Nevada City Council to visit formula business ordinance, Sugarloaf Mountain Master Plan and receptacles |

Nevada City Council to visit formula business ordinance, Sugarloaf Mountain Master Plan and receptacles

Nevada County residents will have a final chance to offer their opinion on a measure that regulates big-box stores within city limits.

The City Council of Nevada City is slated to meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall to go over the second reading of an ordinance that forbids all formula restaurants and retailers in the city, but permits the operation of certain specified “service businesses” with Conditional Use Permits.

If enacted, the ordinance will become effective 30 days after the Feb. 10 meeting.

The matter was first brought up by then Vice Mayor Jennifer Ray in 2014. After undergoing several public discussions and reviewing three alternatives, officials set their eyes on a draft ordinance that prohibits some uses but leaves flexibility for certain service businesses.

Planning commissioners voted 4-0 during a special meeting Oct. 29 to send that draft ordinance back for further review, citing concern about suppressing local entrepreneurship. Instead of enacting a new ordinance, commissioners called for the city council to consider an approach that strengthens existing land-use ordinances.

But when the draft ordinance came before the city council again during the Jan. 27 meeting, an overwhelming number of residents spoke in support of the ordinance.

The council opted to pass the first reading of the ordinance, but promised planning commissioners the opportunity to review the language of the ordinance either “to modify or supersede the ordinance with an option that reflects their preferred approach,” according to city documents.

“Service businesses” are defined in the draft ordinance as stores that only provide service for fees rather than goods. Examples of possible businesses in the city that could be allowed to operate with a conditional permit include but are not limited to: banks, gas stations or auto shops, health and fitness clubs, and boutique hotels or motels with “locally unique names and identities.”

Also on Wednesday, officials are expected to go over a final draft of the Sugarloaf Mountain Master Plan. A primary draft was completed and approved by the council in 2011 to obtain funds from the county and facilitate the purchase of the property.

Staff members suggested the master plan was incomplete. The revised guideline incorporates comments from several public meetings, including a recent public workshop in December during which residents pitched ideas about the development, uses, management and rules of the property.

Officials said connectivity and trails remain a top priority for residents, while many people also see preservation as an essential issue. In addition, a debate arose regarding how mountain bikes should utilize Sugarloaf Mountain. Officials said the input was all addressed in the new master plan.

In other business Wednesday, elected officials will discuss the placement of cigarette butt receptacles and signs in strategic locations of Nevada City to comply with the no-smoking ordinance passed by the council in 2012.

The six receptacles are to be installed at: the two designated smoking areas at the Nevada Street and Commercial Street parking lots; exits of the Nevada Street, Spring Street and Commercial Street parking lots; and corners of Broad Street and Union Street adjacent to Calanan Park.

The total cost comes to $9,784.49 for constructing the two smoking areas, six custom receptacles and multiple signs.

City council members will also examine a request by Sierra Roots President Janice O’Brien to modify the cold weather shelter agreement to allow more flexibility in the conditions required for the city staff to open the emergency lodging facility.

Some of O’Brien’s suggestions included the request to open the shelter during “all inclement weather,” such as when the temperatures dips below 40 degrees, when it’s raining, or when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees.

For more information, please visit:

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

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