Mixed-use development has faced long and winding road | TheUnion.com

Mixed-use development has faced long and winding road

Dorsey Marketplace Project Representative Katy Schardt, left, leads a group of Grass Valley city officials and members of the public in an hour-long walking tour of the site in June 2016.
Teresa Yinmeng Liu/tliu@theunion.com

The Dorsey Marketplace proposal has undergone a number of revisions since its first public presentation in early 2014.

The conceptual plan for the proposed retail site was submitted as work on the new Dorsey Interchange was being completed. The proposal quickly attracted controversy when owner Russell Jeter’s proposal went before the Development Review Committee for a conceptual development review.

At that time, the proposed uses for the site included almost 171,000 square feet of retail space, 30,450 square feet for a movie theater and nearly 14,000 square feet for restaurants, with four potential fast-food restaurants.

Jeter submitted formal development plans to the Grass Valley Planning Department in March 2015, after undergoing months of pre-application and conceptual review with the city.

After being advised by Community Development Director Tom Last that the city wanted a “unique plan” that would become a destination, Jeter’s revised plan featured around 150,000 square feet of retail space, 7,745 square feet of restaurant space, 2,825 square feet for office and financial services, 26,450 square feet of mixed use space, and a 30,450 square-foot movie theater.

Community members continued to air concerns, however, with some worried the development would “Roseville” Grass Valley.

Just a month later, the application was withdrawn, with Jeter reportedly wanting to spend more time on the design components.

That application was re-submitted in December 2015, with the addition of a residential component that replaced a movie theater. The plan featured a 90-unit apartment complex and also included a community dog park. The building would feature one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, as well as a swimming pool, outdoor patio, community meeting room and fitness center.

The residential area would also have two-bedroom units to provide live/work housing opportunities for those employed at the marketplace and the neighboring area.

At that time, Jeter estimated the marketplace would generate around $75 million to $100 million in annual taxable sales and bring about more than 400 new jobs with a range of wage levels “from entry level to management.”

A number of meetings were conducted in the first part of 2016, including scoping meetings, an applicant-sponsored open house, a preliminary Design Review Committee meeting and a walking tour of the site.

But the draft Environmental Impact Report, which was slated to be ready for its 45-day review period in July 2016, hit some ongoing snags.

Now that the draft report has been released to the public, that starts the 45-day clock. Comments must be received by May 6. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to discuss, and take comments on, the Draft EIR on Tuesday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in the Grass Valley City Council Chambers, 125 E. Main St. Staff and the consultants will review the conclusions, and the public can provide comments and ask questions.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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