NC debates, supports bag ban |

NC debates, supports bag ban

One day after South Lake Tahoe became the latest California city to ban plastic bags in grocery and retail stores, Nevada City’s council formally supported similar statewide legislation at its Wednesday meeting.

“I do like the idea of our town being supportive of this idea, too,” said Councilwoman Jennifer Ray. “When it is not systematically part of the process to have your bags provided, you do adapt.”

The council’s resolution supporting Senate Bill 405 was originally scheduled to be adopted without discussion, but Councilwoman Terri Andersen pulled the item from the consent items for further consideration.

“My first impression of this resolution to support this was that it was a plastic bag ban, and I found out it was much more,” Andersen said. “And I found it to be misleading.”

Andersen, who eventually voted as the lone dissenter against the resolution, noted that SB405’s language bans all bags intended for single use, notably paper bags.

“I just wanted to call it what it is,” Andersen said.

A divided South Lake Tahoe council imposed its ban by a 3-2 vote Tuesday, with Mayor Tom Davis and Councilwoman JoAnn Conner as the dissenters, reported the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of The Union. That ban will take effect Jan. 15 for grocers and food vendors and Oct. 15, 2014, for retailers.

Students in western Nevada County appeared in May before the Nevada City Council (and subsequently before Grass Valley’s city council) to appeal to the town to adopt a bag ban similar to South Lake Tahoe’s, but the council never scheduled at discussion on the matter.

At that time, David Painter, co-owner of SPD Markets, indicated his willingness to comply and even support such an ordinance on the stipulation that it was countywide and not restricted to Nevada City — something that would take agreement between at least three different governing bodies.

“We have one big grocery store in town, and it is vital,” said Mayor Sally Harris. “I don’t want to do anything that would put them at a disadvantage.”

Councilman Duane Strawser noted that a statewide ban would accomplish a uniform bag ban in Nevada County and keep all grocers and other affected businesses on an even playing field. He also indicated that he expected further alterations and concessions in SB 405 if it is ever adopted.

SB 405’s author, state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles), requested that the bill be added to the inactive file in June, according to the website

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call 530-477-4236.

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