Loma Rica environmental review coming soon | TheUnion.com

Loma Rica environmental review coming soon

Area residents will have many chances in coming months to influence the course of a major development planned for the eastern border of Grass Valley.

The City Council and Planning Commission set in motion a series of meetings and a public process to vet the planned Loma Rica Ranch development.

The 452-acre property at Sutton Way and Idaho-Maryland Road stretches across Brunswick Road. A draft environmental review for the project will be released near the end of the month, triggering meetings, workshops and a comment period seeking public comment.

As proposed, the project would include 700 residential units, 54,000 square feet of commercial space, 364,151 square feet of business and industrial space and 314 acres of open space.

“This project has been on the city’s plate for many, many, many years in various forms,” said Mayor Lisa Swarthout at a joint meeting with the Planning Commission Thursday evening.

The property has been targeted by the city for annexation dating back to the 1966 General Plan, said city Community Development Director Joe Heckel.

Looking forward, officials hope to release the draft environmental review Sept. 30, giving the public 45 days to comment, ending Nov. 15, Heckel said.

In that time, planning commissioners would conduct several public meetings and workshops, likely on Oct. 19 and Oct. 25 or Nov. 1, Heckel said.

From there, the final environmental document would be reviewed in early 2011, Heckel said, stressing that the approval of the document isn’t the same as approving the Loma Rica project.

And even if the special development area gets approved, the city will have to approve individual aspects of the development as they come forward.

“There is no development proposed at this time. Subdivision maps and development plans would be reviewed at a later date,” said city Planning Director Tom Last.

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