representatives of the Berriman Ranch project and the Loma Rica Drive project appeared in front of the Grass Valley Planning Commission with proposed changes that spell out more details.

In a unanimous vote, the Planning Commission approved a revised development agreement for the Loma Rica Ranch project and a tentative map for the Berriman Ranch project.

Commissioners agreed that any subdivision on the Berriman Ranch project would include a trail in the open space area, the location of which will be decided in the future. The decision was prompted by some of the concerns brought up by residents who live close to the property.

San Diego-based Asset Property Management, Inc., which owns the Berriman Ranch Project, requested the division of a 32-acre on the 121-acre property in order to transfer a lot on the parcel to the homebuilder, Homes by Towne.

That lot will contain 30 single-family homes and is located on the northwestern corner of the Berriman Ranch Project, on the southern boundary of Grass Valley.

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Several residents who live close to the area raised concerns regarding the location of a proposed pedestrian easement that connects the Kmart shopping center to the property, which is included as part of the new tentative map application.

Ken Hughes, president of the Carriage House Property Owners Association, said the proposed trail would cut through the middle of the properties of some of the homeowners and create security issues.

He said the trail would form a "long, narrow" elevated alleyway that runs through the back of some of these property owners' parcels.

The original Berriman Ranch project application included a public access trail that connects the Kmart shopping center to the property, but that idea was turned down because representatives of the shopping center thought that a trail behind the shopping center is not a good idea due to truck traffic behind property and lack of public entrances.

Instead, representatives for the Berriman Ranch project suggested a pedestrian connection at the northeastern corner of the property that connects to the commercial area east of the Kmart shopping center.

"We all have the same goal," said project representative Rob Wood, a principal planner with SCO Planning and Engineering Inc. "We want to put the trail in and be a good neighbor."

The Loma Rica Ranch project, a 452-acre mixed-use development project that abuts the eastern edge of the city, was approved by the City Council in May 2011.

The project came back to the city to work out details such as parks, road improvements and use of local labor.

The revised development agreement pertains to the first phase of the project.

In other business, Community Development Director Tom Last said the architectural designs of the Dorsey Marketplace project will be discussed in upcoming Development Review Committee meetings. He will release the announcement on the city website.

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please email tliu@theunion.com, or call 530-477-4236.