Nevada City ‘glampground’ gets the go-ahead |

Nevada City ‘glampground’ gets the go-ahead

Dan Thiem’s proposal for a “glampground” near downtown Nevada City is one step closer to becoming a reality, after getting approval from the Planning Commission at their October meeting.

In addition to his role as an applicant, Thiem is also the Planning Commission’s current chair. He recused himself for that part of the meeting — sitting on the other side of the table.

Thiem’s plans to build a campground at 9 Kidder Court met with a positive response from the commission. There were a number of letters of support filed with the city.

Questions were raised about accessibility for campers with disabilities, but there was little or no criticism presented during public comment.

“We have no place for RV parking in this community. We have a lot of visitors who come in with RVs, and where do they go? …”
Commissioner John Parent

“I did notice that there wasn’t really any opposition to it and I really appreciated that,” Thiem said. “It certainly makes the project smoother when you don’t have a vocal opposition.”

“From a personal standpoint, it meant a lot to me that the community was behind the project,” he said. “I think that bodes well.”

As for his pitch to the commission, Thiem said it went “fantastic.”

No major modifications were made to his plans, although he says that’s partly due to the fact that he worked closely with city staff to address any issues prior to the meeting. That involved reducing the number of wood-burning firepits throughout the campground, due to concerns about air quality, and replacing them with plans for more expensive gas-burning firepits.

Commissioner John Parent said the new camping facility will address an unmet need in Nevada City, and may even have a positive impact on nuisance abatement issues associated with out-of-towners car-camping or sleeping in RVs on residential streets.

“We have no place for RV parking in this community,” Parent said. “We have a lot of visitors who come in with RVs, and where do they go? They either end up at the Nevada County Fairgrounds or illegally parked on one of our side streets.”

“On a personal note, I enjoy camping,” Parent added. “I enjoy tent camping very much. Having a facility close to downtown, to me, is a major plus.”

With a total of 70 campsites and 104 parking spots on 15.35 acres, the project includes 15 RV sites and another 15 miner’s tents or upscale “glamping” sites with electricity, beds and furniture. The facility would also include 40 regular tent sites and a swimming pool.

Plans also call for a 3,000-square-foot communal building with kitchens, laundry and a TV/reading room. Thiem hopes to be open for business by June of 2016 — though he’s also considering a soft opening that spring.

Before that happens, he’ll be working with engineers to finalize their plans for grading and utilities.

They’ll also need to finalize their drawings for the communal building on-site. First up, however, they’ll need to work with foresters and Cal Fire officials to harvest roughly 10 percent of the trees on the property, which have already been approved for removal.

To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email or call 530-477-4230.

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