Leader of community dog park questions amenities proposed in Dorsey Marketplace Project | TheUnion.com
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Leader of community dog park questions amenities proposed in Dorsey Marketplace Project

The president of a Grass Valley community dog park group is calling for developers and city officials to reassess the amenities proposed for the Dorsey Marketplace Project, a mixed-used development near Dorsey Interchange that has attracted much attention since it came back to the city for review in December.

“It seems like the developer put a lot of perks into the project, hoping to use them as his way of getting his approval, but I am not sure how much research he has done in the area,” said Gerald Gates, president of Dogs Run Free of Nevada County.

After withdrawing his application in April 2014, Russel Jeter, the owner and developer of the Dorsey Marketplace Project, came back with a revised blueprint on Dec. 9 to turn the 26.9-acre property into a residential, commercial and community use center.



His proposition replaced a theater in the original proposal with an apartment complex. Other highlights of the new application included the plan to build a dog park as well as to local art exhibits and history murals.

The new application has spawned an upsurge of reactions from residents. Some, like Gates, saw parts of the project as not applicable to the needs of the community.




Gates pointed specifically to the lack of need for another dog park in the area.

Dogs Run Free oversees an off-leash, 1.8-acre facility in Condon Park, which was approved by the Grass Valley city council in 2010. The organization is funded by public donations and maintained by volunteers.

Gates also argued that the project would exacerbate the traffic congestion problem at Highway 49 Interchange at Dorsey Drive.

“Brunswick is a big shopping area,” said Gates. “It is counterproductive to put another shopping center at Dorsey. For my perspective, even if the city is trying to increase the retail revenue, by placing a shopping center at Dorsey, we will face the same (traffic) problem we have already seen at Dorsey.”

Katy Schardt, a representative for the project, said the dog park will offer the occupants of the Dorsey Marketplace apartments, as well as the residents living in the “high density residential, senior and low income housing” surrounding the development, a place to exercise their dogs.

“Those residents who are unable to drive to the Condon dog park will be able to walk to the Dorsey Dog Park,” Schardt wrote in an email, adding, “there is no intention to direct support away from Condon Park.”

Schardt said the two communicated over the phone, but Gates said his worries weren’t eased by the conversation.

“The developer’s motive is profit-based,” said Gates. “I am trying to protect the community.”

The project has also received praise from community members for helping to preserve local sales revenue.

“As long as it can create new jobs, provide more resources to the community, and hopefully eliminate the number of homeless and drug users in the county, I’m all for it,” wrote Miles Campbell, a user on The Union’s Facebook page. “Small towns only go so far, people… eventually, we all have to grow at some point…”

The project is not expected to be in front of the Development Review Committee, the first step of the review process, for awhile.

Community Development Director Tom Last told The Union last week that the city is reviewing applications from environmental consultants and is expected to make a decision on a company to conduct environmental study for the project.

The environmental review alone could take six to eight months, Last said.

But Gates said he hopes to initiate a conversation with the city officials and the developers to look critically at what is being proposed as soon as possible.

“We moved here for the small-town atmosphere,” said Gates. “If they (the developers) could do it right, they could preserve the atmosphere of the small town, and still provide opportunities for retail.”

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


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