Nevada City Council adopts formula ordinance and Sugarloaf Mountain master plan |

Nevada City Council adopts formula ordinance and Sugarloaf Mountain master plan

The Nevada City Council on Wednesday voted 5-0 to adopt an ordinance that forbids owners of chain restaurants and retailers from opening within the city limits.

Under the measure, only specified firms in the “service industry” will be allowed to operate after their owners obtain a Conditional Use Permit from the city.

The ordinance, entitled “Formula Businesses Restrictions and Regulations,” will become effective 30 days after the Feb. 10 meeting.

The matter was first brought up in 2014 by then Vice-Mayor Jennifer Ray to “promote and protect local businesses, and preserve the original character of Nevada City.”

The city council approved a first reading of the proposed ordinance during a meeting on Jan. 27.

In other business, the Nevada City Council approved a master draft plan that outlines the use and management of the Sugarloaf Mountain natural reserve with the provision that a parking component be included with any proposed trail projects.

“We are very inundated with people parking on the street,” said council member Terri Andersen.

Mayor Ray seconded this sentiment, adding that she would like the issue “clarified and integrated into the plan.”

There were disagreements among residents about whether there should be a separate trail for bikers and walkers, or whether there should be a shared trail.

Parks and Recreation Supervisor Dawn Zydonis said the proposed ordinance recommends a shared trail for bikers and pedestrians, but details will not be finalized until someone comes forward with a project idea.

The city council also gave direction to staff in implementing designated smoking areas, receptacles and signage in compliance with the non-smoking ordinance.

The council members voted unanimously to move forward with a plan to build a designated smoking area at the parking lot on Commercial Street. Staff will also identify an appropriate area at the Spring Street parking lot to build an additional smoking area there.

An earlier suggestion to build a smoking area at the Nevada Street parking lot was rejected by officials during the meeting. Chief Tim Foley of Nevada City Police Department said the idea is unfavorable because of the distance between that parking lot and town.

Elected officials recommended staff put up receptacles and signs in the Nevada and Commercial streets parking lots, and explore options in the public spaces around Spring Street to install receptacles and signs.

The City Council held a closed session at 6 p.m. to discuss a lawsuit involving Friends of Spring Street. The community group has appealed a decision by a Nevada County Superior Court judge to allow Kendall House to operate. City staff continued discussion on the pending litigation after the meeting.

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please call 530-477-4236 or email

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