Lawyer critical of housing study |

Lawyer critical of housing study

The environmental study of a large and controversial housing project proposed for east of Nevada City has failed to uncover all the potential effects, a city-hired lawyer said late Monday.

There are “legal inadequacies” in the environmental impact report certified in August by the Nevada County Planning Commission for the Deer Creek Park II project, the San Francisco lawyer said.

Nevada City and other parties are contesting approval of the EIR at a county Board of Supervisors meeting at 9 a.m. today.

Among the two major problems pointed out by Gabriel Ross of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger is the EIR did not provide enough information on timber harvesting planned for the property. The land encompasses 580 acres accessed through Red Dog Road and Boulder Street; the proposal would subdivide the land into 193 lots.

In addition, people had limited opportunities to comment on the project, including raising concerns about noise levels and bicycle safety on nearby roads, Ross said.

“How relieved (residents) are to know the city is in there fighting and plugging,” said Abigail Givens, of Friends of Banner Mountain Trail. Givens is scheduled to speak at the supervisors’ meeting today.

Her main concern is the development’s impact on water quality. The project would entail a septic system located close to Little Deer Creek, a major source of water for Nevada City.

In other news from Monday’s City Council meeting:

• Regarding revenue collection and developing operating procedures, City Manager Mark Miller said the city was “moving forward quite nicely.” Nevada City has been reorganizing its business operations after an investigation launched last spring revealed it failed to collect about $400,000 in bills and fees.

• Council members discussed hiring a new finance officer and reposting advertisements for the position. One of the previous candidates for the job was no longer interested, leaving a single applicant from Roseville, Miller said. Council members voted in June to create the finance officer position and eliminate the operations supervisor position held by Cathy Wilcox-Barnes, who was placed on leave after the financial problems were discovered.

• Nevada City’s car-sharing program, the first of the environmentally friendly concepts to be attempted in the Sierras, also appeared on Monday’s agenda.

Reinette Senum, one of the program’s founders, said the car-sharing proponents likely will have parking spaces on a private street as public parking is scarce in Nevada City. Senum also is working with computer software to schedule people for using the cars.


To reach staff writer Josh Singer, e-mail or call 477-4234.

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