NC Council OKs ramp for historic PD Office site |

NC Council OKs ramp for historic PD Office site

The Nevada County Public Defender’s Office will be able to move into a historic building on Nevada City’s Main Street after all.

The Nevada City City Council on Monday unanimously voted for a plan to build a ramp to give the disabled access to the building, a requirement under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

The council reversed the Planning Commission’s approval of a drawing that would have forced the Berliner family, owners of the 2,800-square-foot Victorian, to build a ramp 4 feet longer and punch a new doorway through the wall in an effort to save an antique window.

The Berliner family, which has leased the building to the county since last fall, wants to build a shorter ramp and place the side entry where the antique window is now located.

Judith Berliner, speaking on behalf of her family, also said a ramp built according to the Planning Commission’s design would eliminated natural light.

Vice Mayor Tom Balch said the commissioners had overstepped their bounds by approving plans the Berliners had never presented.

But City Councilman David McKay, who voted with the majority, defended the commission, saying he understands why it has to be strict.

“I don’t think we should be dissing them,” McKay said of the commissioners. “I think they were trying to save that window.”

After the meeting, Chief Public Defender Thomas Anderson said he hopes to move his staff as soon as possible.

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