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More traffic studies for tribal clinic?

More studies could be done before the Grass Valley City Council decides whether an American Indian medical facility should be built at the corner of Sierra College Drive and East Main Street.

Representatives for Chapa-De Indian Health Program Inc. – a nonprofit organization based out of Auburn – want to build a 42,336-square-foot office on 12 acres. Chapa-De has maintained offices in Grass Valley since 1998.

The Grass Valley’s Planning Commission approved the plans October 15 but Steve Enos, a member of the City Council, appealed the decision two weeks later, saying the traffic study was inadequate.



A special City Council meeting scheduled for Monday to review the appeal has been postponed until Jan. 28, Joe Heckel, the city’s community development director said Wednesday.

In a Nov. 26 letter to the city, Chapa-De attorney Marcus J. Lo Duca of Roseville said his client requested the extension to have more time to “continue to work with City staff on additional measures that might address concerns with the project as presented in the appeal.” His client also wants to invite members of the City Council to visit the facility in Auburn, he said.




Heckel said the city will hire a traffic consultant to evaluate Chapa-De’s traffic study. Traffic is a complicated science he said and the city does not have a traffic engineer on staff. Many other cities do the same, he said.

Developers typically present traffic reports when they propose projects before city officials.

The city, which may spend up to $3,000 to hire the consultant, wants to make sure that it has the whole picture, Heckel said.

Enos on Tuesday said the time extension will allow for additional review of Chapa-De’s traffic study.

The traffic study should evaluate the impacts extra cars generated by Chapa-De and nearby present and future developments, Enos said. For instance, the study should take into account the extra traffic generated by the future apartment complex on Sutton Way, he said.

Chapa-De, which operates under the Rumsey Indian Rancheria out of Yolo County, a federally recognized Indian tribe, provides medical services to American Indians and non-Indians.


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