Nevada County Board of Supervisors to consider appeal to North Star Mine water treatment project |

Nevada County Board of Supervisors to consider appeal to North Star Mine water treatment project

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled this Tuesday to hear an appeal of the North Star Mine water treatment project and could vote on approving it after a public hearing.

The board meets at 9 a.m. at the Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave. The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Planning Department staff will give a presentation on the project, which would passively treat mine water that currently drains into Wolf Creek. Staff has recommended the board reject the appeal and approve Newmont Mining Company’s project.

Several residents near the proposed project site will get the chance to speak, as will project supporters. The public will get two opportunities to voice its opinion before a possible board vote.

“The board could tell us they need more documents, more studies conducted,” said Jessica Hankins, senior planner.

It also could opt to approve the project as presented, tweak it or reject it.

Tuesday’s hearing stems from the Planning Commission’s October approval of the project. Several residents of the Allison Ranch Road area oppose the mandated water treatment system, arguing it could harm property values, and appealed to the Board of Supervisors.

Newmont officials state in a letter that effects to property values aren’t significant factors under the California Environmental Quality Act. That would mean the supervisors don’t need to address the potential change to property values, unless those effects lead to a direct or indirect environmental change.

In an unrelated matter, the board is expected to again examine a proposal to rezone parcels of land along East Bennett Road, a decision planners say could be delayed.

The proposed rezoning is part of a state-mandated plan to provide the proper zoning for high-density residential living. The board has no requirement to build the residences.

The board last month rezoned parcels in Penn Valley, near Combie Road and Highway 49 and along Brunswick Road, near Sutton Way. Supervisors chose to only rezone one of three Brunswick Road parcels after a request from Grass Valley officials to instead examine East Bennett Road.

Grass Valley Mayor Jason Fouyer said he prefers distributing high-density zoning instead of focusing it on Brunswick.

“The county’s been working with us,” he added.

According to planner Tyler Barrington, he’ll likely request the board delay taking action and give his office more time to study the issue.

In other matters, the board is scheduled to vote on approving a $273,750 grant from CalWORKS for a housing support program.

The money is expected to help 40 families using CalWORKS with rent payments, said Mike Dent, the county’s director of social services.

“We want to give it to families that are in crisis,” Dent added. “Maybe they have received an eviction notice.”

Anyone eligible and interested in the program should contact their employment and training worker with CalWORKS at 530-265-1760.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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