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Habitat for Humanity seeks the rezoning of open space

Habitat for Humanity volunteers may build a house in Nevada City.

The 1,344-square-foot single-family home is proposed for construction on Searls Avenue on land donated by Erickson Realty Ltd., based in Beaverton, Ore.

Habitat for Humanity on Monday will seek the nod from the Nevada City City Council to rezone the 10,000 square feet of land as residential. The land is now zoned for open space.



Under the proposal, the remainder of the lot – about half an acre – would remain open space.

The land either could be donated to the nonprofit organization or the city.




Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian ministry focused on eliminating poverty housing. Based in Americus, Ga., the organization has built and sold more than 125,000 houses in 83 countries, including 45,000 in the United States. It has been a favorite charity of former President Jimmy Carter.

Nevada City officials could impose a provision that the house remain affordable for low-income buyers in perpetuity, which Habitat for Humanity does not require.

A spokesman said that could mean the organization would not be able to obtain $8,000 in state grants.

The volunteers may have to raise $60,000 to build the house, said Norm Westmore, a board member of Habitat for Humanity of Nevada County.

Nevada City City Clerk Cathy Wilcox-Barnes said the city could waive mitigation fees – approximately $10,000.

If the house is later sold at market rate, she said, the new owner would have to pay the fees with interest.

Habitat for Humanity houses are estimated to be worth $85,000 to $100,000.

Family members who qualify to purchase a house work up to 500 hours in sweat equity, and most of the other labor is donated.

Habitat for Humanity’s Nevada County chapter was founded in 1997.

Volunteers so far have built two houses in Penn Valley and five in Grass Valley, with a sixth Grass Valley home near completion on Slate Creek Road.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Nevada City City Council

WHEN: 7 p.m. Monday

WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall, 317 Broad Street, Nevada City

INFORMATION: 265-2496


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