Nevada County Economic resource council talks housing, developments | TheUnion.com

Nevada County Economic resource council talks housing, developments

The Nevada County Economic Recourse Council met Thursday to discuss housing in Nevada County.

Barbara Bashall from Nevada County Contractors' Association was on hand to lead a discussion regarding the housing market in the area and answer questions in regards to the future of potential developments.

Between 2004 and 2008 a great deal of houses were starting to be built in Nevada County, Bashall said.

"That housing is predominately custom home building," she said. "People move up here or want to build their dream homes, and you can see the increase in the value (of homes)."

This year the contractors association reports seeing larger homes being built. The last few years most new houses were greater than 2,000 square feet. Bashall made note of the large number of additions and alterations to residences, which has increased and remained steady in the last three years as homeowners are remodeling and upgrading their houses more instead of moving into new housing.

The number of additions and alterations peaked in 2016 with 1,937 dwellings being revised in some way.

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The popularity of accessory dwelling units has been evident in Nevada County. Granny houses, in-law units, and backyard cottages all fit within this category.

"There's a lot of discussion about accessory dwelling units," Bashall said. "This past year the state came down with new regulations to make it easier to build second units. You can see the jump in the amount of second units that are being built. They're starting to see a lot of applications come in for those units."

Trends, Bashall said, are leaning toward larger and more expensive remodels and additions and larger homes being built.

A number of local housing developments were discussed during Thursday's meeting, including Ridge Meadows, a near-completed development recently constructed on Ridge Road in Nevada City. Thirty-seven homes were built with two remaining to be sold, leading Bashall to deem the project a success.

On the horizon, Bashall said, is the upcoming Timber Woods Estates, a development presenting 45 lots with houses ranging from about 1,804 to 2,224 square feet each. The project is being spearheaded by Hilbers Homes out of Yuba City and would occupy space off Brunswick Road near Sutton Way in Grass Valley.

The homes are not yet for sale, and are not yet built, but Bashall said the project has generated a lot of interest and there is currently a waiting list being formed of those who are interested.

Bashall said the efforts to build Dorsey Marketplace in Grass Valley are ramping up, with those behind the project preparing to soon circulate an environmental impact report.

"That project could potentially bring 180 more market-rate apartments which is one of the critical needs in the community, is more apartments," Bashall said.

The council recognized the shortage of rental housing, saying that it is a critical need in the Nevada City/Grass Valley areas.

"As the shortage increases, the rents go up and make it more unaffordable," said Bashall.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com or 530-477-4231.